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Citation Styles/Submitting Manuscripts/Writing: Submitting to a Journal

Submitting Manuscripts and Open Access

Tips when submitting an article (from Getting Research on Evaluation Published, by J. Bradley Cousins):

  1. Follow instructions
  2. Withhold your identity for blind review – e.g., replace citations to your work with ‘Author(s)’, submit a separate document with name, affiliation, references, and acknowledgements
  3. Number the pages – make the reviewer’s job easy
  4. Motivate the paper – identify gaps, say why the research is needed
  5. Highlight the significance of your contribution – this is what hooks reviewers and editors
  6. Respond to reviewer feedback in a conciliatory and comprehensive fashion – provide a table of changes; you can disagree but justify it; don’t take criticism personally

Writing and Publishing Help

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.

Alternative Publishing Formats

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

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

Predatory journals often lack an appropriate peer-review process and frequently are not indexed, yet authors are required to pay an article processing charge. The lack of quality control, the inability to effectively disseminate research and the lack of transparency compromise the trustworthiness of articles published in these journals.

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.