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Selecting a Journal for Publishing: Home

Describes ways to identify appropriate journals for submission of manuscripts based upon publication patterns, citation analyses, and journal impact ranking.

Selecting a journal title for submission

To identify the right set of journals for your article, you will want to analyze existing journal publications in your very specific area through a combination of subject coverage, citation patterns, and journal-impact rankings.

Remember, some niche journals are essential reading for well-defined communities, while some megajournals with multiple subject coverage (Science, Nature, etc.) have great prestige ... but may not be read as often by all practitioners in a specific field.

To have your article reach the broadest readership, select a journal that is indexed in major journal indexing tools. Journal publishers and editorial boards apply for inclusion in journal indexes based upon a combination of quality, citation patterns, and other factors. The tools below help you discover highly cited journals. 

Below are a few steps to perform to identify the best choices for your submissions.

Quantitative assessment across core journals

The Scopus database provides searching and citation tracking for a set of core journal articles in science, medicine, technology, and the social sciences. (NOTE: Scopus does not provide deep or comprehensive coverage of any field -- for that you will want to search the Central Index (above) and/or appropriate subject-specific journal indexes.) 

To identify key journals in a field,

  • Start by performing keyword searches to find historical journal coverage.
  • Use the facets to view the most frequent journal titles with matching coverage.
  • Then limit your results to recent years to determine any changing patterns in coverage over recent years.
  • View the high-impact factor articles (and associated journal titles) by sorting your results according to Cited By -- an option on the top right of the screen. 


                   See the SXU Faculty Publications page for a campus-level overview of our publication patterns.

In-depth assessment using journal indexes

Since SCOPUS covers only a core set of journals in each field, for more comprehensive (deep) analysis of journals in a field you will need to perform searches in and study the results from the Central Index and/or a subject-specific journal index ... which unfortunately do not provide quantitative citation analysis.

The Central Index provides searching across many of our journals (and also across ebook platforms ... EBSCOhost ebooks, EBL ebooks, ProQuest ebooks, American Dissertation Database fulltext materials). It will allow you to determine where articles are published by keyword and/or subject facets.

NOTE: If we do not have access to your in-depth journal index, Google Scholar does provide reasonable coverage of most disciplines ... but does not provide the very helpful subject headings used to quickly identify and analyze sub-fields.

In these journal indexes you will want to:

  • Search by subject keywords to find historical journal coverage.
  • Use the facets to view the most frequent journal titles with matching coverage.
  • Then limit to recent years to determine any changing patterns in recent years.

You can also use the controlled vocabulary facets to follow related subject coverage ... to find subject publications in relation to broader and narrower coverages.

Journal rankings (based upon citation patterns)

The CWTS Journal Indicators tool provides rankings of highest-impact journals within subdisciplines ... based upon SCOPUS citation patterns.

  • Remember, SCOPUS covers only a core set of journals in each field.
  • Not every discipline is well represented in SCOPUS, so this may not be complete for some fields.
  • View a short demonstration video of finding rankings in the discipline of Marketing

CiteScore metrics also uses SCOPUS citation data to provide five years of both discipline-specific impact/citation metrics and journal-to-journal comparisons. This tool includes some book and conference material as well.

The SCImago Journal & Country Rank is another publicly available portal that includes journal and country indicators developed from the information contained in the SCOPUS database.

Google Scholar ranking of journals by discipline.

For more comprehensive (deep) analysis of journals in most fields you will need to perform searches and study the results (using the steps outlined above) within a subject-specific journal index. These subject-specific tools do not provide such quantitative citation analyses. Analysis will require the use of both subject knowledge and qualitative reasoning.

Researcher Assistance with Finding Logical Journals

Scholarly Publishing Information Hub -- SPI-Hub applies artificial intelligence weighting factors to help authors identify logical journals for submission of their manuscripts.


Researcher Journal Finder is an experimental tool that uses Artificial Intelligence searching to identify journals with related subject coverage.

You add keywords or text and this tool will discover some likely publications fro submission.

Use this tool as a helpful start, but do not rely on it for comprehensive analysis (see above).

Additional Information on Publication and Impact Metrics

A more detailed description of the tools used to measure the impact of journals, authors, and articles can be found on our On Scholarly Publishing page.

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