This morning I set up a session with some colleagues that dedicated time to searching for a suitable journal for publications we are all working on. We thought we would do it together to support one another and to be able to ask questions to assist in the thinking process. Participating in this dedication of time together also meant we were being accountable for the final outcome…that is, find a journal we can focus on and guide our writing by as we aim to disseminate findings from research carried out.

We called this session Shut up and find a journal. Inspired by Shut up and Write session, the aim is to look at one identified possible journal for 30 minutes, then chat for 10 minutes about possibilities, ask any questions, and refocus the point of the activity. In sharing we are also helping each other learn a bit more about another journal.

So we started out by addressing the question – How do I pick a journal? We decided our guiding principles were:

Find a journal that will be appropriate for the research being undertaken at the moment. So we have to know our work, know our argument, and know the contribution we are making (applied/practical or theoretical). Two drivers that helped us make this decision were:

  1. What journals are on my institution publication list (high cited journals relevant to specific fields) that will enable me to be effective with my time in that I will eventually have a successful publication and at the same time earn pocket money to pay for professional development or conference registration?
  2. What journals are relevant to my field and the appropriate audience?

What do I look for?

While searching the journals and doing some research on what will be appropriate for the research I’m working on I’m thinking about:

  • Who publishes in the journal?
  • What is the format?
  • What is the style?
  • Does the style fit my research?
  • What are common topics published?
  • Are the patches of innovation published?
  • Is this journal rights for me?
  • How many times a year is it published?
  • Will there be a quick turn over for review to publish?

An icky place in this process can be you get caught up with the paper content and learning from them. So my strategy is to set up a folder that you can save the interesting articles into and make time to come back to them at a later stage. This activity is all about researching the types of journals you want to publish in.

How do you look for journals to publish in?


4 thoughts on “#shutupandfindajournal

  1. Jonathan O'Donnell says:

    One technique that I use is to look for the best paper that I’ve cited, and see where it was published. This is particularly good if your paper is responding to the work in that paper.

  2. saschated says:

    It’s very very difficult. I agree that in a perfect world I would write the articles that are targeted for specific journals at the outset and get them directly accepted. But this is really not reality of practice for me. The real process is more like this.

    – write the article
    – find some journals that you would likely find your type of article in
    – with these journals in mind, aim for the one which ranks highest in the journal rankings (or the one which you promised your boss you would aim for!)
    – get rejected from that journal after a 6 month wait
    – aim for the next journal on this list which is one step lower in the journal quality rankings
    – get rejected
    – repeat to end

    The journal of south Baltic Sea fish management are always looking for things as a last resort. After 2 years of getting your, probably very good work, rejected.

    Need a thick skin in this game…

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