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Faculty and Staff Research and Publishing Guide: Publishing Resources

Choosing the Journal

The likelihood of successful acceptance of an article increases if you spend some time evaluating your journal options. Talk to colleagues and browse publishers' websites to help you brainstorm a list of possible journals. For example, Elsevier has a Journal Finder search that could help you match your abstract to possible Elsevier publications.

Some considerations when evaluating your journal options:

  • The subject matter of your article. Is it broad (of interest to multiple disciplines) or more focused (of interest to one discipline or even just a specific subdiscipline)? If your article is very focused, you would want to submit it to a more specialized journal.
  • The parameters of possible journals. What are the scope and audience for each?
  • The journal's metrics, including impact factor and rejection rate. 
  • The review timeline. Ethical considerations mean you should not submit the same article to multiple journals at the same time. Are you willing to wait through your selected journal's timeline only to have to start again at a different journal if the article is rejected?
  • The author agreement. Are you (or your funder) comfortable with the terms? 
  • The legitimacy of the journal. How do you know you can trust a journal, particularly a new journal that may not be fully established? Run it through the checklist on Think Check Submit

This list was partially adapted from the American Psychological Association's Preparing Manuscripts for Publication in Psychology Journals: A Guide for New Authors.

Also see Selecting an Appropriate Publication Outlet: A Comprehensive Model of Journal Selection Criteria for Researchers in a Broad Range of Academic Disciplines for a thorough discussion of choosing an optimal journal.  

Ethical Considerations

Peer Review Process

General Publishing Help

Publishing Your Research 101

The Academic Rejection Letter

"Piled Higher and Deeper" by Jorge Cham