Choosing the Right Journal for Your Paper

Choosing the Right Journal for Your Paper

Choosing the Right Journal for Your Paper

Richard Carlson and Shaun Hardy

April 9, 2019


Qualitative considerations, i.e., appropriate audience, reputation of journal; impact factors; copyright and self-archiving policies; open access and predatory publishers are just a few of the factors authors must consider when choosing the right journal for their publication.  Because authors need to be cited, it is important to submit papers to the correct journal so that they get cited.

  • Most journals list their "Aims and Scopes" on their home page
  • Journals can be society journals (i.e., Science (AAAS); American Mineralogist (MSA); The Astrophysical Journal (AAS)) or for profit journals (i.e., Nature; Chemical Geology; EPSL)
  • Look at the "Guide for Authors," which is necessary for all papers
  • Understand the reputation of the journal with regard to speed of publication and rejection rate
    • Nature has a higher rejection rate, but higher impact factor
    • AGU has paid editors who respond in time
    • Science has a great impact factor, but 80% rejection rate within 7-10 days of submission
    • PNAS declines more than 50% of direct submissions within first 2 weeks of submission
    • The Astrophysical Journal has an acceptance rate of over 85% with 33 days to publication after acceptance

Journal Citation Reports on Web of Science provides a comparison of selected journals, i.e., journal impact factor, Eigenfactor score, etc.)

Visit SHERPA/RoMEO for publisher copyright policies & self-archiving info.  Read carefully a journal's preprint policies.

Not sure which journal to submit your paper to?  Check out Elsevier Journal Finder or Wiley Journal Finder to "find the perfect journal for your article."  These sites provide review, acceptance, and production speeds of submitted papers.

Note of warning:  Watch out for predatory publishers who operate fake research journals.  Visit the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) or Beall's List of Predatory Journals and Publishers for more information.  Remember to Think. Check. Submit. your paper.