Journal Relevance

Is the journal relevant to your research audience?

Consider:

  • The relevance of the scope and audience of the journal.
  • Is your article adding to a conversation occurring in the journal? Are you citing articles from that journal?
  • Is the journal peer reviewed?  Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory lists peer reviewed journals in your discipline. It is useful if your research is cross disciplinary and you are not familiar with potential journals in related areas.
  • Ranked Journal Lists by Discipline.
  • The ERA ranked journal list is no longer available on the Australian Research Council website and is no longer deemed relevant or a reflection of current journal metrics.
  • Using Scopus or Web of Science to find journals with highly cited articles on your topic.
  • The CSU Research Outputs Collection (ROC) criteria for journals.

Journal Quality

Peer reviewed / refereed journals.

Some research disciplines can be disadvantaged by reliance on metrics alone. When considering the quality of appropriate journals in which to publish your research include:

  • Peer Review or Refereed journals, and the prestige of the editorial team or contributors.
  • The relevance of the journal to the discipline. Will the article reach the desired audience?
  • Journal quality or rank, often determined through use of metrics.  Use SCImago Journal and Country Rank to compare journals in most disciplines.

Journal Discoverability

Discoverability

Is the journal:

  • Indexed in Scopus, Web of Science, CABI, ABI/Inform or another reputable database?  Non indexed journals are less visible to the international research community.
  • Included in the Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory? The Ulrichs directory will indicate the online availability of Journals in a range of scholarly databases.
  • Available in full text online and can the full text content be accessed by the intended audience?
  • Open Access? - see the Open Access guide.

Many journal publishers, whether subscription based or open access, impose article processing charges (APC). APC may be used to fund peer reviewed open access journals, or can be an option for authors who wish to make their article open access in an established subscription based journal. Some funding bodies, such as the ARC and NHMRC have adopted policies requiring research outputs to be freely accessible / open access. These policies only require that publications are ‘deposited into an open access institutional repository [see What is Open Access?] and/or made available in another open access format within a twelve month period from the date of publication’.

Useful tools for finding the right journal

Directories of Journal Quality

These tools aren’t perfect. For example, Ulrichsweb includes some journals that publish peer reviewed + non-peer reviewed content; the DOAJ might not include all quality open access journals, and recently de-listed 900+ journals that did not meet its published Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing