Part II: Identifying Appropriate Scholarly Journals
Needles and Haystacks
Identify Appropriate Scholarly Journals
After you have a topic in mind, how do you find the right journal to publish your paper? There are countless journals in circulation; finding the right home for your idea takes a bit of sleuthing, and patience – much like other areas of scholarship!
So let’s jump into this process of "journal research," or systematically identifying and qualifying appropriate journals for your publishing adventures. In this section, you will learn to identify the best journal (or two or three) to match your particular topic and approach.
First, let’s narrow your field of view by identifying some scholarly journals in your field that are likely candidates for your publishing project. We’ll discuss several ways to do this:
- Consult disciplinary journal guides
- Review reference lists and bibliographies
- Use academic journal indices
- Talk to colleagues
- Check university department websites
After you’ve identified several appropriate journals, you can test the waters by querying journal editors about a particular idea for a paper or article. Their responses will help you further focus on one or two key journals. Then you can do some in-depth analysis of these target(s) to explore the conventions, style, and approach of the articles selected for publication. While these steps won’t guarantee publication, success favors the well prepared!
Let’s get started!