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Publication Strategy: Journal Publishing

Useful Resources

Selecting a Journal

Some of the factors you might consider when selecting a journal include:

  • Scope of the journal and topical fit
  • Composition of the editorial board
  • Peer review e.g. single blind, double blind, open review
  • Will it be read by your target audience?
  • Where are your peers publishing?
  • Turnaround times, and how quickly epublication is available
  • Acceptance and rejection rates
  • Open access options
  • Does the author retain copyright?
  • Is the journal indexed in major databases e.g. Web of Science, Scopus, JSTOR or other key databases in your discipline

It can be also be helpful to carry out a broad search on your research topic on a key database in your discipline, or multidisciplinary databases such as Scopus. You can then analyze the results to see the most frequently occurring journals in your chosen topic area, and where other researchers are publishing their work on this topic.

Also consider:

  • Emailing the journal’s editor with your abstract and enquiring whether your article's subject/topic would be of interest to the journal can assist in the decision making process of where to submit the manuscript
  • If acceptance rates for your chosen publication are difficult to locate, contact the journal’s editor to request sharing the information, alternatively, search Google for the journal name and the phrase "acceptance rate"

Types of Peer Review

Peer review refers to a process of evaluation undertaken by those working in the same field or profession. Various different forms of peer review are used by journals and publishers, so make sure to check which form applies before you submit your manuscript.

Single blind peer review is when the identity of the reviewer(s) is kept anonymous, but the author's name and affiliation is identified on the manuscript.  Whilst the anonymity of reviews ensures they cannot be unfairly influenced by authors, there is also the potential for reviewers to be over-critical when commenting on other's work.

Double blind peer review is when the identities of the reviewers and the authors are both anonymised. Author anonymity can help to prevent bias on the part of the reviewer, however, in some cases it can still be possible for reviewers to infer the identity of the author from their writing style, the specific topic, self-citation or other content.

Open peer review is when the identities of the reviewer and authors are both made known. Some believe this to be the most transparent form of peer review, however others argue that reviewers may be less critical or view papers more favourably due to fear of retribution if their identities are made public.

Each form of peer review has advantages and disadvantages, but the form and process of peer review utilised should be clearly stated on the publisher's or journal's website in a transparent manner.

Journal Ranking Metrics

Journal ranking lists can be used as a guide to identify highly cited publications in your field. However, these metrics reflect average citations at a journal level, and the level of citations received by individual articles varies greatly. Therefore publishing in a high impact or high ranking journal does not guarantee your work will also be highly cited, or indeed cited at all.  Several journal ranking metrics are available including those listed below. 

There are also several discipline specific rankings and guides including the Association of Business Schools (ABS) Academic Journal Quality Guide, the FT Top 50, and the European Reference Index for the Humanities & the Social Sciences (ERIH PLUS).