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Where to Publish Your Research: Narrowing the Field

Which journal? Some things to consider

Now that you're able to locate potential journals in which to publish, the next step is to evaluate those journals for

  • Impact Factors/rankings -Journal Citation Report (Web of Science Citation Indexes) and CiteScore (Scopus Journal citations)
  • Acceptance Rates (Cabell's)
  • Author friendly policies for publication* 

*Journal policies should be evaluated. Author's retaining copyright is a key factor in the future use of the published material.  


Publishing Standards & Ethics

DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals) Best Practices for Publishers. "DOAJ is a community-curated online directory that indexes and provides access to high quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals. DOAJ is independent." – is a Directory of Open Access scholarly Resources.

“ROAD has been developed with the support of the Communication and Information Sector of UNESCO, it provides a free access to a subset of the ISSN Register. This subset comprises bibliographic records which describe scholarly resources in Open Access identified by an ISSN.

Author Alliance  -"Authorial reputation and integrity are key issues for Authors Alliance....Issues of reputation and integrity are connected to the processes of peer review and promotion–processes that are critical to the research and academic enterprises but that may need to adapt in the digital age."

OASPA (Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association)

Their mission is to “represent the interests of Open Access (OA) journal and book publishers globally in all scientific, technical and scholarly disciplines."

COPE (Committee on Publications Ethics)

Does not investigate individual publications, rather they provide guidelines and a code of conduct for researchers AND publishers.

Impact Measures

Be Aware

Experts stress that there are limitations in using impact factors to evaluate a scholar's work or a specific journal.   This is one reason why other journal evaluation formulas have been devised.  This allows authors and scholars to decide for themselves what metrics they want to use to evaluate a journals impact to their discipline.  There are many reasons cited for not relying on an impact factor alone to evaluate a journal or an author's credibility. 

  • A single factor is not sufficient for evaluating of an author's work.
  • Journal values are meaningless unless compared within the same discipline. Impact factors vary among disciplines.
  • The impact factor was originally devised to show the impact of a specific journal, not a specific scholar. The quality and impact of the author's work may extend beyond the impact of a particular journal.

Journal impact measures:

Eigenfactor® Score This is produced by, does not include journal self-citations and though freely available, is also included in the JCRs.  In relation to the EigenFactor Score, you might want to be aware that there is something that does purport to rate specific articles.  It is called the Article Influence Score.  This uses the Eigenfactor score of a particular journal, divided by the total number of articles in the journal.  The mean Article Influence Score is 1.00 and any score above 1.00 means the article has an above average influence.

 CiteScore metrics from Scopus - CiteScore calculates the average number of citations received in a calendar year by all items published in that journal in the preceding three years. The calendar year to which a serial title's issues are assigned is determined by their cover dates, and not the dates that the serial issues were made available online. CiteScore metrics are part of the Scopus basket of journal metrics that includes SNIP (Source Normalized Impact per Paper), SJR (SCImago Journal Rank), citation- and document- counts and percentage cited. The integration of these metrics into Scopus provides insights into the citation impact of more than 22,220 titles.

 Cabell's Metrics Cabell's Classification Index, Difficulty of Acceptance and Institutional Publishing Activity 

Other Impact Measures - Some bibliometric methods are used to explore the impact of a field or discipline, the impact of a researcher or set of researchers, or the impact of a specific paper.  These include:

h-Index - author level impact, listed in Scopus, Web of Science and Google Scholar.  Recently issues have advised caution using the h-index, as explained in this article from the Journal of Academic Librarianship.  SCImago includes h-index, but not for individual authors. Instead it lists the total number of authors with an h-index in a particular journal. 

i10-Index = only used by Google Scholar, the number of publications with at least 10 citations, used to measure author's productivity.

g-index is an index for quantifying scientific productivity based on publication record (an author-level metric)



No one source will cover every journal or discipline and not all journals have rankings.  

Rank then is determined by the journal's impact factor by CitScore (developed from data in Scopus).  JCR and CiteScore do not include metrics for individual authors.   Scimago does include a cumulative h-index for the total number of authors in a particular journal who have h-index numbers.   

In these sources, the higher the impact factor determines their rank in the discipline.   To some the higher the rank, the more influential the journal. However, it is important to know that not every journal will have a ranking. This does not  necessarily mean the journal isn't a good one. 

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

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Library of Congress’ International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) division criteria for assigning ISSNs:

  • LC’s ISSN office do “due diligence” but cannot be the standard.  They can only insure that the journal publisher meets the criteria for assigning an ISSN.
  • LC’s ISSN office want to see that the journal has published at least 5 articles to determine that they have been around a while, not to review the quality of the articles.  But they only require viewing a single issue.
  • If misleading information is provided in the form (and that is all the journal publisher needs to fill out), once LC issues an ISSN, they CANNOT rescind or revoke the ISSN

Library of Congress’ ISSN division recommendations to authors

  • Be careful of “similar” named journals, as titles cannot be copyrighted, only trademarks.
  • Check the Editorial Boards, try to determine how engaged they are and contact them if necessary. 
  • If there is not contact information provided, this may be a red flag.  Check for them at their listed institution.
  • Be aware, some academics do allow their names to be used as part of editorial boards, but have absolutely nothing to do with the journal.
  • Publish in journals that you and your discipline read.