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Get Published

This guide is about how to publish in scholarly journals and is especially for new and emerging researchers.

Choose and evaluate journals

Choosing the most appropriate journal for your article is very important. The following steps may give you some ideas on how to select a suitable journal for publishing your manuscript.

Choose the right journal

Seeking advice from your colleagues, supervisors and your research community

  • Your colleagues may give you good suggestions on the journals they have published in.
  • If you are a postgraduate student, please seek guidance from your supervisors.
  • You may also find the discussions among your research community helpful.  

Identifying suitable journals via a database search

Search the following databases on your research topic:

Look at the results display:

  • Sort the results by "Cited by" or "Times cited" to see the top articles with the highest number of citations
  • Authors or journals that have published the most articles on this topic (usually on the left of the screen)

Journal acceptance rates, speed of reviews and publishing online

  • Elsevier journal: search a journal in the "Find other journals" search box to find the speed of the publishing process 
  • Journal websites may provide these details
  • Ask colleagues who may publish with the journal before or email the editor of the journal

Looking for a high impact journal?

Journal metrics, e.g. Journal impact factor, CiteScore, SJR, could be used for identifying the impact of a journal in a particular research discipline. 

Use the following key tools to find a high impact journal or to compare your targeted journals within the same discipline: 

Go to the guide for journal ranking to find more details about how to use the above tools.

Matching your abstract to a journal

Some publishers or websites provide a tool to match your abstract/keywords to relevant journals:

Evaluate a chosen journal

Once you have chosen a journal or a number of journals for consideration, a further research on each journal is another important step. Consider the following aspects:

Learn more about a chosen journal from its website

  • Submission requirements
  • Refereed/peer-reviewed
  • The journal may focus on a particular research field that doesn't match your research 
  • Browse recent articles to identify the journal's current interests
  • Find out whether the journal has published articles that are similar to yours
  • What are the restrictions? A journal may not accept a certain type of articles
  • Open access option
  • Acceptance rates and publication timelines
  • Mission statement, scope and policy
  • Editor and the editorial board
  • Read Authors' guide carefully and ensure that your article has met the requirements of the journal, e.g. format, referencing style.
  • Copyright/license agreement and possible author's fee charge
  • Can you archive your article in a research repository? This will make your article to be widely read and cited
  • Is the journal a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)?
  • Is this journal a member of Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association?

Is the journal discoverable?

Check whether articles in your chosen journal can be found by the following databases::

Read reviews shared by other researchers

The following tools provide reviews on journals shared by researchers around the World:

  • JournalReviewer - provide user experience with academic journals' review processes
  • SciRev - researchers share their experience with scientific review process
  • Quality Open Access market - using journal score cards, QOAM is a market place for scientific and scholarly open access journals

Check publishers' policies on copyright, archiving and the APC charge

  • SHEPA/RoMEO: search for publishers' copyright and self-archiving policies 
  • DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals): find article process charge (APC) fee by journals indexed in DOAJ 

Think, check, submit

The Think,Check, Submit website provides a checklist for assessing the credentials of a journal or publisher.

Unsuitable or predatory journals

There are some publishers acting unethically especially when it comes to OA journal publishing. The following common signs of predatory journals may help you identify these journals:

  • misleading metrics
  • hijacked version of other well published journals
  • fake editorial boards, or names and affiliations of the editorial board members are not presented clearly
  • claimed to be indexed by key databases or Directory of Open Access Journals when they are not
  • reproduce articles from other academic journals
  • charge APC fees to publish a manuscript in a short time, e.g. 2-4 weeks.
  • send spam emails to invite researchers to publish articles with their journals
  • unprofessional website, e.g. poor writing, with commercials advertisements, unclear location
  • a journal title may be "American journal of ...", but the location of the publisher is in an Asia country
  • some of these journals are published in a website that contains a large number of open access journals across a wide range of disciplines

You may like to read the following recent studies on the issues of the increasing number of predatory open access journals: