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Research: Which journal do I publish in?

Library support for postgraduate students and researchers

Contents page

  • Step 1a: Create a shortlist of potential journals - using your reference list & peers
  • Step 1b: Create a shortlist of potential journals - using JOURNAL RANKING databases
  • Step 1c: Create a shortlist of potential journals - using JOURNAL FINDER tools
  • Step 2: Explore the features of the journal
  • Step 3: Find where the journal is indexed
  • Step 4: Impact metrics of the potential journal?
  • Step 5: Review the publishing agreement of the journal
  • Evaluating journals
  • HERDC, ERA and ASPIRE
  • Learned Publishing (journal RSS of contents pages)

Step 1a: Create a shortlist of potential journals - using your reference list & recommendations

  • Which journals have you personally found must useful when researching your topic?
     
  • Which journals have your colleagues,  supervisors or mentors recommended?

 

Step 1b: Create a shortlist of potential journals - using JOURNAL RANKING databases

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The following database can also assist you in finding high ranking journals in your subject/topic area

  • ERA Journal List (Restricted to ECU staff and Research Students) shows journals included in the ERA 2015 journal list
    • login into the ECU staff/student portal
    • click into Research Activity System (RAS)
    • click on ERA Journal Lookup (the "torch light icon")
    • click FoR Code (2 digit and 4 digit) to find journals in a particular subject area
       
  • ABDC Journal Quality List 2016 list of business journals put together by the Australian Business Deans Council (ABDC).
     
  • ulrichsweb.com: States intended audience of pubication! It does not provide journal rankings but it provides information on over 300,000 international journals and magazines: is it peer-reviewed, open access, magazine, trade or professional magazine, newsletter. It provides a raft of information about the journal publisher, price, where the publication is indexed, print or online, etc.
     
  • Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) is a list of free open access journals, some of which are high impact journal. Some journals which are freely available but not totally Open Access are not listed in the Directory.

Step 1c: Create a shortlist of potential journals - using JOURNAL FINDER tools

Many databases and publishers have created journal finder tools which allow you to search their content - not to find journal articles on a topic, but to find relevant journal titles which have published articles similar to yours. 

The search boxes in these journal finder tools use your potential article's title, abstract/keywords &/or reference list to find relevant journal titles.

JOURNAL FINDER TOOLS

  • EndNote’s Manuscript matcher  uses the database created by EndNote Web users 
    • register through Web of Science OR EndNote (register/login required to use this service)
    • in EndNote Web, click on the tab "Match"
    • enter your article title, abstract, references (optional)
    • will provide you with a list of recommended journal titles + their impact factor
       
  • JANE (Journal/Author Name Estimator) uses Medline as its source database
     
  • Elsevier Journal Finder (publisher) helps you find a relevant Elsevier journal
     
  • EDANZ Journal selector - searches over 28,000 journals and includes
     
  • Springer Journal Selector (publisher) -helps you find a relevant Springer journal
     
  • Wiley Journal Finder - (publisher) helps author to find jurnals best matched article's subject

 

Step 2: Explore the features of the journal

  • Aims and scope  - does your article fit within the topical coverage and mission of the journal?
     
  • Intended audience of the publication
    • Ulrichsweb is a useful database as it can help you assess the target audience of the publication: Is it scholarly, a trade publications, newsletter, website?
      • Peer review - is the journal peer reviewed? Is this blind or double blind?
         
  • DOI - does the journal assign Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) to the articles they publish?
    • A DOI is the unique ID permanently associated with a particular article and provides a stable and unambiguous link to it therefore improve the discoverability of an item
    • DOIs also helps facilitate linkages between an article and an author's own identifiers, such as a Thomson Reuters Researcher ID or ORCID
    • DOIs can also be tracked by altmetrics tools and can be used to demonstrate the social media buzz surrounding a specific DOI e.g. number mentions in twitter, blogs, facebook etc. and the number of bookmarks to the article on Mendeley and CiteULike.
       
  • Open access publication - is the journal open access? Do you want your research to be freely available worldwide and accessible to the broadest spectrum of readers possible? What open access options does the journal offer? eg Gold Open Access where the author pays up-front an article processing fee for their article to be published or Green Open Access when the author is allowed to publish a version of the article in their website or institutional repository (remember to keep that copy for Research Online!)
     
  • Open access dataset - does the journal require you to make your research dataset available on Open Access? Journals such as Nature, PLOS etc. now require authors to provide public access to the dataset that their paper is based on. If you wish to make your dataset open or available for re-use, check out Research Online - we can provide your dataset with a DOI (refer to your dataset in your paper's reference list) and arrange for it to appear on Research Data Australia.
  • Number of articles/issues published annually - the frequency of issues and the number of articles published annually may affect rejection rates, influence turnaround times for processing articles and impact on the time taken for articles to get published.
     
  • Rejection rates - what percentage of article submissions are rejected? A high rejection rate may suggest a journal is of high quality but it may also reduce the likelihood of the article getting published in that journal.
     
  • Turnaround time/backlog - how much time will it take for a submitted article to get accepted and published?

Step 3: Find where the journal is indexed

A presence in major indexes or journal quality lists will provide some indication as to the quality of the journal. Sources to consider include:

  • Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory: Ulrichsweb indexes over 300,000 international periodicals. Search by journal title or journals by topic, limit resulty by a range of filters e.g. peer-reviewed, open access etc.  It will also provide publisher information and where the journal has been indexed.
  • Scimago Journal Rankings list journals indexed by Scopus database
     
  • Master Journal List (Thomson Reuters): a searchable database of all journal titles indexed by the Web of Science (Thomson Reuters)
     
  • Journal Quality List: compiled by Professor Anne-Wil Harzing from the University of Melbourne, this quality list includes journals from the fields of economics, accounting, finance, management and marketing.
     
  • Subject databases: relevant discipline specific databases will index journals within your subject area of research. Refer to the relevant ECU Library LibGuides for more information about databases specific to your subject.

Step 4: Impact metrics of the potential journal?

The following database can also assist you in finding high ranking journals in your subject/topic area

  • ERA Journal List (Restricted to ECU staff and Research Students) shows journals included in the ERA 2015 journal list
    • login into the ECU staff/student portal
    • click into Research Activity System (RAS)
    • click on ERA Journal Lookup (the "torch light icon")
    • click FoR Code (2 digit and 4 digit) to find journals in a particular subject area
       
  • ABDC Journal Quality List 2016 list of business journals put together by the Australian Business Deans Council (ABDC).
     
  • ulrichsweb.com: States intended audience of pubication! It does not provide journal rankings but it provides information on over 300,000 international journals and magazines: is it peer-reviewed, open access, magazine, trade or professional magazine, newsletter. It provides a raft of information about the journal publisher, price, where the publication is indexed, print or online, etc.
     
  • Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) is a list of free open access journals, some of which are high impact journal. Some journals which are freely available but not totally Open Access are not listed in the Directory.

Step 5: Review the publishing agreement of the journal

Once you have selected a journal, you will then submit your article, which then may ultimately be accepted for publication by the journal. If you are publishing commercially you will then be asked to sign a publishing agreement. It is important that you:

  • Read the publishing agreement carefully before signing.
  • Remember that author's have rights and can ask for changes to the agreement.
  • Be aware of third party copyright. Permissions will need to be sought before you include copyrighted material, including images, figures and tables produced by others.
  • Think about open access (OA) as an alternative to commercial publishing.
  • Remember to keep the accepted (post-print) version of your paper for later inclusion in ECU's institutional repository Research Online. The accepted (post-print) version of your article manuscript is the version after the paper has been peer reviewed (typically the final Word document version).

PATENT ALERT: Remember that once your work is published, it is in the public domain. For commercially relevant work this may mean that it is no longer patentable. You should check if any valuable intellectual property in your work could be compromised by being published. For further assistance:

FUNDER ALERT: If your publication is an outcome of a project funded by the ARC or NHMRC, it may be need to comply with their Open Access Policies. For each policy, a publication must be made openly accessible within 12 months of it's publication date. If a publication cannot be made openly accessible, a reason must be provided to the funding agency.

Evaluating journals

"... publishers who take authors’ money but provide no substantial peer review or indexing to truly disseminate research findings"
The above quote from Hansoti, Langdorf and Murphy (2016) can be generalised to identifying both predatory open access publishers and non-open access predatory publishers.

Think Check Submit image

View the Think Check Submit Checklists!

ERA and ASPIRE

When selecting a journal in which to publish, it is important to bear in mind that this choice will determine whether your article will be eligible to be counted as part of the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) evaluation. It may also determine whether the article will be eligible for quality measures under ASPIRE, ECU's research performance scheme, which uses Field Weighted Citation Impact data to inform the ASPIRE allocations.

ERA

Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) is the research quality evaluation initiative of the Australian Government, administered by the Australian Research Council (ARC). ERA identifies and promotes excellence across the full spectrum of research activity in Australia's higher education insitutions.

ASPIRE

Acknowledging Successful Performance in Research Excellence (ASPIRE) is ECU's system for "...measuring and quantifying research performance which rewards researchers for research activity and quality." ASPIRE provides guidance to researchers as to what the university values in relation to research performance. For more information on ASPIRE refer to ECU's Research Performance page.

Including Published Articles in a Thesis

In accord with ECU Policy ac063 Postgraduate Research: Thesis with Publication a HDR candidate can produce a Thesis with Publication, which "...is a combination of publishable work based on original research and a substantive written, integrating component." These publications can include journal articles. As a result, candidates can publish their ongoing HDR research in journals, which can then form part of their Thesis with Publication.

It is important to note however, that Copyright policies vary from journal to journal and it essential that you check the copyright policy of each journal to establish if there are any restrictions on including an article from that journal in your thesis or if you wish later on,  to upload your thesis onto Research Online.

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