How to target journal

Following the workshop on scholarly publishing, one thing that amazes me is learning to determine target journals that I want to ‘try’ submit my article. I seriously thought it was easy but surprisingly, there are many factors to consider, even before you start writing that article.

Here are some of the factors in determining target journals:

1. Does the journal accept the type you are planning to submit?

– Of course, it’s utmost important that you don’t send the wrong type of article to a journal and hope the editor will even read it. Haha! You have to really know which journals are in your research field.

2. Is the journal peer-reviewed?

– Most journals are, especially in my Computer Science/Education field. However, if it’s not, you must find out how or who review your article.

3. ISI indexed and/or Scopus indexed?

– Of course, it’s best if it’s both ISI and Scopus indexed. The faculty is seriously pushing us to publish to ONLY that. However, it’s harder to get accepted because those journals are only looking for the best quality articles. For first timer such as me, I don’t even put too high hope on that. 😛

4. Impact factor

– Seriously, I don’t know how to calculate it but you can easily find the impact factor of a particular journal. The rule of thumb is the higher the impact factor, the higher that it’s being referred, which somehow means the journal is popular and important. The downside is it will be harder to get accepted. For first timer, it’s better to select your target journal with impact factor less than 1.0.

5. Editorial board members I know

– Never thought this factor is important but I was surprised that one particular journal that I was looking at, the editor is one of the authors whose research work I love to  read. It somehow proved that I was on the right track in identifying my type of journals.

6. No. of issues per volume/ No. of articles per year

– This is important to know if the journal publishes a lot of articles per year, then it probably signifies that this journal’s acceptance rate is higher. If the journal only publishes a few articles, it’s very hard to get yours accepted the very first time. This factor also signifies how long your article will take to be published if it’s accepted. Imagine you are in a long queue if the journal publishes limited volume per year. Don’t be surprised that it can take up to years from the time you submit your article to the time it’s published.

7. Word limit

– Average word limit from most journals I have looked into is 5000 – 8000 words. It’s important to know so you can plan your article to fit this word limit.

These are only some of the many factors that I look into but each person may have different emphasis on different factors, so this list is not complete. It’s always best to read and find out more from the journal’s official website. From there, you should be able to identify all the factors above and probably more too. Otherwise, you can also search from the Web of Science or any similar online library provided by your university.

Another good tip I learnt is to identify at least 3 different journals and put all these factors in Excel format. You will be able to see clearly and make comparison. Finally, write the article based on the requirements on your selected target journal. It’s important to follow strictly on its requirements, otherwise your article will never pass through the editor. Hehe!


4 thoughts on “How to target journal

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  1. Wow, that’s really thorough advice, I certainly hadn’t considered all of those things. One thing I’ve always been encouraged to do is aim high. If you get rejected from a high impact journal it will normally happen quickly and you can go somewhere else. Or you could get accepted 🙂

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