Publishing is an essential step in the information life cycle. By publishing, scholars allow readers to view, comment, and build upon their work, all of which are necessary steps to further knowledge. Publishing also increases the scholar's standing in his or her respective field which is important for funding and employment. Many accreditation bodies require that faculty remain active in their field; publishing is the most common way to show active engagement.
When you are ready to publish your research it is important to find the right place to do so. Finding the perfect publication for your research can be a time consuming task, but it is vital in order to get your research out to the scholars and readers who will most benefit from it. There are several different factors to consider when selecting a publication for your research:
To answer some of the above questions refer to resources like the resources below. Note, however, that the Library does not currently subscribe to the resources. Please check with your local public or academic library to access them.
It is very important to learn about journals that you are interested in potentially publishing with. By researching journals early on, and finding those whose scope and subject matter match your topic well, you will have a much better chance of your article being accepted later. A simple Google search on the title of the journal will usually bring up the journal home page. From there you can read about the journal and submission guidelines.
For example, the Journal of Marketing describes their scope as thus: "Articles in Journal of Marketing concentrate on marketing needs and trends that demonstrate new techniques for solutions to marketing problems, review those trends and developments by reporting research, contribute generalizable and validated findings, and present new ideas, theories, and illustrations of marketing thought and practice."
This should give you, the author, a very clear idea of the types of articles this journal is looking for and the types of articles that are likely to be accepted for publication.
The following resources may also assist with identifying potential journals and locating their scope:
Journal Citation Reports provides ranking for journals in the areas of science, technology, and social sciences. They also calculate journal Impact Factor, the average number of times articles from the journal published in the past two years have been cited in the Journal Citation Reports (JCR) year. This measure is a frequently used indicator as to the significance and influence of the journal in its field. See this Science Gateway page for more information about impact.
Opinions vary widely as to what constitutes a "good"impact factor. Click here for a chart which provides some context, in terms of how many journals achieve the various ranking levels. Also, please keep in mind that consideration of a good impact factor may vary by discipline. A number that is considered low in one field might be considered quite high in another field. Therefore, the Library recommends consulting with your Dissertation Chair to find out if they require a minimum impact factor for your concept paper or dissertation references.
See the Science Gateway page for more information about impact. You may also browse their page on High Impact Journals to find the top ranking journals in your discipline. For information about impact factor for Open Access Journals, see this citation study from Thomson ISI.
You can also use Google to find impact factors for various subject areas. For instance, the Google search "impact factor business journals" will show results to several different websites with impact factor rankings.
A higher impact factor number means that more articles were cited from that particular journal than another. Science Watch, a Thomson Reuters publication, also contains impact factor information in the Sci-Bytes section. Use the Search feature at the top of the page to locate impact factors for your subject area. Also note the Emerging Research Fronts, Fast Moving Fronts, and Top Topics. Looking through this type of information can help you determine if your research is still timely.
There have been numerous criticisms regarding the use of impact factor to measure the quality of a journal. Therefore, alternate bibliometric measures have evolved to address shortcomings, and to provide alternate perspectives on journal or article significance. These alternate measures further described below include: Eigenfactor Score, Article Influence Score, SCImago Journal and Country Rank (SJR), H-Index, and SNIP (Source Normalized Impact per Publication).For further details about journal impact criticism, see the scholarly article below.
Fooladi, M., Salehi, H., Yunus, M. M., Farhadi, M., Chadegani, A. A., Farhadi, H., & Ebrahim, N. A. (2013). Does criticisms overcome the praises of journal impact factor? Asian Social Science, 9(5), 176-182.
Eigenfactor.org is an academic research project sponsored by the Bergstrom Lab in the Department of Biology at the University of Washington with the purpose of ranking and mapping scientific knowledge. Eigenfactor Scores and Article Influence Scores are calculated similarly to the methodology used by Google to rank webpages. Scholarly references link journals together in a large network of citations and allows for a comparison across disciplines.
The Eigenfactor Score measures the number of times articles from the journal published in the past five years have been cited in the JCR year. Eigenfactor scores are intended to give a measure of how likely a journal is to be used, and are thought to reflect how frequently an average researcher would access content from that journal.
The Article Influence Score calculates measures the relative importance of the journal on a per-article basis.
SCImago Journal and Country Rank (SJR) is an open-access database containing citation information on more than 17,000 scholarly and professional journals based on content from Elsevier's Scopus collection.
SJR is a prestige metric based on the idea that ‘all citations are not created equal’. With SJR, the subject field, quality and reputation of the journal has a direct effect on the value of a citation. SJR differs from other bibliometric measures in that it:
Developed by J.E. Hirsch, the h-index is a number intended to represent both the productivity and the impact of a particular scientist or scholar, or a group of scientists or scholars (such as a departmental or research group). The h-index is calculated by counting the number of publications for which the scientist has been cited by other authors at least that same number of times. In comparison with the ISI Impact factor, the h index corrects for highly cited papers not found in highly cited journals. This presents an unbiased way of comparing people within a discipline,especially in the sciences. You can search for an h-index in Web of Knowledge, following the instructions below.
Google Scholar has adapted the h-index method of impact for publications and an h5 variation for five complete calendar years. You can browse the top 100 publications in several languages, ordered by their five-year h-index and h-median metrics.
CWTS Journal Indicators provides free access to bibliometric indicators on scientific journals. The indicators have been calculated by Leiden University’s Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) based on the Scopus bibliographic database produced by Elsevier. Indicators are available for over 20,000journals indexed in the Scopus database.
A key indicator offered by CWTS Journal Indicators is the SNIP indicator. SNIP measures contextual citation impact by weighting citations based on the total number of citations in a subject field. The impact of a single citation is given higher value in subject areas where citations are less likely, and vice versa.
Each journal will have its own guidelines and requirements for article submissions. Do a Google search to locate the journal home page that interests you. Look for a section called Submission Guidelines, For Authors, or Requirements and make sure that you follow their rules when submitting your article. This may require some re-formatting of your content, and possibly changing your citation style. Your article will then most likely go through a peer review process; this process may slightly differ depending upon the publication. See the What is Peer Review article below for an outline of one publisher's peer review process to better understand this type of editing.
If you are considering publishing your article in an open access journal, then make sure to check the journal website and see what kind of copyright and access restrictions the publisher puts on any published materials. Open access means that your article, and any others in the journal, are immediately available for free for anyone to read, download, or distribute. This will make your research available much faster to a much larger audience. Open access journals are still struggling to gain the same type of respect and relevance that subscription based journals have, but this is a burgeoning field with more and more publishers, universities, and scholars choosing to publish their research in this way. The Public Library of Science has a great page called the Benefits of Open Access Journals (link below).
When considering open access publishers, you should conduct a Google search for the publication name to determine if there have been any reports about unethical or predatory practices. Scholars should read the available reviews, assessments and descriptions available online, and then decide for themselves whether they want to submit articles, serve as editors or on editorial boards.
Pay particular attention to acceptance rates and journal impact factors. The higher the journal impact factor, the lower the acceptance rate is likely to be. Review and be selective of the journals you wish to submit your work to. Paying attention to the scope of the journal and looking at previously published articles will also give you a sense of whether or not your article is appropriate for that publication. By submitting your work to a journal with a strong focus on the same subject matter as your research, rather than choosing to submit to a journal based solely on impact factor, will give you a much better chance of your article being accepted.