Choose a Journal

Choosing a journal to publish in is essential to the publishing process.

You will probably want as many as possible to read your research results and cite your work. It might be important to choose a journal which allows you to make your research publications freely available online, either on your homepage or through an institutional repository such as BADA.

Many editors mean that an article is refused because the manuscript is not in line with the journal’s scope and not because the content in the article is not up to scratch. Therefore it is imperative that you early in the process think of

  1. which journals are of interest in your field of research;
  2. how do I reach my audience best and
  3. is the journal respected.

Your article is a contribution to the existing and on-going scientific dialog in the journals and for that reason it is crucial to choose a journal which has the greatest impact. Also to choose a journal that is not most suited to your subject is a question of time. It is customary that you do not send your article to several journals at the same time and since the peer review process can be time-consuming it can mean a lot of time waiting for comments and answer whether your article is accepted or not. If your article is not accepted because the scope of the journal is wrong you have to resubmit to another journal and that might take additional months before your article is published and your research results will be available for your audience.

Probably the quickest way to choose a journal is to take a look at which journals your peers publish in, or where the articles you cite are published in, which publishers publish journals that are of interest for you and if you are a doctoral student your supervisor can point you to right direction.

Respected Journals

It is more favorable for you to publish in respected journals. Academically this is important because respected journals have good reputation and more readers, which means that research is spread to a wider audience and your contribution to the scientific dialog reaches more researchers. This means that you influence which way the dialog develops.

You also create your own reputation by publishing in the respected journals. The more you publish in these journals the more recognized you become. When you apply for research funding or apply for promotion your publication list is reviewed and this makes it essential to publish in the central journals.

The respected scientific journals can be found both as print and online. The development in publishing, although slow in the academic world, is toward online publishing. Open access is working for to make publications freely and open accessible online. The reason for slow development is that the print journals are still considered as more legitimate way to publish.

Impact factor or Journal impact factor are two things you will often hear together with respected journals or journals with good reputation. Journal impact factor is a number which tries to describe the impact a journal or an article has. The way impact is calculated varies from resource to resource but basically impact means that citations to an article or journal during a couple of years are counted. Impact factor is often critiqued because in some academic fields texts that are a couple of years or some decades old can still be central in the field and citable but in other academic fields texts that were published last year are old and not citable anymore.

You can use e.g. Journal Citation report, JCR, to find journals with high impact. Note that most of the journals in JCR are international and within Medicine and Science & Technology than Humanities or Social Sciences. Visit the journals homepage to find more information about the journal and the impact factor. It the journal is ranked high it most probably wants you to know and present the latest impact factor on its page. Another source to find journals with impact is Scopus. You should note that JRC and Scopus calculate and present impact in different ways and they are not directly comparable.

Contact the library to get more help and advice on choosing a journal.