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Ask a Librarian

Scholarly Communications

Questions to Ask Before Selecting a Journal

Which journals do you or your mentor/colleagues use? 

  • Journals that you or your colleagues read and/or cite
  • Journals published by your professional organization
  • Journals that are highly recommended for your area of research

Who is your desired audience?

  • If limited to a select area of research, select a journal with a narrow focus versus a multidisciplinary one
  • If international, select a journal with an international focus

Are you required to comply with public access mandates for sharing of publications and/or data?

  • Research funded by organizations such as NIH, CDC, and NSF are required to comply with public access policies.
  • Check the information for authors section of the journal website or the Copyright Transfer Agreement form to confirm the journal allows authors to comply with public access mandates.

Do you need to publish in a peer-reviewed journal?

  • Is publication in a peer-reviewed journal a requirement for tenure and promotion?

What is the quality of the peer review process?

  • Does the journal provide clear and transparent information about the peer review process? 
  • Is the review process described on the journal website?
  • Are the reviewers qualified to critique your research? 
  • How are revisions handled?

 Do you have a specific manuscript type in mind?

  • Some journals publish specific types of articles and may not be appropriate for your research.


Tools for Journal Selection