Before you leave your child, a pet, an elderly parent, or anything else that you cherish in the care of someone, you vet that person and the organization they represent carefully. Will they protect this person you love so much as you would?
A similar kind of care must go into how you evaluate journal publishers before handing over the research you’ve worked painstakingly hard on for so long. Submitting your work to the wrong journal might result in it getting published, but no one will see it. And, like the tree falling in the woods dilemma, if a manuscript is published and no one reads it, was it really published?
Worse, when you publish in a journal that isn’t reputable, it can reduce the credibility of your research, which then limits your career paths.
So, you must find the best journal to present your research. There are various types of journal publishers, and each of them have their own preferred scope. Put aside the fears of rejection and start at the top, aiming for the cream of the crop in your field. This short article will help you learn how to do that successfully.
Types of Journal Publishers
First, consider what type of publishing you want for your article. In today’s digital world, open access publishing is very common, but it’s not essential.
One choice is to stick with both online and printed articles. If that’s what you prefer, then you need to narrow your search down to journal publishers who do both. Online publishing is inexpensive, and it’s easy to find journals willing to publish articles from “unknown” researchers if they can do so digitally. These usually offer open or limited access to readers.
You can publish article-by-article online. With these publishers, the article is published as soon as it’s accepted, which speeds up the process for you, and reduces costs on the publisher’s end. This, again, provides open or limited access to the audience.
Other, popular publishers offer draft publication. These journals are coveted by authors, so they receive a lot of submission requests every day. Getting accepted for publication in these journals is difficult, with some companies holding a 96% rejection rate. Consider the timeliness of your work, as well. If you submit something that is timely and relevant, by the time it goes through the review, acceptance, and publication process, it may not be important anymore.
Finally, you could publish your work online only. Scientific journals host articles for authors, reducing everyone’s cost. If your concern is reaching a wide audience, look for publishers that provide free access to their readers.
How to Find Your Ideal Journal
When you’re selecting a journal, start by checking out the journal publishers of the work you and your institution use commonly as part of your normal research and clinical care references. You know those publishers are reputable, and they release accurate and rigorously reviewed articles.
From there, review each journal you’re considering, and review their reputation for scientific rigor, peer review, and editorial quality. Is the journal known for its transparency? Does it match the aim and scope your research covers? What are its considerations for indexing? Is the peer review process legitimate or rushed? Above all, does the journal have the kind of reputation you want associated with your name?
The good news is that there are sources you can use to do much of this for you. Many scholars use Think.Check.Submit. (https://thinkchecksubmit.org/) as one method of searching for the right journal for their article. You can also run your criteria through Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing from the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (https://oaspa.org/princples-of-transparency-and-best-practice-in-scholarly-publishing/).
You’ll still have to do the due diligence of deciding which reputable journals are right for your article, and going through the steps to get your work accepted. But you’ll know for sure that the journal you chose has a history of integrity and solid practice, as well as a top reputation.