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Edward G. Miner Library

Faculty Resources: Choosing a journal

Information, Tools, and Resources for faculty at URMC


Finding the correct journal in which to publish your article can be a challenging process.  Here are some first steps and questions to ask before selecting a journal to publish in. If you have any further question, please contact your librarian.

First Steps

  1. Take a look at your own bibliography.  What journals are cited the most? 
  2. Develop a list of potential journals using the resources below.
  3. Review the journal’s website and if possible, skim a hard copy as well. 
  4. Discuss with your peers which journal they respect or where they would submit.
  5. Do any of the journals you currently read publish articles similar to your own?

We also recommend utilizing the website Think, Check, Submit.  Think, Check Submit is an excellent guide to looking at a journal before submitting an article for publication. 

Check out a journal

This is a list of areas of a journal to look into once you've narrowed your target journals down to a few key journals. 

  • Take a look at the table of contents.  Would your article fit in the table of contents of this journal?
  • What is the acceptance rate of this journal?
  • Who is the publisher of this journal?  Do you recognize the publisher?
  • What associations, or organizations are affiliated with the journal. 
  • How often is the journal published?
  • What platforms is the journal available on.  Web, print, or web and print?
  • Paid circulation numbers
  • What is the main subject area(s) covered by the journal (particularly when the research is cross-discipline)?
  • Types of articles published (original research, review, case study)
  • Do you recognize any of the names of the editors of the review board?  Are the editors affiliated with established institutions? 
  • Is the journal peer-reviewed?
  • What is the quality of the accepted articles and authors?
  • What is the reputation of the journal?
  • What is the impact factor
  • Where is it indexed?  Medline, PsycINFO, CINAHL?
  • Who is the declared audience?
  • What is the time to publication?


What about journal rankings?

Literary Writing in Medicine