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What journal should I publish in?

Think, Check Submit

Choosing where to publish can be daunting, particular for early career researchers. Think, Check, Submit is a new campaign that  has been launched to provide researchers with information about the criteria they should look at when choosing where to publish. The campaign is led by representatives from organizations across the industry: ALPSP, Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), INASP, the International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers (STM), ISSN, LIBER, OASPA, UKSG and individual publishers. The campaign aims to help researchers understand their options, and key criteria they can check before making an informed decision about where to submit.

Journal Impact Factors

When choosing where to publish you will be interested in the importance or the prestige of of the journal within your discipline. Impact factors and other bibliometric measurements can be useful when considering where to publish.

Journal Citation reports (JCR) from the Web of Science * can be used to find out the impact factors for journals in the sciences and social sciences. An impact factor is a measure of the frequency with which a journal's published papers are cited up to two years after publication. A journal impact factor of 1.0 means that, on average, articles published in that journal one or two years ago have been cited once. When comparing impact factors you need to be careful as you should only compare like with like as different disciplines and different types of articles e.g review or original research articles have different citation patterns. JCR also give  a 5-year Impact factor.

Web of Science
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*Off campus select Institutional (Shibboleth users) sign in > UK Federation > choose Abertay University from the list of institutions and login with your Abertay username and password

The SCImago Journal Rank(SJR)  from Scopus is an alternative metric to the the Journal Impact factor.The SJR rates a citation depending on where it comes from, transferring prestige by citing another journal. The figure is derived by dividing the number of citations by the number of documents over the previous 3 year period. In Scopus click on compare journals and then add in the journals that you want to compare.

Scopus will also let you compare the Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP). This  measures the average citation impact of the publications of a journal. SNIP corrects for differences in citation patterns across different scientific disciplines so it is useful if you need more accurate between-disciplines comparisons of citation impact. In Scopus  click on compare journals and then add in the journals for which you want to compare the SNIP.


Although bibliometric information can be useful there are other considerations you should think about when choosing where to publish.

  • If your research is funded have you checked if there are any Funders' policies on Open Access publishing that you need to comply with?
  • HEFCE also have requirements on Open Access Publishing that must be met for submission to be eligible for the next REF.
  • If you are interested in paying an Article Processing Charge (APC) to make you research open have you checked what publishers offer discounted APCs to Abertay researchers?
  • Are you able to make use of the limited Open Access Fund available to Abertay researchers to pay for Gold Open Access publishing?
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