Peer-reviewed journal articles are the most important individual publications researchers can produce. They are more highly regarded and have a longer shelf life than other publications, such as books, conference abstracts, or reviews and are a better measurement of quality for academic research. With the pressure to publish and the sheer volume of journals available for submission, sometimes finding the right one can be difficult. We found a paper in the International Journal of Doctoral Studies that addresses this issue. They listed five considerations that should come in handy.
1. Likelihood of Acceptance
Keep in mind the “fit” of your paper to the journals you are submitting to. A lengthy rejection results in a lot of time wasted that could otherwise be spent submitting to other journals. Keep in mind the style and length requirements of the journal and make sure you have a consistent manuscript. Consider the theme of the journal, and even the specific niches within those themes. Individual journals also have individual biases to watch out for.
2. Credibility of the Journal
Journal reputation is big. Though perhaps you can’t get in to any of the big-name journals in your field, that does not mean you should settle on a journal with a low reputation. The journal reputation directly affects a researcher’s personal reputation, so it is definitely not something to be taken lightly. There are many factors that play into reputation, such as the circulation range, the acceptance rate, and the renown of the editor and board members. Many fields have journal lists that can come in handy, as well.
3. Potential Impact of the Manuscript
You should also be aware of the visibility of your paper. The readership of your paper is a big part in determining whether or not your research is cited. Consider the subscription base of the journal, and the kind of people who subscribe. If it is important to you to have a wide readership, look for journals that offer it.
4. Time from Submission to Publication
Time can be an issue for many researchers who are working toward deadlines and need publications on their belt. The timeline for journal publication is the period between the initial submission to the time of actual publication. Some journals have a quicker return rate than others. Having an accurate estimate on how long the process could take may make or break your choice to publish in a journal.
5. Philosophical and Ethical Issues
This is a relatively new thing to consider with the internet age. It takes into account the “open access” trend of the Internet and journals that offer their articles online for free. There is debate on whether or not this lessens the quality, though it can reflect the reputation. If you philosophically believe in open access and want your article to be free, there are journals that support that.
In the end, there is a lot a researcher needs to consider as far as what journals to submit to. Finding a balance of the above factors can really help determine what journals fit your needs best.
Check out the details on our upcoming webinar, where we’ll be discussing the plight of academic researchers more in depth and addressing the importance of publishing.