You may already have a journal in mind when writing your article, but it’s worth considering the following questions when choosing a journal :
- Is the journal credible and respected?
- How much will it cost to publish the article?
- How long will it take to publish the article?
- What are the copyright implications?
Journal prestige is considered important by many institutions. The most widely used indicator of prestige is the Journal Impact Factor (JIF), which is an index based on citations and number of articles published in journals. Some journals state their JIF, whilst others may be listed on the publisher’s website. However, the JIF is considered flawed by some4 and its usefulness in assessing the ‘quality’ of publications is open to question7.
There are sometimes concerns that OA journals are not as high ‘quality’ as those following the subscription or hybrid model, but these appear to be largely unfounded8 . One thing to watch out for is so-called ‘predatory’ OA journals. These take advantage of researchers through promises of rapid publication or low APCs, but peer review is minimal or absent and quality compromised as a result9. Articles in such journals tend also to be rarely cited, if at all10.
You should be able to avoid any ‘predators’ by choosing a journal listed in the DOAJ and checking that the publisher is a member of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association, both of which ensure high standards9.
You can find out details on APCs, approximate timescale from submission to publication and copyright licenses by visiting the journal website. If you are funded by a major UK funding body, the SHERPA/FACT tool will help you check that your are complying with their mandate.