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How To: Best Journal Fit for your Manuscript

Looking for the best fit for your manuscript when there are endless possibilities? Unfortunately, submitting a manuscript to an unsuitable journal is a common mistake and will likely result in the paper being rejecting before peer review – that’s why it’s imperative to choose the most relevant journal for your manuscript!

Some considerations include:

  • The journal’s topics or emphasis. It may be beneficial to search for journals by subject area. Many publishers have a journal finder feature to aid in your search for the perfect fit! But, don’t be afraid to ask colleagues, peers, advisors, or PIs for advice on the best fit for your research.
    • You can find relevant journals by searching literature databases for your topic to find similar articles and see which journals published those articles.
  • The journal’s audience. Determine if your manuscript relates to a broad audience, or a niche audience, which would require a field-specific journal.
  • The types of articles the journal publishes. Ensure your target journal accepts your form of manuscript (i.e., review, case study, clinical trial, etc.)
  • The journal’s reputation. Carefully, consider the journal’s Impact Factor, which measures its reputation. Evaluate the prestige of the authors published in that journal and whether your research is of a similar level. In addition, consider any society or association affiliations, editorial board information, and the journal’s aims, scope, and publishing ethics.
  • The journal’s reach. Is the journal distributed and published on a recognized online platform? If your main goal is to reach as many readers as possible, strongly consider journals with an open access option. Open access allows anyone to read your article, free of charge, online, which means your article is more likely to be read and cited.

When you’ve chosen your prospective journal, it’s usually a good idea to identify your second- and third-choice journals in case your manuscript is rejected. And, that way, you can quickly submit to your next journal of choice.