Deciding where to publish your research can be a daunting task. Many criteria need to be considered to make an informed decision. This page can help you determine your publishing needs and offer some resources on finding the right journal for your research.
When evaluating journals, consider the following:
- Who is your audience?
- Is openness important to you? Do you want to maximize the reach of your research?
- Where are your peers publishing? If you’re a graduate student, where does your supervisor publish?
- Does the Journal meet your standards?
Finding Places to Publish
Search your topic
- Select a subject database and search some keywords for your topic. For suggestions on subject databases, consult a Library Research Guide
- Look for filters which allow you to see where the articles retrieved by your search have been published. These filters may be labelled as Source Titles, Publication, or related terms.
- Journal Citation Reports
Select a disciplinary category to see a list of journals ranked according to citation data; provides Journal Impact Factor and Eigenfactor Score for journals.
These tools will match your subject or abstract with relevant publications in their databases.
- Elsevier Journal Finder
Paste your title and abstract to find a matching Elsevier journal. Can filter by open access.
- JANE – Journal/Author Name Estimator
Paste your title and abstract or do a keyword search on your topic to find appropriate journals or article reviewers. Based on the MEDLINE database. Created by BioSemantics Group at Erasmus University Medical Centre.
Browse by journal name, publisher, category or enter your title and abstract to generate appropriate publications for your research
Journal Evaluation Strategies
Aims and scope
Are they appropriate for your research? Is the scope of your research broad or specified? Does the journal appeal to those in your field?
Does the research seem credible? Read more about credibility in Guides for avoiding predatory publishers at the bottom of the page.
Are members known names in your field?
Is the policy clearly stated?
Copyright for authors
How is it handled? Sometimes journals will have multiple copyright policies. Read carefully, and ask for clarification if needed.
Are they clearly explained?
Open Access policy
Is it clearly stated?
How is the journal disseminated? Is the journal indexed in databases relevant to your discipline?
E.g. if you are a nursing researcher, you may want to ensure your journal is indexed in a nursing database such as CINAHL or Proquest Nursing
Check for yourself as many dubious publications falsely claim to be indexed in prestigious subject databases.
Directory of Open Access Journals (doaj.org): DOAJ uses a quality-control process to ensure it lists legitimate open access publications
Beware of made-up metrics: Check the metrics listed by the journal are recognized and reputable.
Calculated by dividing the number of citations to a journal in one year by the total number of articles published in the two previous years; proprietary designation produced by Journal Citation Reports.
SCImago Journal and Country Rank
Uses Google Page Rank algorithm to indicate visibility of journals indexed in Scopus database.
Signs of a predatory publisher/journal
- Spamming researchers with invitations to publish
- Misleading info re impact measures, indexing, location
- Short review process
- Poor website presentation e.g. spelling and grammar errors
- Hijacking legitimate journals
- Aims and scope, policies ambiguous/not clearly stated
- Estimates vary greatly depending on criteria, sampling
- Between 4,000-8,000 predatory journals; mostly in India, elsewhere in Asia
- Estimated size of market $32-$74M USD
- Between 165,000-420,000 “predatory” articles in 2014, versus 53,000 in 2010
900+ publishers in 2016 versus 18 in 2011
Beall’s list (archived)
“Potential, possible or probable” predatory OA journals and publishers.
- Curated by Jeffrey Beall, librarian at University of Colorado – a noted critic of open access
- Suspended in January 2017
- Beall’s criteria