By Camille Gamboa, US PR & Conventions
Imagine this… After years of researching, months of putting your work succinctly into words, and weeks of revising with the help of your most trusted mentors, you have decided that it is finally time to submit your study to a journal for publication (and your timing couldn’t be any more perfect as you are up for tenure at the university you teach at). After months of waiting to hear back from the journal, you finally receive an email from the journal with the response – Reject. After reading over the feedback from peer reviewers who noted that your work was “promising,” “well-written,” and “thoroughly supported,” you realize that your one mistake and (and cause of anguish) could have been avoided – “your topic was just not the right fit for this particular publication.”
Sound all-too familiar? Want to avoid months of waiting (followed by rejection) at crucial points in your career? Well, to help you out, we have provided an insider’s scoop on what you can do to ensure that you are submitting your article to the right journal. We’ve asked four members of our Journals teams to respond to the following question:
What tips would you give to any researcher who is trying to select the right journal for publication?
Here is what they said:
Catherine Rossbach, Senior Acquisitions Manager, SAGE Journals
- Look at the names and affiliations of members of the editorial board of the journal you are considering. . . are these people researchers/scholars whose work you’d like to be associated with? If you don’t recognize them, are they in institutions that are active in your area of study?
- Likewise, look at the names and affiliations of authors of recent articles published in the journal.
- Is the journal ranked in the Journal Citation Reports©, or is it publishing research that will be cited by scholars/professionals in your area of study?
- Do a Google Scholar keyword search for topics highlighted in your article. Certain journal titles may show up repeatedly. These may be appropriate journals for submission.
- Consider broad-based open access journals whose criteria for acceptance of the work is methodological rigor (click here to find out about SAGE’s open access options).
Eric Moran, Associate Director of the Social Sciences Editorial Team
- Consider the journals you read and cite in your own paper.
- Be realistic about where your article will fit. If you’re a grad student, perhaps find a relevant niche journal rather than going to the top journal in the field.
- Look for the journals of the societies (and divisions within those societies) that you belong to or are in your field and consider them as an option.
Craig Percy, Associate Director of the Science, Technical, and Medical Journals Editorial Team
- Ask yourself – Is this one of the journals you refer to for information on this topic?
- Visit the journal website and read its “Aims and Scope” to be sure your paper’s specific topic is in line with the journal.
Rosie Sheridan, Publishing Editor, Journals Editorial
- Metrics – Consider what the journal can offer you in terms of impact – Is it ranked by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) or ranked highly within other metrics and indexes such as Scopus, European Reference Index for the Humanities (ERIH), Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA), etc.? Does it have a relevant and substantial readership? Is it international?
- Journal usage – assess the quality of the journal:
- What is its acceptance rate?
- Does the journal have a good reputation in the field?
- Are the editor and editorial board high profile?
- Timing – what is the speed of publication and does the journal offer online publication ahead of publication in an issue (such as SAGE’s Online First option)?
- Perception – discuss and consult with colleagues to get advice on the journals they publish in, read and cite.
- SAGE also has a great resource: ‘Publishing Journal Articles’, by Lucinda Becker and Pam Denicolo, which has a great section on choosing the right journal