Skip to Main Content

Publishing Your Research

Choosing a Journal

When choosing a journal, ask yourself:

  • What journals are my colleagues publishing in?
  • Where did your references publish?
  • Is this journal peer reviewed?
  • What are the norms in my field?
  • Is this journal respected in my field?
  • Do I want to publish Open Access?
  • What copyright or archiving policy do I want in a journal?
  • Does this journal publish research I think is quality?
  • Does this journal offer the right audience for my research?
  • Are there costs of figures or color pages?

Impact Factor

Have you been told that you should aim to publish in a "high impact" journal? That means you should be seeking a journal with a high Impact Factor. The official Journal Impact Factor is determined by Thomson-Reuters.

The Impact Factor is the average number of times an article in a particular journal is cited. This is a journal-level metric and does not actually reflect your impact as an author. 

However, for some departments Impact Factor does contribute to determining promotion and tenure. You may want to discuss Impact Factor with your department head before letting the Impact Factor determine your publishing decisions.

Time to publication

Consider the time the journal will take to publish the article. Are you up for promotion? On the job market? Applying to fellowships? You may wish for a quicker timeline.

Determine the number of issues and when these are published. Would your be in the next issue? Or in 6-12 months?

Know Your Rights

Consider the copyright and archiving policies when choosing a journal. Do you want to be able to post your article on your website? Do you want it to have increased discoverability? Do you need to use the article in your dissertation or future anthology?

Knowing your rights as an author per the copyright and archiving policies of a journal can help you make a more informed decision about where to publish.

Sherpa/Romeo is a useful resource to find the copyright and archiving policies of journals.

Trust yourself and trust your colleagues

Your greatest resource is yourself and your colleagues.

Trust yourself in judging the quality of the journal and seek advice from colleagues on journals in your research field.


Your subject librarian can be a great asset to discover the right journal for your research.