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Choosing and assessing journals


It is important to choose a publication channel with care to ensure that your research findings are disseminated and have a chance of achieving substantial impact. Here, the most important methods for increased visibility and choice of scientific journal are described.

On this page

  • Be visible in Scopus and Web of Science
  • Publish open access
  • Do not publish in questionable journals
  • Bibliometric journal indicators
  • Journal manuscript matchers

Be visible in Scopus and Web of Science

Publish in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings that are indexed in Scopus or Web of Science. Publishing practices vary between research fields. Generally, you should aim at getting read, cited and published where your publication is likely to be found by your fellow researchers. Journals and conference proceedings indexed by Scopus or Web of Science are quality-controlled publication channels in which researchers usually search for and read publications. Moreover, publications in these journals and proceedings are in general the only ones included in bibliometric analyses.

To check if a title is on Scopus or Web of Science, visit Scopus – Sources and Master Journal List respectively.

Publish open access

When you publish Open Access (OA), you make your publications freely available to your research community, professionals within your field, policy makers and society at large. Everyone gets a chance to make practical use of your research. Furthermore, studies show that open access articles are cited more often than subscription articles.

Chalmers library pays the publication cost for a substantial number of OA journals. Read more at Publish OA – paid for by the library.

DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals) review and list OA journals for quality. The aim is to cover all academic OA journals that are subject to quality checks. If you use DOAJ to find and choose a journal, make sure that journal is also indexed by Scopus or Web of Science.

Do not publish in questionable journals

The number of predatory journal publishers and conferences increase steadily, exploiting the open access publishing model. As the name shows, the journals are not legitimate. They lack genuine editorial boards and do not follow editorial or ethical standards in academic publishing. Publishing in predatory journals may have far-reaching consequences for both the individual researcher and their university. Furthermore, using information from and citing results in predatory journals can be problematic, as the articles are not adequately peer reviewed.

Two useful sources of information and identification of predatory journals are To choose an open access journal where Lund University Library has gathered information about a number of dubious OA publishers and Cabell's scholarly analytics, a list of predatory journals.

Bibliometric journal indicators

An important and useful indicator when choosing an appropriate publication channel is the journal’s average citation rate. Four different indicators appear below. You can filter the journals with reference to Scopus’s or Web of Science’s classification to identify journals with a high average citation rate in the subject area.

CWTS Journal Indicators list SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper) for journals covered by Scopus. A SNIP indicator larger than one means that the publications in the journal on average are cited at a rate that is above the world average. The indicator compensates for differences in citation practices between different subject areas. The individual journals’ trends over time are also shown. The indicators are based on data from Scopus and are calculated by Leiden University’s Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS). SNIP is the indicator of the journal’s average citation rate that is used when calculating the bibliometric basis for the VP strategic dialogues in the departments and for performance parameters regarding publication.

The following three resources provide more comprehensive information about the journals and thus a basis for a more thorough analysis. All three have a filter to obtain only Open Access journals.

Scimago Journal & Country Rank is based on data from Scopus and list SJR (Scimago Journal Rank). An SJR indicator larger than one means that the publications in the journal on average are cited at a rate that is above world average. The indicator compensates for differences in citation practices between different subject areas. Beyond SJR it contains a number of details for each journal and the trend of recent years is shown for each journal focusing on several aspects. The indicators are calculated by SCImago, a research group from the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) and several Spanish universities.

Scopus – Sources is part of the database Scopus from Elsevier and presents CS (CiteScore) as well as several other indicators. The CS indicator does not compensate for differences in citation practices between subject areas and may therefore not be used to compare journals across different subject areas. CS and JIF (Journal Impact Factor) – see below – are two similar measures of assessment where the main difference is that they are based on different databases, Scopus and Web of Science.

Journal Citation Reports (JCR) from Clarivate Analytics is based on data from Web of Science. JIF (Journal Impact Factor) is listed together with a number of citation-based indicators. JIF does not compensate for differences in citation practices between subject areas and may therefore not be used to compare journals across different subject areas. The trend of recent years is shown for each journal together with its position in relation to other journals based on citations. (NB: JCR is only available to people connected with Chalmers.)

Journal manuscript matchers

Manuscript matchers are tools that allow you to paste the title and abstract of your manuscript to find journals potentially suitable for publishing your manuscript.

The JournalGuide tool is used to evaluate scholarly journals. In addition to searching by journal title, category or publisher, authors can use the title and abstract of a manuscript to discover which journals publish articles on similar topics. This tool often includes information on aim and scope, speed, cost, and open access policy. The site lists the SNIP value for each journal.

Web of Science/Endnote Manuscript Matcher helps you find the most related journals for your manuscript.

JANE (Journal/Author Name Estimator) compares the title and abstract of your manuscript with millions of documents available in PubMed and suggests matching journals. You can also search using keywords.

Similar tools for finding the best fit for your manuscript:
Springer Journal Suggester
Elsevier – JournalFinder
Edanz Journal Selector

 

 

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