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Shiffman - Choosing a Journal for Publishing Your Work

For medical faculty, fellows, residents, and students.

8 Tips for Choosing a Journal for Publishing Your Work

1. Ask your advisor, attending physician, or mentor. Senior authors with more experience in publishing can likely provide good journal recommendations.

2. Take a look at your manuscript's reference list. Consider submitting to a journal that you cite several times in your manuscript.

3. Consider journal impact factors. Journal impact factors, which can be found in Journal Citation Reports, are indicators of journal prestige and can give you a sense of how difficult it might be to publish in a journal (in general, higher impact factor = lower acceptance rate).

4. Consult JANE. Enter your manuscript title and/or abstract into JANE (journal/author name estimator) and click 'find journals' to find the best matching journals.

5. Use Scopus or Web of Science. Search for key terms related to your manuscript in Scopus or Web of Science and filter your results by 'source title' to see the journals that publish most frequently in that area. 

6. Consider journal discoverability and archival policies. Choose a journal that is indexed in major bibliographic databases (look up in Ulrich's International Periodicals Directory) and allows you to self-archive your manuscript (look up in SHERPA/RoMEO).

7. Consider open access. Publishing in an open access journal (and/or depositing your manuscript in DigitalCommons@WayneState) can help your article reach a larger audience and receive more citations. Look for journals that have the "DOAJ Seal of Approval" in the Directory of Open Access Journals.

8. Ignore (most) email solicitations. A spam-like email from a journal soliciting manuscript submissions is often a warning sign of an untrustworthy journal. When in doubt, Think. Check. Submit. or ask a librarian.

After You Publish . . .