Part II: Identifying Appropriate Scholarly Journals
It’s All in the Details
The Nuances of Journal Characteristics
So now you’ve narrowed the field of prospective journals based on their impact factors and reach, and entered the details into your journal profile form. Here are a few other details you might want to consider as you assess the appropriateness of a journal for your publishing project2:
- Is the journal indexed by key abstracting services in your field?
- What is the journal’s acceptance/rejection rate? What is the likelihood that your paper will be accepted for publication?
- How long does it take to process a manuscript? Will you have to wait months or even years for your paper to wend its way through the review and publishing process?
- Are there submission fees, page charges, or reprint charges?
You can find this information about journals in disciplinary journal guides. You can also check the journal’s website or physical copies of the journal itself. Check the copyright page or frontispiece of the journal as well as its instructions to authors, which is usually included in one or more issues of the journal each year.
After you have entered this additional information for each journal into your profile form, take a look at all the data you have gathered. At this point, you should be able to identify at least two or three good journal candidates for publishing your research. Now what? It’s time to make contact with journal editors!
An author should carefully study back issues of the publication in which he or she desires to be published. Look for what topics have been covered as well as what topics haven't been covered in a while or at all. Submitting an article that doesn't fall within the scope of what a publication covers or an article that is the same as a topic recently covered will tell an editor that this potential author isn't familiar with the editor's publication, creating a ground for quick rejection.
-- Stan Soocher, journal editor, author and peer reviewer