Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Strategic Publishing

What is a quality journal?

Assessing what is meant by journal quality often involves striking a balance between institutional imperatives and the push to ‘publish or perish’ versus considerations such as access by discipline peers and recognition in your respective field or industry influence.

Some factors to consider:

  • Who is your audience – is it academic or industry?
  • Is a particular journal relevant to your discipline and will it reach your desired target audience?
  • What is the journal’s aim and scope?
  • Have you evaluated the journal's quality using traditional metrics such as journal impact factors and rankings?
  • Can you determine the prestige of the editorial team and contributors and the journal circulation?
  • Does the journal have an open access policy, particularly if output is from a nationally or internationally competitively funded project
    (e.g. ARC, NHMRC, NIH)                                                           
  • Are there funding body requirements that you need to consider?                                

​​​​​​​Photo courtesy of Flickr user Wiley Asia                                                                     

Watch:

Publishing in quality journals - Publishing Power Hour video (Curtin staff and students only)

Tools for finding quality journals

Useful resources are listed below:

Scimago journal rankings calculate the average number of weighted citations received in a year divided by articles published in a journal in the previous 3 years. They take into account the prestige of the cited journals. SJR rankings can be refined by subject area, category, journal quartile and country. Please find instructions here. 

  • Journal Citation Reports (JCR) - Incites 
    Link to search instructions here.
    Journal Citation Reports is published annually in two editions. JCR Science Edition contains data about more than 8,000 journals in science and technology. JCR Social Sciences Edition contains data about more than 2,600 journals in the social sciences.

Journal impact factors are calculated by dividing the number of citations in the most recent year by the total number of articles published in the two previous years.  These metrics need to be taken in context of the discipline in which they are found and are not useful for comparing disciplines.

  • Ulrichsweb 
    Link to search instructions here
    Ulrichsweb is an easy to search source of detailed information on more than 300,000 periodicals (also called serials) of all types: academic and scholarly journals, e-journals, peer-reviewed titles, popular magazines, newspapers, newsletters, and more.
  • DOAJ: Directory of Open Access Journals
    Link to search instructions here.
    Hosted by Lund University. It covers free fulltext, quality controlled and scholarly journals.

  • Cabell's Directories
    Provides access to journal information, evaluation metrics, and submission details for of academic journals in the fields of accounting, economics, management and marketing. 
     
  • ABDC Journal Ratings List
    Australian Business Deans Council journal ranking list includes 2600 titles reviewed by a panel of discipline experts.
     
  • Journal Quality List
    Compiled and edited by Professor Anne-Wil Harzing, The Journal Quality List comprises academic journals in the following broad areas: Economics, Finance, Accounting, Management, and Marketing. It is updated annually.

  • Excellence in Research Australia journal list   
    For inclusion in the ERA 2018 Journal List, the journal had to be:
    • academic/scholarly
    • publish original peer reviewed research
    • have one or more ISSNs
    • have been published during the ERA 2018 reference period for research outputs.

How to maximise your chance of getting accepted

The following strategies are recommended to maximize your article’s likelihood of being accepted:

  • Follow the publisher's instructions to authors on the type of material they accept - many publishers will provide detailed information on their requirements and processes.
  • Check Cabell’s database or the journal website for article acceptance rates. The acceptance rate for submissions can vary from 5% to 95%.
  • Allow adequate preparation time as you may only be permitted to submit a document to one journal at any time. Allow time to rework or response to reviewers’ comments.
  • Turnabout time is critical as it may be several months resulting in 1 to 2 years interval until publication. Therefore, it is important to check publishers' advice to authors.
  • Consider the frequency of publication of your journal. Does it fit into your timeframe?
  • Think about writing for special issues or responding to calls for papers. (See box below.)


Watch: 

Tips for getting your article published - Publishing Power Hour video (Curtin staff and students only)

How to publish in Nature and Science - Faculty of SAE Nature and Science Workshop 2021 - speakers in engineering, astronomy and life sciences provide case studies on how they were able to publish in Nature or Science

Journal matching

Many publishers offer online automated tools that allow you to match the abstract of your paper with a suitable journal title in their publishing house. These emerging services use text matching and similarity, which may not be perfect, but they can often alert you to titles that you may otherwise not find. Below are some examples:

  • Open Journal Matcher - matches abstracts with open access titles listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ).
  • Elsevier Journal Finder - matches abstracts using Elsevier journal titles using a range of filters to allow fine tuning of your search.
  • Wiley Journal Finder - lacks the fine tuning of the Elsevier tool, using only the title and abstract of a paper with no other filters available.
  • Springer Nature Journal Suggester - searches over 2500 Springer and BMC (BioMed Central) titles with a range of filters including minimum acceptance rates and open access options.
  • EndNote ManuscriptMatcher - uses the manuscript title, abstract and references to suggest journal matches across the Web of Science database. Available from within EndNote.
  • IEEE Publication Recommender - searches over journals and conferences in the IEEE digital library.
  • Jane - Journal/Author Name Estimator - searches across the Pubmed database to find journals, authors or articles.

Special issues or call for papers

When publishers wish to put together a special issue on a particular topic, they often send out a call for papers.  They are generally very explicit in what they require, and provide a detailed overview of formats, topics and contact points.  This has the advantage of an academic having a clear understanding of what the publisher requires and is therefore able to focus the content accordingly.

Resources:

Some publishers provide access to all of their "call for papers" and you can browse by topic.  You have access to the following resources via the Library:

Another way of finding a call for papers is by going to a journal's homepage and checking if it has a call for papers tab. The journal may have a news section that will list any upcoming special issues. 

You can then check if there are any current call for papers that you may want to submit to. This is particularly useful if you are targeting specific journals to publish with.  

Note that this is not necessarily a feature of all journals.  

Journal finder checklist

I want to find...

Scimago   Scopus   InCites   Ulrichs    ERA   list Cabells   DOAJ    

Sherpa

Romeo  

Discipline

list (ABDC)

Quality journals in my discipline X   X   X       X Business
Journals by FoR code     X   X       X
OA journals X X X X     X    

OA journals (no fees)

            X    
Potential co-authors   X              
Author rights               X  
Publishing turnaround times         X      
Where journals are indexed       X          

* OA - Open Access 

Open access journals

Publishing your work in an Open Access journal can increase the visibility and accessibility of your work. There are various business models under which OA journals operate:

  • Fully OA journals
    Articles are published in an OA journal and accessible online immediately. There are two types:
  • Fee-based OA journals require payment by the author - an article processing charge (APC).The APC can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars.
  • No-fee OA journals do not charge any author fees for publication. They are often published by universities, societies or research centres.
     
  • Hybrid journals
    The author elects to pay for an article to be made openly accessible within a subscription journal. As publishers receive both subscriptions and OA fees, this is often referred to as 'double-dipping'.
     
  • Delayed OA journals
    Content is initially accessible only to journal subscribers. After a specified embargo period the articles can be accessed free of charge.

Finding the most appropriate journals in which to to publish your research will be a process of weighing up a number of factors, both within and beyond your control.

You will need to consider:

  • Do you have sufficient funds to cover publishing costs?
  • Does Curtin have a Read and Publish Agreement that will cover the cost of APC's?
  • Would you like the article to be available open access immediately?
  • Will the journal reach the right audience?
  • What peer review process does the journal go through?

Use the tools in the next tabs to help you make the best choice.

The following resources will help you find relevant OA journals in your area:

For more information on searching these tools for OA content, go to Tools for finding quality journals.

The Directory of Open Access Journals search function can identify quality open access journals that do not charge article processing fees (APCs).

  • Open DOAJ journals page.
  • Click on Without article processing charges (APCs) box.
  • You can also click the box for journals With a DOAJ seal, to ensure that your results are limited to quality publishers who have met the DOAJ's criteria for best practice in OA publishing.
  • Further limits by subject, language, peer review type can also be applied, but be aware that the more limits you place on the search, the fewer results you will get.