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Preparing To Publish: Deciding Where to Publish


  • JANE (Journal/Author Name Estimator) - Free

Simply paste the written abstract from your paper into the search box or do a keyword search, and JANE will provide a list of suggested journals.

  • PubsHub - Access provided by WCMC

A variety of information for clinicians and scientists who are trying to determine where to publish or present their research. Covering over 3,400 biomedical publications, the PubsHub database contains details on journal impact factors, acceptance rates, publication turnaround times, MEDLINE indexing, and more. For researchers interested in presenting works at conferences, PubsHub provides details such as number of attendees, upcoming dates and locations, and whether abstracts are published, for more than 2,000 conferences.

A resource for journal evaluation, using citation data drawn from over 8,400 scholarly and technical journals worldwide. Coverage is both multidisciplinary and international, and incorporates journals from over 3,000 publishers in 60 nations. Contains citation data on journals, and includes virtually all specialties in the areas of science, technology, and the social sciences. JCR Web shows the relationship between citing and cited journals. Search by journal title or broad discipline.

Bibliographic and access information about serials published throughout the world, covering all subjects. Entries provide pricing, subscription and distribution details as well as publisher and editor contacts. Direct links to URLs and e-mail addresses given when available, along with reviews excerpted from Magazines for Libraries and Library Journal.

By clicking on the “Compare Journals” link above the search box on the main search page, you can compare journals by: SJR (SCImago Journal Rank - weighted by the prestige of a journal), IPP (Impact per Publication - ratio of citations per article published in a journal), SNIP (Source Normalized Impact per Paper - measures a source’s contextual citation impact), Citations, Documents, % of Not Cited, and % of Reviews.

Deciding Where to Publish

Before you can publish something, it’s imperative you find the right journal in which to do so. Because, ethically, you can only submit an article to one journal at a given time, it is important to choose the best one. Here are a few steps to help you vet the many options, ideally coming up with a list of 3 target journals.

  • Search to see where similar papers have been published.

One way to do this is to check the list of references you’ve cited in your own article. There will most likely be several articles published in the same journals, providing a good place to start investigating.

  • Do you read it/trust it? Do your colleagues?

You want your article to have the make the most impact possible, so the more widely read/known the journal, the better. If you or your colleagues have never heard of a journal, there’s a chance it might be producing less-than-quality content. 

  • Who is the publisher/sponsor? Is it a society journal? Is it a predatory publisher?

A recognizable publisher name or society is a good indicator that a journal is trustworthy. Since there is money to be made in publishing, some predatory journals have cropped up, scamming authors out of their publishing fees. You can check out for some potential, possible, or probable predatory scholarly open-access publishers.

  • Evaluate author/editor credentials.

First hand experience with a particular journal is invaluable, so it helps to talk to other WCMC authors who have published in a particular journal. Another important aspect for evaluation is the editorial board. A journal’s editors should be international experts in the field. Having an international board helps to reduce bias, and ensures that the best research from all over the world is recognized.

  • Longevity - how many volumes has the journal published?

Longer running journals can typically be considered more trustworthy than journals with shorter runs. If a journal has been around for a while, it’s usually for good reason.

  • Impact factor of journals in the field

Impact factor is the frequency with which the "average article" in a journal has been cited in a particular year or period. Journal Citation Reports, or JCR, compiled by Thomson Reuters is the current standard for journal metrics. It is only available through a subscription, although often a journal will show its JCR ranking and score on the homepage. Not every journal with an ISSN is indexed by JCR, but if it is, it helps lend legitimacy to the publication.

  • Where is the journal indexed?

Take a look at visibility/reach. Which databases is it available in - MEDLINE, Scopus, Web of Science, etc.? You want your article to get the best possible exposure for maximum readership, so a widely indexed journal is an important factor.

  • Is the journal open access?

If a journal is open access, it means that the content is freely accessible for readers, without subscription costs or paywalls. Often times, funding bodies will have open access requirements that accompany their grants. It’s important to know your open access obligations before choosing a journal. To view a summary of your research funder's open access policies (including mandates, policies, and restrictions)  visit SHERPA JULIET.

  • Do a lot of libraries subscribe to the journal?

To determine this, go to A journal’s record on WorldCat will provide a list of libraries worldwide that own the item. For example, the journal Social Work Research is available in 1,369 libraries.

  • What is the journal’s acceptance rate?

Journals with lower article acceptance rates are generally considered to be more prestigious. If the acceptance rate is not available on the journal’s home page, you can try contacting the editor to see if they will share the acceptance rate. PubsHub also has this information for selected journals.

  • What is the time to publication?

Some journals will provide the average time it takes from submission of the article, to publication. Similar to the acceptance rate, average time to publication is often found on the journal’s homepage, or you may have to try contacting the editor for this information. PubsHub also has this information for selected journals.