This guide was produced by the Canadian Association of Research Libraries. It introduces researchers to key list of things to consider when assessing a journal and these are very helpful factors to consider in your decision. It complements similar lists such as those created by Think, Check, Submit.
Think, Check, Submit provides researchers with a series of prompts and questions to help them decide about journals and publishers that they can trust.
View the Think, Check, Submit video below for a quick introduction.
|Watch Dr Lauren Notini, Research Fellow in Biomedical Ethics at the Melbourne Law School and recipient of an University of Melbourne Early Career Research Grant for 2019 share tips for strategic publishing.|
An important consideration is what will the publisher allow authors to do with the published copy of the article. Where can it be shared to make it known more broadly?
SHERPA RoMEO is a searchable database of publisher's policies regarding the self-archiving of journal articles on the web and in Open Access repositories.
Readership and Audience: Consider if the audience of the journal is going to be interested in your work: if your subject is very specialised and field-specific or if the topic might interest a broader audience. At the same time is your paper intended for practitioners or researchers only?
Article type: What types of articles or research designs are accepted?
Consider creating your own matrix template. Compile a shortlist as you go through considering various journal title. Visit each of these journal’s websites to read instructions to authors and include any relevant factors in your template. In doing so you will be able to eliminate some of the titles on your list as you go.
Be strategic where you publish. The journals an author has published in can affect their career advancement and even future funding opportunities.
Who decides about the prestige of a journal?
Perceptions are held regarding journal prestige and esteem and influenced by various factors. Multiple indicators are used to compare academic journals:
ERA Journal lists
The Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) initiative developed by the Australian Research Council has been used over a number of years (2010, 2012 & 2015) to assess research quality within Australia's higher education institutions.
Why is the Ranked Journal list no longer used? Following feedback from Research Evaluation Committees the ranked journal profiles were removed as an indicator for the ERA 2012 evaluation.The ranked journal list is no longer available from the ARC website.
Listen to what editors and reviewers are looking for - When the author of a paper submits a paper for publishing the first time, the journal editor/s will give it a quick read-over.
Some editors may return it to an author early on before the formal review process, together with some brief comments. They could mention if there are glaring issues needing tightening up at this stage. That is done to help provide quick feedback and useful for future reference.
If the editor/s are satisfied at this stage, the author will receive an acknowledgement of receipt and indication that the paper is sent out for review.
Authors can be their own friend: - Aim to submit the best possible paper, meeting the journal's requirements precisely.
A well-written, structured, visually appealing and interesting article, will mostly entice the reviewer to get through reviewing the paper and providing constructive comments.
A sparkly abstract:
Spark interest by writing a very good abstract. Most reviewers will read that as soon as they receive the manuscript.
A great title:
Peer reviewed journals * (tutorial with audio, 4:22 min, 3.2Mb)
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The challenge for digital scholarly publishing - open access or not - is how to generate the funds needed to support themselves sustainably.
A publishers' business model may affect the way authors and readers communicate and perhaps how peer review is approached. Newer business models are often internet-mediated and often provide a mixed- media and perhaps more integrated approach.
They can include new dissemination processes and may allow more openly accessible results. Funding bodies for instance are encouraging authors to consider depositing their research and data in public accessible repositories.
Traditional: - This is a fee-for-access publishing model.
Green: - Allow authors to place their articles and data in publicly accessible repositories. Sherpa/Romeo defines this as ‘can archive pre-print and post-print or publisher’s version/PDF’
Hybrid: - A publishing model that allow authors to pay a fee to make articles available ‘open access’ in a normally fee for access publication
Gold: - Indicates entirely open access dissemination model where Article Processing Charges normally comes into the play (Paid Open Access). Pure Gold open access journals are not subscription based and only charge and APC as a means of recouping costs. In some cases, the option simply consists of making the published version freely available from the publisher’s own server, without any other rights or permissions being granted. In others, material is still placed under an embargo.
|University of Melbourne researchers have access to a number of discounts on article processing charges (APCs). Publisher manuscript systems may or may not advise the corresponding authors about the availability of discounts.|
Note: The button below will open the Open Research guide in a new window.
Publisher discounts on Article Processing Charges for the University of Melbourne