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Academic Coaching & Writing

VI. Comparing Potential Journals for the Best Match

Jun 06, 2019 by Dr Sally

In the last several blogs you have examined a number of journals to see how their article topics types of articles and target audience match your publication needs; how their publication frequency and estimated review time match your own timeline; and how the Impact Factor, visibility and accessibility, and acceptance rate match your career needs. Now you need to see how the journals you have identified measure up against each other and against your own needs.

Activity 6: Comparing Potential Journals for the Best Match

We have provided a table you can download to use as a tool to assemble the information you’ve gathered in the previous blog activities and to determine which journal best fits your publication requirements. Fill out the form on the right and you will be directed to download both the Activity 6 table and a sample table for you to use as a reference in filling out your own table. The example provided is for someone who is considering publishing in the Journal of Dental Education.

Once you have looked at the sample data and downloaded the table, enter your data in the appropriate columns.

Journal Name. List all of the journals you have determined could potentially meet your publishing goals.

Publication Needs. Enter your data for each of the journals you have listed:

  • Article Topics. List all topics the journal publishes.
  • Articles Types. List all types of articles journal accepts.
  • Target Audience. Enter the audience(s) the journal targets with its publications.

Timelines. Enter the information you gathered in the Activity 4 table into the Timelines categories:

  • Publication Frequency. Enter how often the journal is published (monthly, quarterly, yearly)
  • Turnaround Time. Enter what you determined in Activity 4 to be the best estimate of article turnaround time.

Prestige. Enter the prestige factor information from the Activity 5 table in the last blog post into the Prestige category columns:

  • Impact Factor.
  • Visibility & Accessibility.
  • Acceptance Rate.

Match (Yes/No). Once you have transferred your information into this table, compare the journals to see which ones best fit your current needs. Indicate “Yes” on those journals that appear to fit your criteria and “No” on those that don’t. Then, prioritize the journals for which you have indicated a “Yes” by assigning a rank (e.g., 1, 2, 3…). In the event your article isn’t accepted by your highest ranked journal, you can submit to your second choice, and so on. Be sure to retain this table for future use since you may want to also need to revisit your selection as your project develops and your needs change. It is highly likely that you will be able to use this information again for future publications for research on related topics.

As stated throughout this blog series, the process of selecting a journal with the best fit is an iterative process, which may include an early exploration of journals during the planning of your article, revisiting the exploration process one or more times in the midst of your writing, and evaluating your potential journal selection at the very end of your writing process. The final blog post explores how the timing of journal selection can result in advantages and drawbacks. 

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