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Journal Evaluation & Measuring Author Impact

Choosing a Journal to Publish Your Work

1) Ask colleagues or mentors for recommendations.

2) Review your manuscript's reference list. If you cite a journal several times, chances are it might make a relevant place to publish.

3) Use Journal Match Finders: These are tools that use the title/abstract of your manuscript determine which journals might best match your paper topic.

4) Conduct Database Searches: Another method to journal in which to publish is to do a search for your topic in a database such as PubMed or Scopus. Browse through the results to see what journals have published articles similar to your topic. PubReMiner, a webpage that assists in building and analyzing PubMed database searches, can also help identify likely journals based on keyword searches.

5) Additional Steps: Once you identify a few candidate journals, use the following tips to narrow down your search.

  • Review the scope of the journal and the information for authors and compare the information you find with your manuscript.
    • Are you looking for a national or international audience? 
    • Would a more general or more subject specific journal make sense? 
    • Does a target journal publish the type of article you have written?
    • Does a target journal publish articles of the same length as the one you have written?
    • Check to see if a target journal has published articles on similar topics to yours in the past.
  • Learn where the journal is indexed. Most researchers will find your article through a literature search, so make sure it is indexed in major disciplinary databases. Publishing in Open Access Journals will make it even more likely that your scholarship is found and used by others. Jefferson's Open Access Fund can help pay for the cost of OA publishing.
  • Consider how frequently a target journal publishes articles, what their acceptance rate is, and what their review process is like. This may help you determine how much time it might take your article to be published.
  • Review a journal's metrics. Impact factor and other metrics are used to determine the quality of a journal. However, remember that submitting to a top tier journal is not always your best chance of getting published due to their high submission and lower acceptance rates. Think about how to balance the prestige of the journal you wish to publish in with the audience that you want to reach. If your topic is for a niche audience, a smaller journal with a lower impact factor may just what is needed for you to reach your ideal audience. 

Note: Jefferson faculty and students interested in publishing case reports will want to be aware that Jefferson has an institutional membership to BMJ Case Reports. This membership will allow Jefferson authors to submit as many case reports as they like for free. The Library asks that authors who submit case reports using our membership also submit their work to the Jefferson Digital Commons. Contact if you have questions or for more details.