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PH 293: DrPH/Doctoral Seminar Library Resources: Publish

Submitting to a Journal? First Identify Journals That Publish on Your Topic

Through Scopus

  1. Visit the Scopus database.
  2. Search for recent articles on your research topic.
  3. Above the results, click “Analyze search results."
  4. Click in the "Documents per year by source" box.
  5. On the left you will see the results listed by the number of articles published on your research topic per journal.

Through Web of Science

  1. Visit the Web of Science database.
  2. Search for recent articles on your research topic.
  3. In the results, click "Analyze Results" on the right hand side.
  4. From the drop-down menu near the top left, choose "Publication Titles."
  5. Change the "Minimum record count (threshold)," if desired.
  6. Scroll down for a table of results by journal title.

Journal Impact Measures

The journal impact factor is a calculation of how many citations the articles in a journal receive (over a 2-year average). It is used as a proxy measure of the quality of a journal. If the impact factor of a journal is 5, then on average, articles in this journal receive about five citations within the first two years after publication.

In any discussion of journal, article, or author metrics, it is imperative to remember Goodhart's law:
"When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure."

Journal Citation Reports: Find impact factors (Note: Journal websites generally will include the impact factor).

Scopus CiteScore metrics: Click “Sources" - An alternative to the JIF.

You may wish to read this brief article on the Journal Impact Factor:
Is the impact factor the only game in town?. P. Smart. Ann R Coll Surg Engl. 2015;97(6):405-8.

PLoS, a top-tier open access suite of journals, says this: "PLOS does not consider Impact Factor to be a reliable or useful metric to assess the performance of individual articles. PLOS supports DORA – the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment – and does not promote our journal Impact Factors."

In addition, citation counts themselves are not necessarily a good metric of importance; see How citation distortions create unfounded authority: analysis of a citation network. Greenberg SA. BMJ. 2009 Jul 20;339:b2680. doi: 10.1136/bmj.b2680.

Finally, one could argue that journal impact factor manipulation is itself a predatory journal trait.

What is a "predatory journal"? How do I find out if a journal I want to read or publish in is "predatory"?

"Predatory journals and publishers are entities that prioritize self-interest at the expense of scholarship and are characterized by false or misleading information, deviation from best editorial and publication practices, a lack of transparency, and/or the use of aggressive and indiscriminate solicitation practices." (Source).

A 2020 systematic review of checklists to determine whether a journal is predatory found no checklist to be optimal. They recommended you look for a checklist that:

  1. Provides a threshold value for criteria to assess potential predatory journals, e.g. if the journal contains these three checklist items then we recommend avoiding submission;
  2. Has been developed using rigorous evidence, i.e. empirical evidence that is described or referenced in the publication.

They noted that only one checklist out of the 93 assessed fulfills the above criteria.

Be awake and aware! Rather than relying on lists or checklists, check if a journal is listed in DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals); if it is, the journal is less likely to be problematic because it has been vetted. Similarly, check if a journal is a member of COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics), where it must follow COPE’s publication ethics (COPE Core Practices).

You may wish to review the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing from the World Association of Medical Editors.

See also the report, Combatting Predatory Academic Journals and Conferences, from the InterAcademy Partnership.

Also of interest may be the Retraction Watch Hijacked Journals Checker.

And, please also be aware of the Institutionalized Racism of Scholarly Publishing:

  • Non-Western and/or non-English journals are hugely underrepresented in our current scholarly indexes;
  • The scholarly publishing infrastructure demands journals be Open and English to be noticed, but non-Western journals may be labeled as predatory as they struggle to fulfill such demands.

Finally, one could argue that journal impact factor manipulation is a trait of predatory journals.

National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity

UCB has an institutional membership to the National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity, and you can create your own logon after you activate your account. Then, take advantage of resources like these:

Monthly Core Curriculum Webinars (watch at your convenience):

  • January: Every Semester Needs a Plan
  • February: How to Align Your Time with Your Priorities
  • March: How to Develop a Daily Writing Practice
  • April: Mastering Academic Time Management
  • May: Every Summer Needs a Plan
  • June: Moving From Resistance to Writing
  • July: The Art of Saying No
  • August: Cultivating Your Network of Mentors, Sponsors & Collaborators
  • September: Overcoming Academic Perfectionism
  • October: How to Engage in Healthy Conflict
  • November: Strategies for Dealing with Stress, Rejection & the Haters in Your Midst

Scholarly Communication & Information Policy

OA lockScholarly Communication & Information Policy can help you with all your scholarly communication and publishing questions and needs.  Visit their website, or reach out to for help with questions on topics, including:
  • Copyright in research, publishing & teaching
  • Authors’ rights, and protecting & managing your intellectual property
  • Scholarly publishing options and platforms
  • Open access for scholarship and research data
  • Tracking & increasing scholarly impact
  • Affordable and open course content 
Scholarly Communication & Information Policy provides the following services:
  • Individualized support & personal consultations
  • In-class and online instruction
  • Presentations and workshops for small or large groups & classes
  • Customized support and training for each department and discipline
  • Online guidance and resources

Submitting Manuscripts

Alternative Publishing Formats

Here is some information and tips on getting your research to a broader, or to a specialized, audience