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Choosing a journal is important early in the research process because different journals require different article lengths, approaches and bibliographic styles. Journals represent much more than simply a publication outlet with many considering them to be a proxy for quality. 

Journal credibility

There are several considerations when choosing a journal - the appropriateness of the journal for the research, the status of the journal amongst peers, the likelihood of being accepted for the journal, the quality of the editorial process, the speed of publication, the openness of the journal and so on. 

One of the most straighforward ways of determining if a journal is credible is whether it is a journal that you read and cite. Asking the opinion of colleagues in your field is another easy indicator. There are also several simple checks you can make to determine whether a journal is credible. You can check the members of the journal's editorial board - are these names that are known and respected in that field of study? Is the journal peer reviewed? Is it listed in relevant databases and lists? There are a few tools to help researchers make these decisions.


The Think.Check.Submit site allows researchers to run some basic checks to see if the journal they intend to submit to is valid and credible.

Journalysis is a journal-review site to reward journals that are doing a good job. Nature published an article in March 2015 called Rate that Journal about

Blobaum's checklist for Review of Journal Quality for Submission of Scholarly Manuscripts

This checklist gives authors a list of quality indicators to assist in the evluation of journal quality when considering what journal to submit a manuscript to. None of thses indicators establish credibility and legitimacy alone, but together may build a body of evidence to support evaluative judgements.

Journal/Author Name Estimator

JANE is a tool that will analyse the title and or the abstract of your proposed article and will compare your document to millions of documents in Medline to find the best matching journals, authors or articles.

General information about journals


Ulrichsweb is an easy to search source of detailed information on more than 300,000 periodicals (also called serials) of all types: academic and scholarly journals, e-journals, peer-reviewed titles, popular magazines, newspapers, newsletters, and more. Ulrichsweb covers more than 900 subject areas. Ulrich's records provide data points such as ISSN, publisher, language, subject, abstracting & indexing coverage, full-text database coverage, tables of contents, and reviews written by librarians.

Journal Citation Reports

JCR measures research influence and impact at the journal and category levels and shows the relationship between citing and cited journals. It summarises citations from science and social science journals and proceedings in the Web of Science database.

SCImago Journal & Country Rank

SCImago is a portal that includes the journals and country scientific indicators developed from the information contaned in the Scopus database. These indications can be used to assess and analyse scientific domains.Information about the openness of journals.

Committee on Publication Ethics

COPE is an organisation that provides advice to editors and publishers on all aspects of publication ethics and how to handle cases of research and publication misconduct.  It is worth checking the journal website to see if the journal is a member of COPE. All COPE members are expected to follow the Code of Conduct for Journal Editors.

Information about the openness of journals

Directory of Open Access Journals

The DOAJ is an online directory that indexes and provides access to high quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals. DOAJ is a white list of open access journals and aims to be the starting point for all information searches for quality, peer reviewed open access material. It aims to be comprehensive and cover all open access scientific and scholarly journals that use a quality control system to guarantee the content.

Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association

OASPA represents the interests of Open Access journal and book publishers globally in all scientific, technical and scholarly disciplines.

Journal Openness Index

In Librarian, Heal Thyself: A Scholarly Communication Analysis of LIS Journals, Micah Vandegrift and Chealsye Bowley propose a new metric to rank journals, the J.O.I. Factor (Journal Openness Index) which grades journals based on how “open” they are, as opposed to citation impact or h-index.

Journal Guide

For biomedical researchers a new beta release JournalGuide provides a matching service for authors to help them identify the right journal for their article. Information on a journal’s scope, speed of rejection or approval, publication speed and cost plus the open access policy. An API is being developed for external use for organisations wishing to incorporate the journal recommendation tool in their own sites.

Quality Open Access Market

A European initiative, Quality Open Access Market aims to provide ‘Journal Score Cards’ ranking quality of service against price and also lists the publication fees of journals. The score is out of five and attained by author’s input ranking on: Editorial info, Peer review, Process and Governance.

Submitting a publication

Every journal has its own procedures for submitting content and authors are advised to check the website of the individual publication carefully. It is likely that submissions will need to be accompanied by a cover letter and examples and templates can be found via Taylor and Francis and Springer.




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