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Lehigh University Libraries - Library Guides

Enhancing Research Impact

Where to Publish

Below boxes provide 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 the section  "Choosing a journal"  in the University of Michigan Library guide about "Publishing in the Sciences".

Identifying journals that publish highly cited articles in your specialty

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, for example 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 techniques of using Web of Science for this purpose, contact Brian Simboli.

Be realistic about the prospects of publication. A high prestige journal may be hard to get into. A lesser ranked journal that is widely read by people with your interests may be a better bet. Don't forget that rejections may delay the publication of your paper.

Journal citation metrics

Journal citation metrics rank journals using data about how they get cited.  Make sure to understand the specific methods used to generate these metrics and the strengths and weaknesses of any metric. In addition to using one of the tools below, it is at least as  important to consult with colleagues about where best to publish. Also, the best place for your journal article may not be a journal with a very high citation metric; see the section above about "Identifying journals that publish highly cited articles in your specialty".  For further information, see "Metrics/Journal metrics" (Virginia Tech).

Here are tools and strategies for assessing journal rankings; search the web for lists or commentary on journal rankings in various that you develop a critical perspective on various approaches to assessing journal research impacts like the ones in these resources:

  • 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.