Ideally, you will have an idea of where you want to publish your research before you write your article.
Choosing the journal before you start writing means you can tailor your work to build on research that has already been published in your journal of choice. This can help editors to see how a paper adds to the ‘conversation’ in their journal. In addition, as you go through this guide you’ll see many journals only accept specific formats of article, and may well have word limits and other restrictions.
As with the rest of your work, thorough research is key to choosing the best journal for you to publish in. Given the vast number of academic journals in existence, you need to have a few ways to narrow down the field to a shortlist of potential candidates.
You are probably already familiar with various journals in your field from your research work. It’s worth taking a look at these first to see whether they might be a good fit.
In addition, do some searching within your library’s subscriptions and tools like Google Scholar to see which journals have published research on your subject area. And don’t forget, you can browse our journals by subject area at tandfonline.com.
Did you know…
STAR: Help for researchers in the Global South
Researching and preparing work for submission can be challenging for authors and researchers who have fewer opportunities to access journals, whether financial, technological, or otherwise. STAR: supporting authors in the Global South can help by providing free access to articles from our leading journals across subject areas.
Another good way to identify the right shortlist of journals is to speak to knowledgeable people around you – colleagues, supervisors, and your institution’s librarians. Depending on who you’re speaking to, you can ask a whole range of questions to help you narrow down your search. Which journals do they read regularly? Which ones do they believe are most respected? Have they had good experiences publishing with particular journals? And, of course, do they have ideas about which journals will suit your specific research field?
Most journals remain open for general submissions year-round. But often, a journal will promote a particular theme or topic by creating a special issue and putting out a call for papers (essentially a specific ask for submissions related to the theme).
You can search special issues and calls for papers to see whether there are any journals actively looking for research like yours. We list all of ours on our dedicated calls for papers page on Author Services.
Several publishers have journal suggester tools that allow you to narrow down your search. Our Journal Suggester works by analyzing your article abstract to find a shortlist of our journals that publish research like yours. All you need to do is copy and paste the abstract of your article and hit the ‘Reveal suggested journals’ button. It couldn’t be simpler.
Take the time to go through your list of prospective journals carefully to make sure you find the right fit for your research.
It is important to check through the journal’s aims and scope, which will help you to consider whether your article is relevant to the journal’s audience, and aligned with the journal’s purpose. Once you have a shortlist, you can refine it by asking the right questions:
Understand the audience
Review the journal’s policies and procedures
Understand your publishing options
Understand how the journal’s performance is measured
What are the benefits of publishing your research open access? Open access has clear benefits for readers as it gives them immediate access to the latest research. But what are the advantages for authors of publishing open access?
Research published open access is available to anyone across the globe, at any time. Greater visibility can result in increased readership and citations of your research. Both can help your career and funding prospects.
There’s increasing pressure on researchers to show the societal impact of their research. Open access can help your work reach new readers, beyond those with easy access to a research library. Publishing OA can help policymakers, non-government agencies, the media, educators, and practitioners put your research into action.
With OA, you’re free to share your research around the world with no restrictions or paywall. Most open access articles have a Creative Commons license which explains how others can use and share the content. See our guide to copyright licenses for more information.
An increasing number of authors are required to publish OA by their funder, institution, or employer. Find out about major funder mandates and policies around open access.
As a researcher, how do you make sure that the journal you’ve chosen to submit your paper to is the real deal?
The Think. Check. Submit. campaign enables authors to assess the trustworthiness of a journal or publisher. Find out more about how the campaign can help you to make an informed choice before sending your article.
Taylor & Francis apply the same high standards to the open access publishing process, as we do in traditional publishing models. Read more about open access and quality.
Now that you’ve chosen your journal, check out our resources to help you write your paper.