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For many research rookies, it’s not always obvious that selecting the right journal for a paper can be a critical career choice. But it can. Each and every journal has its own scope, range, audience, and level of prestige, which may influence how your work – and ultimately you, as a researcher – are seen within certain communities.
If you are lucky enough to publish in a high ranked journal for your first submission, the chances are that you will rapidly achieve respect from your peers and subsequently gain more support and funding to prosecute your projects. If, on the other hand, your paper is not published in your target journal but in a second choice publication, or even if it is rejected, don’t blame your work. There are still plenty of options for you, including improving the text quality of your manuscript and revising your journal options to check if there is another one that’s more suitable for your paper.
How to Choose a Journal for Your Paper
First of all, list the available journals within your research field. This will give you an idea of the range of suitable options and, with further examination, learn more details concerning the adequacy of your paper to its scope and the fulfillment of your expectations regarding the journal’s profile (e.g. audience and/or rank). Pay special attention to:
The topics published by the journals.
Is your research in the clinical field? Then, you should select a clinical journal. Is your research, on the other hand, applied? If so, choose a journal accordingly.
You can choose from more generalized topic journals if your aim is to reach scientists in related areas or if otherwise, pick a specialized one.
The types of articles the journal publishes.
Make sure your target journal accepts the kind of article you want to publish – theorems, case studies, and reviews, are some of the most common types.
The journal’s reputation.
The Impact Factor is an important measurement but also remember to consider the prestige of the authors publishing in it and see if your research is at a similar level.
Elsevier offers a wide range of distinguished journals and choosing the best one to publish your research paper should be easier with proper support and guidance. Using the JournalFinder, you can match your manuscript and learn more about each journal available. Powered by the Elsevier Fingerprint Engine™, JournalFinder uses smart search technology and field-of-research specific vocabularies to match your paper to scientific journals in a few simple steps:
- Enter the title and abstract of your paper
- Find journals that could be best suited for your publishing
- Ultimately, the editor will decide on how well your article matches the journal
To be certain if the suggested journal is the right one for you, there are also some measurements that can help you understand its impact and reach among your audience:
- Use journal metrics to understand the impact of a journal:
- CiteScore metrics – helps to measure journal citation impact. Free, comprehensive, transparent and current metrics calculated using data from Scopus®, the largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature.
- SJR – or SCImago Journal Rank, is based on the concept of a transfer of prestige between journals via their citation links.
- SNIP – or Source Normalized Impact per Paper, is a sophisticated metric that accounts for field-specific differences in citation practices.
- JIF – or Journal Impact Factor is calculated by Clarivate Analytics as the average of the sum of the citations received in a given year to a journal’s previous two years of publications, divided by the sum of “citable” publications in the previous two years.
- h-index – Although originally conceived as an author-level metric, the h-index has been being applied to higher-order aggregations of research publications, including journals.
- If available, check the journal at Journal Insights for additional info about impact, speed and reach:
- Impact: Number of times an average paper in this journal is cited.
- Speed: The average number of weeks it takes for an article to be reviewed – The average number of weeks it takes for an article to reach key publication points in the production process.
- Reach: The number of downloads at the country/regional level over the last five full years available. The number of primary corresponding authors at the country/regional level over the last five full years available.
Once you find the perfect fit for your paper, all you need to know is how to submit a paper for publication in a journal.
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Writing and publishing manuscripts is a crucial part of your endeavors.
That’s why we at Elsevier Author Services support you throughout your publication journey, with a suite of products and services that help improve your manuscript before submission.
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