How to choose a journal

Ask the right questions, and get the right result

“Be … tactical in terms of thinking about which journal you want to send your paper to so you don’t end up wasting your time.”

Professor Stephen Ball, Editor of the Journal of Education Policy

Choosing the right journal for your research can seem daunting, but it doesn’t need to be. By asking some simple questions you can narrow your focus and make sure that the top reason editors give for rejecting articles – that they’re submitted to the wrong journal – doesn’t apply to you.

Where to start

You can begin by talking to your supervisor, colleagues, and friends and asking them for recommendations, by going to your library, and by checking journal and publisher websites.

One way to narrow your focus is to find out where articles related to your research have been published, and consider submitting to one of those journals. What do you regularly read? Could one of those journals be a good fit for your paper?

Refine your shortlist

Once you have a shortlist, you can refine it by asking the right questions:

  1. Do I want my work to be published in a general-interest journal, where it can reach a wide readership? Or will publishing in a niche-interest journal be a more effective way for my research to reach the right audience?
  2. Do I want my work to be published in an international journal, or is my research region-specific?
  3. Do I want my work to be published in a high-impact journal, or am I more interested in reaching a specific group of readers?
  4. What’s the journal’s peer-review policy? Am I happy for my work to be reviewed in this way?
  5. What’s the submission process?
  6. Do I want my work to be published in a learned society journal?
  7. Do I want to publish my work open access or in a traditional (subscription) journal?

Answers to these questions can be found by checking the journal’s Aims & Scope and Instructions for Authors (all on Taylor & Francis Online).

Browse journals by subject area on Taylor & Francis Online