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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. 

landing page image with the word Publishing                         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.

Factors to consider when choosing where to publish

Journal quality

  • JCR Journal Impact Factor (JIF) and Quartile Ranking (based on Web of Science data)
  • Scimago journal ranking (based on Scopus data)
  • Cabell's Journalytics of reputable journals and Predatory Reports list of questionable journals
  • DOAJ (Useful quality list for Open Access journals)
  • Think. Check. Submit. is a tool to help researchers identify trusted journals and publishers for their research

Timelines - (check journal website or SciRev)

  • Time taken for peer review
  • Time to publish

Indexing - (check database to see where the journal claims to be indexed, and then check some of these sources to verify)

  • Which databases or sites will your research output be available from?
  • Will it be indexed in the major citation databases (Scopus, Web of Science)?
  • If the journal is Open Access, is it indexed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)?

Reach - (ask colleagues, do some research, look at publisher information)

  • Is the journal read by your target audience?
  • Is the journal a subscription based journal, an Open Access journal, or a hybrid journal?
  • If a subscription journal, can you share pre-publication versions of your work in repositories or archives? - Check SHERPA/ROMEO.

Publisher reputation

  • Are they a reputable scholarly publishing house?
  • Are they well known or recognised in your field? 
  • Check their website for their current publications and guidelines for authors.


  • Will they promote your work - in which channels?
  • Do they have a strong web presence?


  • 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.

Acceptance rate (or rejection rate) is the ratio of the number of articles submitted to the number of articles published. It can measure the selectivity or prestige of a journal, though like many journal metrics, the raw number is not the whole story. There is no single list or database of acceptance rates.

Available metric sources:  
Journal editors, Journal websites

(The data underlying acceptance rates are proprietary. Although some journals make their acceptance rate publicly available, many do not).

Acceptance rates included for journals on the Journalytics of reputable journals list

MLA international bibliography
For those 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 online version of the MLA International Bibliography.
Although the MLA Directory does not publish acceptance rates, it 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).