Author Services

Tips on Selecting Journals

Selecting the right journal for your manuscript is a crucial step in the publication process. Consider the following tips to make an informed decision:

  • Scope and Focus: Ensure that the journal's scope aligns with the focus of your research. Explore the list of previously published articles. Assess whether the journal has published similar research. Identify journals that cater to your target audience – the readership that would benefit the most from your research.
  • Reputation and Impact Factor: Investigate the reputation of the journal within your research community. Consider some impact metrics as measures of its influence in the field.
  • Peer Review Process: Understand the journal's peer review process. High-quality journals have rigorous review processes that contribute to the credibility of published research.
  • Publication Frequency: Consider the publication frequency of the journal. Some researchers prefer journals with regular issues, while others may seek journals with quicker turnaround times.
  • Open Access Options: Evaluate whether the journal offers Open Access options. Inquire about any associated fees. Consider Vanderbilt’s Agreements Supporting Open Access Publishing.
  • Copyright Policies: Review the journal's copyright policies. Ensure that the journal's policies align with your preferences regarding copyright retention and permissions for sharing your work.
  • Journal Indexing and Accessibility: Check if the journal is indexed in relevant databases. Indexing enhances the discoverability and accessibility of your work. Consider the accessibility of the journal both in terms of online availability and the journal's distribution channels.
  • Journal Policies: Thoroughly read and understand the journal's policies on ethics, data sharing, and conflicts of interest. Ensure that these policies align with your research practices. By carefully considering these factors, you can make an informed decision when selecting a journal for your manuscript, increasing the likelihood of successful publication and impact within your academic community.

Set Yourself Up for Success!

A little planning and research before you submit can save you from both the heartache and headache of rejection. Here are some things to consider:

  • You cannot submit your article to more than one journal at a time. It can take three to twelve months for you to receive a decision about your article, and a rejection letter means starting the entire process all over again with a new journal. Such delays can be catastrophic, particularly if you are trying to publish time-sensitive materials.
  • Is the top-tier journal in your discipline really the right fit for you? There is a great deal of pressure to publish in the most prestigious journal possible. Even though a journal is the most prestigious in your field that doesn't guarantee that it's the right fit for you and your article. 
  • "Refereed" journals are king. Not all journals vet their manuscripts using a peer review process. Don't waste your time publishing in a non-refereed journal, because it's not going to help you in the long run.

Journal Impact Metrics

Navigating journal impact metrics is essential if you are aiming to publish your work strategically. 

Many publishers will provide information about impact of their journals on their own websites. If you are interested in understanding the impact metrics of journals in your field more systematically, you can find some resources and tips below.

Remember, it is important to approach these metrics with caution, recognizing their limitations and using them as references rather than definitive measures of a journal's quality.