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Lehigh University Libraries - Library Guides

Enhancing Research Impact

Where to Publish

Below provides tools and considerations about where to publish your research. Before submitting your work, spend time discerning the best possible venues. Weigh such factors as a journal's audience, acceptance rate, and wait period for evaluation. 

See also:

Journal Impact 

Journal impact, however defined, can be one thing to consider when selecting a journal in which to publish.  In addition to using one of the tools below, consult with colleagues about where best to publish, and search the web for lists or commentary on journal rankings in various fields

Also, be realistic about the prospects of publication. A high impact/ high prestige journal may be hard to get into. (Don't forget that rejections may delay the publication of your paper!) Also, a  high impact journal according to one metric may not necessarily publish lots of papers in your research niche.  A lesser ranked journal that is widely read by people with your interests may be a better bet. 

To find journals that publish heavily in your niche area, consider the following. Bibliographic databases, available off the library homepage, often provide data about the number of times literature has been cited. You can use these databases to run a search on your research area. This can help you identify journals that publish heavily cited articles in your niche field, in cases when citation metrics (see below) tied to higher level subject categories might not suffice. See if the database, like Web of Science,  allows you to sort by number of times cited, or allows you to export data in a way that enables a sort. For details about a systematic way to use Web of Science to identify journals that publish a significant number of papers in a given subject area, contact Brian Simboli.

Returning to the general concept of journal impact, journal citation metrics rank journals using data about how they get cited. Make sure to understand the specific approach a given metric as well as the strengths and weaknesses of the metric. (For further information about research impact, see "Research Impact Metrics" (Virginia Tech).)

A variety of metrics, including the impact factors and eigenfactors, is available at the Lehigh library's subscription to:

Additional resources:

Some bibliography; this is just a sampler from the huge "bibliometrics" literature:

Journal acceptance rates

In addition to journal impacts, you may want to consider the acceptance rates at a journal. If your article is rejected from a low acceptance rate journal, this means a delay in publishing it.

A google search on "acceptance rates of journals" brings up a variety of resources for identifying acceptance rates. Also look for data about how long the journal takes to review submissions. Example. If you have questions, check with the managing editor of a journal.

"Predatory" journals

The following website suggests criteria to consider when you are selecting a journal in which to publish, including how to avoid low-quality or so-called "predatory" journals: "Think, Check, Submit: Choose the right journal for your research".   For starters, one way (among many others) to assess a journal about which you have questions is to see the extent to which authors you know to be reliable have cited articles in the journal. A subject librarian can provide assistance.