You’ve finally finished your research and written your paper outlining your findings. Now, it’s time to find a journal to publish your work in. But how do you know which one to pursue?
This is a really important decision. Not only can you spend months waiting for a decision from the publisher, but you also run the risk of falling victim to predatory journals if you’re not careful. Read on for some helpful tips when it comes to finding the perfect place to display your hard work.
Read the Journal’s Aims & Scope
When you are reviewing a potential journal to submit your work to, make sure to carefully review the Aims & Scope section. This is an introduction to the journal and will include things like the subjects covered, peer-review policy, and what types of subjects they will and will not publish. This section will tell you if your manuscript’s subject aligns with the journal’s primary focus. Obviously, you won’t want to submit a paper on medical research to a journal that’s subject matter deals with food science.
This section can also help you avoid falling victim to a predatory journal by looking at their peer-review process. Journals that are not legit will have a very quick peer-review process – if they have one at all. The process of having a paper accurately peer-reviewed takes time. For example, Bentham Science has a peer-review process that requires two single-blind reviews just to start off. Then, it’s followed by more editing, and even more reviewing before it will finally be published. Journals that promise a quick turnaround time for peer-reviews should be a red flag.
Check the Journal’s Professional Organization Membership
If the journal is a recognized member of a professional organization such as COPE, STM, or OASPA, you’re dealing with a legitimate journal. This is an important factor since these journals have to commit to best practices when it comes to publishing.
It’s important to do the research yourself when it comes to researching valid membership. Bentham Science predatory practices were once mistakenly called out by Jeffrey Beall. However, upon closer inspection, this journal meets all the requirements of legitimate journals and their reputation greatly suffered as a result. Do the research yourself to ensure that you have all the correct information.
Decide if Open Access Is Right for You
Open access journals make published research freely available online. Anyone can view this research and build upon it if they want to. The idea is to make scientific research more widely available to those outside of academic circles. Most of the work published via open access journals can be reused and repurposed by other people under a Creative Commons license. The original author will always need to be acknowledged, regardless of how the work is further handled.
While many people will want to publish with an open access journal for exposure, there are some drawbacks to this as well. This is usually more expensive for the researcher. Scientific journals that require a paid subscription for access share the publication costs between readers and authors. Open access journals, however, shift that burden entirely to the author. Because of this, it may be more financially viable to publish your manuscript in a journal that doesn’t allow open access.
There are many things to consider when it comes to picking out a journal to publish your work in. Not only do you want to make sure you are avoiding fake journals that are trying to take advantage of you, but you want to make sure that the journal you’re looking at aligns with your subject matter. Take the time to do some research before making your decision in order to avoid wasting time, money, and effort.