Choosing where to submit your manuscript


How do I identify the correct journal for my work?

Selecting the most appropriate journal or publisher to approach to publish research depends on the subject area and the specific research topic. Mentors, line managers and colleagues from the relevant disciplinary area are best placed to offer expert advice. However, Section 3.7 of the Code of Good Practice in Research offers the following guidance:

Aim for the venue with the widest audience you can expect to attract. Nearly all research requires financial investment, and honouring that investment implies publication of the research by a journal or publisher that reaches the largest number of interested parties. Some journals/publishers have a better track record for making research visible than do others.

For one’s most significant work it is advisable to select a journal/publisher that devotes the time of both professional editors and expert referees to provide critical feedback. This external input can result in a final manuscript that is better expressed and argued than the original submission.

Seek a journal/publisher that will uphold the highest standards of rigour, for example by ensuring that data and methodologies (as appropriate to the discipline) underpinning your research are made available alongside the publication itself.

How can I identify trusted journals?

Researchers seeking to publish their work can choose from a wide range of journals.

However, please note that some publishers do not deliver the rigour of academic scrutiny expected of scholarly publishing nor provide appropriate standards of service. Publishing your paper in these "predatory" journals may also limit the visibility of your publication, as these journals are typically not indexed in literature databases.

To be clear, it is not in your interest to publish your research findings in these journals.

Recommended approaches.

Use expert knowledge of the field. We recommend that researchers use their disciplinary knowledge — or that of an experienced colleague — to gauge the trustworthiness of a journal. One approach is to check the editorial board for names of known and respected researchers. Be especially vigilant of journal editors that approach you with unsolicited communications.

Use a practical checklist: This website provides guidance and an online checklist to help researchers identify trusted journals.

Relevant publications on this topic:

Nature Article - Predatory journals; no definition, no defence

Science Article - Articles in 'predatory' journals receive few or no citations

Arxiv article - How Frequently are Articles in Predatory Open Access Journals Cited says:

'250 random articles published in such journals in 2014, and found an average of 2,6 citations per article and that 60 % of the articles had no citations at all. For comparison a random sample of articles published in the approximately 25,000 peer reviewed journals included in the Scopus index had an average of 18,1 citations in the same period with only 9 % receiving no citations. We conclude that articles published in predatory journals have little scientific impact'

Committee on Publication Ethics Discussion Paper