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Research & Publication Support: Choosing a Journal and Submitting a Paper

Choosing a Relevant Journal

The first step to picking a suitable journal is finding one with appropriate scope for the topic of your research. Try these tools for matching your manuscript to a journal:

KRS Journal Collection

To see journals that KRS subscribes to in a particular field, BrowZine is a great place to start.

Learn more about how to follow journals and keep up on the latest research.

Helpful Article

APCs

Article Processing Charges or APCs are fees charged to the author to have their work published electronically in an open access journal. APCs shift the financial burden of producing a journal (editing, peer review, web hosting, archiving, preserving) from the reader (via subscription fees) to the author. The exact cost can vary widely between journals but be prepared to pay up to $3000 US.

Some publishers will offer a discount on APCs if the author's institution pays for a subscription to that journal. To find out if KRS subscribes to your journal of choice, search using the link below and limit to "Journals Only".

Author Rights

When you’ve written a paper, you own the copyright to that work. You can alter, reproduce, or distribute it however you like.

However, the method you choose to publish your work may affect your copyright. Many traditional publishers ask authors to sign publishing agreements which transfer copyright from you the author, to the publisher. Depending on the agreement, it could mean you no longer have rights to your work, and you would have to ask permission from the publisher to share it, post it online, or alter it in any way.

If you choose to publish in a traditional journal with a publishing agreement, you can still ask to negotiate the terms of the agreement, to allow for more control over your work.

Helpful links:

Steps to Submitting a Paper

  1. Find a journal that’s relevant to the subject matter of your research; decide if you want or need to publish in an OA journal.
  2. Evaluate the journal for quality and predatory red flags (see below).
  3. Check that you can submit to that journal – some are by invite only.
  4. Check the author guidelines and prepare your paper for submission: author guidelines will provide more info on editorial policies such as copyright and open access, and will provide critical info on article structure, writing an abstract, supplying keywords, and other formatting and style requirements.
  5. Check the publisher’s requirements for making your research data available.
  6. Decide who will be the corresponding author, if you are working with co-authors. Corresponding authors are responsible for submitting manuscript corrections and revisions, arranging payment of article processing charges (if applicable), signing the author publishing agreement and acting on behalf of the other co-authors.
  7. Submit your paper online via the journal or publisher website.
  8. Assuming your manuscript is accepted, complete the revisions requested through the peer review process and resubmit.

Every journal will have more specific and detailed information on their website for prospective authors, so once you've selected a journal for your work, check that out!

Evaluating Journals

You've worked hard on your research and want it to be amplified in the best way possible. Before selecting a journal for your paper, make sure it's reputable and credible by asking some questions.

  • Who is the publisher? Are they familiar to you and your colleagues? Is it a name you recognize? How long have they been around? Can you easily contact them?
  • Do they have OA credentials? If the journal is open access, is the publisher an OASPA member (Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association)? Is the journal listed in DOAJ?
  • Who is on the editorial board? Can you find their names and affiliations on the journal's website? Is contact information provided? Are they recognized experts in their field with proper credentials?
  • What is the quality of articles? Read a few from a recent issue: are they well-written and well-researched? Are images and graphics of high-quality?
  • What are the journal's metrics? Use a journal metric tool to look up the title and see how well they score. (See Journal Metrics for more info.)
  • How often is the journal cited elsewhere? Where are they being cited and by whom?
  • Is the journal indexed in resources you use? Try searching the journal title in MEDLINE, CINAHL, or other trusted journal databases.
  • What is their peer review process? Is it transparent and easy to find on their website?
  • What are the fees? Is it clear what fees will be charged to the author, from start to finish?
  • What about ethics and other policies? Is there a statement of ethical integrity on the journal's website? What about conflicts of interest? This can be hard to find, try looking for an "About" or "Editorial Policies" section.

Other helpful resources:

Red Flags for Predatory Publishers

"Predatory publishers"  take advantage of authors for profit - often with hidden fees and few guarantees. Be aware of the following red flags for untrustworthy publications.

Useful resources:

Predatory Publishers and Beall's List

Jeffrey Beall, a former librarian at the University of Colorado Denver (now retired), coined the term "predatory publishers." He investigated suspected scam publishers/journals and maintained lists of them at his blog: Scholarly Open Access. In Jan 2017, his lists and blog were suddenly taken down. Below are links to the lists available through the Internet Archive.

NOTE: These lists are not being updated.


Caveat: Jeffrey Beall has done a wonderful service for the academic community in raising our awareness of this issue, however, he is a controversial figure. He has been accused of lack of transparency since the majority of titles on his list have no accompanying discussion as to why they were included. It is also unethical to rely solely on just one person's opinions.

If a title you want to publish in is on his list then this should raise red flags, BUT....to ensure a full perspective it is necessary that you also do your own analysis of potentially illegitimate journals and publishers.

Articles Discussing the Problems with Beall's List: