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Publish your research

Information, suggestions, and resources for preparing your written work for publication, including information on open access publishing.

Identify a journal to publish in

Begin by looking at the journals you read, that your colleagues read and publish in, and at who you cite in your work. 

Visit the journal's website and look at the journal's instructions to authors or call for papers:

  • What is the journal's scope and focus?
  • Is it a subscription journal or open access journal? If it is open access, are there fees to publish? For more information on this, see Making the choice: Open access vs. traditional journals from AJE Scholar.
  • Has the journal recently published an article similar to yours? If so, it's unlikely that the journal will want to publish another similar article in the near future.
  • Is the journal planning a special issue on your topic? 
  • Will the requested word or page count accommodate your discussion?
  • What are the journal’s copyright policies?
  • What is the typical timeframe from submission to publication?
  • Who is the target audience of the journal?
  • Does the journal have an ISSN, and do articles have DOIs?

  • Is the journal indexed in a database or search engine (e.g. Google Scholar, Scopus) that you use?

Find an article in the journal and see how the article is structured and presented:

  • Number of quotations in the article? Number of citations?
  • Does the article have figures/tables? If so, how many?
  • What is the style and tone of the article? Formal? Informal? Is the style similar to your writing style?
  • What voice does the author use? Third-person objective? First-person formal?
  • How broad is the scope of the article?
  • If the article argues a position, how much of the article is spent considering alternate positions?

You can also look at the Think Check Submit checklist, use a journal evaluation tool [pdf], or ask the library. We can help identify potential journals related to your field or research, and help you search for tools to locate an appropriate journal.

Search Scopus for journals

Search for information about journals in a chosen subject area through Scopus

  • Members of the RRU community can access Scopus via the Library  (RRU username and password required)
  • Scopus tutorial on searching for and analyzing journals and see the Scopus Quick Reference Guide for instructions
  • Search results will provide/compare information about specific journals, including the following:
    • CiteScore: a "simple and robust" metric that "calculates the average number of citations received in 4 calendar years to 5 peer-reviewed document types"
    • SCImago Journal Rank (SJR): "measure of the scientific prestige of scholarly sources: value of weighted citations per document" 
    • Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP): "measures contextual citation impact by weighting citations based on the total number of citations in a subject field. The impact of a single citation is given higher value in subject areas where citations are less likely, and vice versa." 
    • Citations: "displays the total number of citations the selected journals receive over the course of each year."
    • Documents: "sum of documents published in the serial title in the 3 years prior to the year the metric."
    • Percent not cited: "provides the percentage of all documents that did not receive citations in that year."
  • For assistance with searching Scopus, please contact the RRU librarians

Determining a journal's ranking

There are a number of different ways to find journal’s impact ratings and acceptance rates:

  • Search for a journal in Scopus 
  • Look at a journal's home page or “information for authors” section  
  • Using your favourite search engine, search using your subject discipline and “impact factor” or “acceptance rates”. The results should provide options that will display various journals' merit ranking.   For example, searching “social science and acceptance rates” will bring up journals in the social sciences and information related to their relative importance.

Keep in mind that the higher ratings usually equate to lower acceptance rates - that is, the more prestigious the journal, the harder it is to get an article accepted for publication. When you're considering which journal to submit your article, think about your goal for the article - it might be worth submitting to a journal with a lower ranking if it means that you have a better chance of getting published.