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How do I find the right journal for my paper?

Choosing the right journal for your paper is an important and sometimes complicated decision. It’s important to select the right journal to maximize the likelihood of your article being accepted and to place your work with a journal that will effectively disseminate it if it is accepted for publication. Keep in mind that many journals may be appropriate venues for your work; a paper rejected by one may find a good home at another. Here are some suggestions:

  • Do your research: Review the journal’s statement of its aims and scope to ensure that your paper is a good match for it and its audience. Read the submission guidelines to determine what manuscript types are accepted and what other requirements may be in place and how these fit with your paper. You may also wish to consider the journal’s ethical publication practices, which should be clearly outlined on its website.
  • Use your network: Speak to those in your network to find out which journals they read, what their publishing experience has been with certain journals, and which ones they would recommend. Consider the journals you regularly use for your own research.
  • Search calls for papers: Most journals will accept general papers at any time, but they may also invite submissions related to special issues or themes through calls for papers. Look for calls that relate to your area of study and research.
  • Utilize journal finder tools: Some larger publishers offer tools that assist in your search for the right journal by analyzing your article abstract to suggest journals that publish similar research and may be a good match. This can be an effective way to create a targeted list as a starting point.
  • Consider the journal’s reputation: Are there well-known, established scholars on the editorial board? Does the journal have a transparent and rigorous peer review process? Where is the journal indexed? These can all be indicators of the journal’s quality and reputation in the scholarly community.
  • Avoid predatory publishers and journals: With predatory publishing on the rise, it’s especially important to make sure the journal is legitimate before submitting. Warning signs to watch out for include guarantees of publication, an unprofessional-looking website with a lack of clear information about the journal, requirements that article processing fees or copyright transfer agreements be made before acceptance of your paper, and very short submission-to-publication timelines.

—University of Toronto Press, May 2022