As an academic, publishing research is key to furthering developments within your discipline and career, but choosing the best journal for your output is not always straightforward. You will want to choose the best journal for your research so it is important to spend time evaluating any journal.
Open Access with its aim of making research freely available has aided researchers in making content more widely available. Via the Gold route authors pay for their articles to be available Open Access on publication as a means of protecting the publisher's profits. With the Open Access movement there has been a growth in the number of journals and it can be hard to evaluate the credentials of some titles.
Researchers can also make mistakes in publishing with so-called 'predatory publishers' or attending conferences that do little to enhance their careers. An interesting blog post highlighting some of the issues around "predatory publishing" can be found via this link: Scholarly Kitchen
This page collates tools from a variety of sources that may help all researchers make the best choices when considering where to publish and present their research.
Some publishers offer a service for authors to paste in an abstract and they will match your topic to likely journals that publish in this area. Remember to always check the journal's aims and scope too as well as considering the editorial board, its peer review policy and whether your colleagues would recommend this title.
These services limit searches to a particular publisher. For a broader keyword search, see our guidance for manipulating database results using Scopus and Web of Science to find key journals (next tab).
In the medical field, there is a multipublisher abstracting matching service called JANE: Journal/Author Name Estimator
Authors can use Web of Science and Scopus to identify relevant journals matching their publication interests and then evaluate by citation metrics.
Here is an example for Scopus:
A directory of open access journals DOAJ reviews the quality of the journals it lists so can be a useful indication of if a journal is likely to be reputable.
When accessing a journal's quality look to see if it is a member of OASPA as membership includes a set of standards. (Remember that newer journals won't be included so can't be evaluated this way).
Suncat is the Serials Union Catalogue for the UK research community. Search the catalogue of 110 UK institutions to see which university if any subscribe to a particular title.
As a new researcher you will be conscious of the importance of publishing your work. Less well known journals may target new researchers keen to get published by emailing them offering to publish their thesis or asking for articles. Like emails asking for your bank details to transfer money into your account be wary of taking the offer at face value.
Be aware that some journals will charge you a fee for publishing. Remember too that you will probably sign away your copyright preventing you from publishing your research with a more established publisher in future.