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Publishing Options and Opportunities: Choosing & Evaluating

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.

This video overviews SHERPA/RoMEO, how to search for policies, and how to interpret them.

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?

Find Open Access Publishing Options

Journal Evaluation Tool

The UC San Diego Library Scholarly Communications have developed a tool that you can used to support your review of possible publishing and conference venues. UC San Diego Library Journal Evaluation Tool (2019). This tool is based on :

You can print a pdf of your evaluation to document your choice to publish in the journal reviewed using the tool.

Resources for validity checks when using the tool:

ISSN Lookup 

Is the journal registered?

Is the publisher a member?

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.

"Predatory" Journals

Open Access publishing is a great option that provides you with great discoverability and increased impact. However, there are people that have taken advantage of researchers seeking to publish openly. Since many Open Access journals are supported by article processing charges rather than subscriptions, this can be a money-making scheme for predatory publishers. Many legitimate, quality Open Access journals publish with article processing charges though and they are not vanity publishing. If you're concerned a publisher may be "predatory" or a "scam," evaluate it carefully.

Ask: If the journal charges article processing charges, are these charges listed publicly and are consistent?

Check: Is the journal in the Directory of Open Access Journals?

or is the publisher a member of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association?