Selecting a journal to publish in

Identifying suitable journals

Choosing the ideal journal for your scholarly article plays a crucial role in effectively reaching your intended readership. It is essential to carefully assess various factors, including the specific nature of your article, the objectives and focus of prospective journals, and indicators of journal effectiveness.

Quality, reputation and reach

Use the following checklist to evaluate a potential journal and its publishers.

Journal and publisher websites:

  • Do the peer review processes demonstrate rigor and transparency?  The process is generally laid out on the journals’ website.
  • Are the members of the editorial board highly qualified and recognised figures who represent the field broadly?
  • Are contact details for editorial staff readily available?
  • Is the publisher affiliated with professional organisations such as COPE, WAME, or OASPA?
  • Are open access and self-archiving policies clearly stated?
  • Does the journal support multimedia content like video abstract?

Examination of past journal issues:

  • Do the articles meet high-quality standards based on your assessment?
  • Are persistent identifiers like DOIs and ORCIDs included in the articles?

Personal networks:

  • Are your colleagues and supervisors familiar with the journal and its reputation?
  • Have they encountered any unexpected challenges in their interactions with the journal or publisher?

Ulrich’s International Periodicals Directory and key subject databases:

  • Is the journal accessible through prominent databases in the field?

Disciplinary lists and journal rankings:

  • If your faculty or school maintains specific journal lists or rankings, is the journal included? 
  • Is the journal included in relevant disciplinary listings, such as the Australian Business Deans Council Journal Quality List?
  • Does it have a high ranking in listings based on journal-level citation metrics?

Journal rankings and citation metrics

Publishing your work in influential journals significantly increases its chances of being read and cited. Citations-based metrics can help you determine a journal’s academic impact and suitability for your research.

While individual articles accrue citations, these citations can be combined to create journal-level metrics. Journal-level metrics are based on the number of citations received by articles published within a specific journal over a defined time frame. Journal-level citation metrics are calculated by different groups using different approaches, so it is best to consider multiple metrics when evaluating a journal. While journal-level metrics reflect the prestige of a journal, article-level metrics provide a more accurate assessment of the performance of your individual article.

Journal rankings are based on journal-level metrics, but also attempt to take discipline variations in citing and publishing into account. The Scimago Journal Rank (SJR) methodology includes the number of citations as well as the source of citations, with citations from high prestige journals being worth more than those from journals with lower prestige. 

It is essential to recognise that all metrics have their limitations and should be used in conjunction with other evaluation methods. In certain disciplines, citation metrics may not reliably indicate impact, thus limiting the value of journal metrics. Journal metrics should be viewed as supplementary to advice from advisors and colleagues regarding the reputation and reach of journals in your field.

Publishing in a journal

Read and Publish agreements

The University of Sydney Library participates in selected Read and Publish agreements. These agreements enable our university staff and Higher Degree by Research students to publish journal articles in over 13,000 open access journals without incurring any Article Processing Charges (APCs). Learn more about these agreements here.

Your rights

Academic authors hold certain rights when it comes to journal publication. These rights ensure you have control over your work and can make informed decisions about its distribution and use. 

  • You have the right to be properly credited for your scholarly contributions, including authorship recognition. 
  • You have the right to retain ownership of your intellectual property, granting the publisher a non-exclusive license to publish the work. 
  • You may negotiate and exercise your rights regarding pre-prints, post-prints, and the sharing of your research on personal websites or institutional repositories. 
  • You have the right to review and approve any changes made to your work during the editing and production process. 

It is essential that you familiarise yourself with the specific rights and policies of each journal before submitting.

Open access publishing

The Library provides information about open access publishing for research and theses:

The Library also provides open access publishing options through the Sydney eScholarship repository and Sydney Open Journals.

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