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Research metrics and publishing: Publishing

Deciding where to submit your article

Finding a journal that is a good fit for your paper gives you the best chance of success when submitting for publishing.

Journal selector tools provide one method of compiling a preliminary list of potential journals by
   matching your output to journals that may be suitable. 

  • Elsevier Journal Finder Simply insert your title and abstract and select the appropriate field-of-research to see Elsevier titles best suited for publishing your article. You may also limit to Open Access journals.
  • JANE: Journal / Author Name Estimator Enter keywords, title and/or abstract of your paper and click “Find journals”. JANE will then rank journals by confidence score which calculates similarity between your input and articles from the past 10 years in MEDLINE.
  • Manuscript Matcher Access by logging into Web of Science or EndNote online. Find the Master Journal List and enter a title and abstract to see a list of journals and their matching score. You will also see Journal Impact Factor, Quartile, and Open Access status.

There are a number of other journal selectors, including the Springer Journal Suggester, the Edanz Journal Selector, Wiley Find Journals, the IEEE Publication Recommender and the Open Journal Matcher.

Considerations for assessing journal quality or suitability

  • A dedicated journal website
  • Publisher clearly identifiable on journal website and publisher address included on their site
  • Journal ISSN (cross-check journal details with the ISSN portal
  • Papers published with a DOI (permanent identifier)
  • Indexing in easily discoverable databases (cross check with the database to ensure they are included)
  • An archiving policy ensuring past journal issues are available
  • Easily locatable Article Processing Charges or fees (and transparency over what fees will be charged, the currency, any taxes and whether fee waivers are available etc.)
  • Transparent peer review process (do author guidelines include the type of peer review and number of external reviewers etc.)
  • Transparency regarding who retains copyright of submitted work, and/or copyright licenses for OA
  • Editorial board member contact details listed (also consider cross checking some members to ensure that they list their role on this journal on their personal websites/scholarly profiles etc.)
  • Clarity on how the publisher is financially supported and/or transparency of conflict of interests
  • Journal Impact Factor (or other journal ranking). Always cross-check with JCR if an impact factor is listed to ensure it is correct.

Bibliometric sources and tools for conducting checks

Additional factors to consider

Reach and visibility:

  • Is the reach and visibility of your research enhanced by the journal being available open access?
  • Does the journal/publisher have a strong web presence and social media channels or practices in place to promote your work?


  • Check Copyright policies. Can you put a pre-print copy in an archive or institutional repository?
  • Use SHERPA/ROMEO to find a summary of permissions that are normally given as part of each publisher's copyright transfer agreement.


  • Time to peer-review: check journal website or SciRev
  • Time to publish (journal acceptance rate): check journal website, SciRev or Cabells (Journalytics list in Cabells)

Acceptance rates may also be able to be calculated. For example MLA international bibliography includes journals in literature, linguistics, and folklore indexed by the MLA Bibliography. Acceptance data is available in the MLA "Directory of Periodicals," found in the search menu in the database. This data shows the annual number of articles submitted and published, and these numbers can be used to calculate the acceptance rate.

For example, regarding the journal Hemingway Review, the MLA Directory states “Articles: Suggested Length: 6,250 words maximum; Number Submitted Per Year: 50-60; Published Per Year: 10-14.” Dividing the number of articles published by the number submitted yields an acceptance rate ranging from 17% (10/60) to 28% (14/50).