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Finding the Right Journal

Here is a convenient template that you can use while searching for journals.

Step 1: Tips for Finding Potential Journals

  • Start with a Google search to get a starter list of journals (for example, “oncology journals”).
  • Use PubMed: Search a term or topic and see what journals recently published on it. This is probably the best way to find the most relevant journals.
  • Check out
  • Journal finders on this list can help you to decide which journals are relevant for your research.
  • Sites like rank journals in different fields. is a great way to find journals in any given field.

Step 2: Obtain Basic Information From Each Journal's Webpage

  • Pick the ~5 most relevant journals and collect all information for those journals. Most put their aims, scope, impact factor, acceptance rates, turnaround metrics, and publication frequency on their homepage or the “about the journal” page.
  • Use control-F in the author instructions to look for things like “fee,” “charge,” “open access,” and “article processing.”

Step 3: Is the Journal Indexed in PubMed?

  • One important question you may have involves whether the journal is indexed in PubMed.
  • You can search the name of the journal on this page to see if it is indexed: PubMed journal search results.
  • You may wish to avoid journals that say that they are “not currently indexed in MEDLINE.” MEDLINE is the largest subset of PubMed.

You may want to pick a journal that is indexed for MEDLINE.

Step 4: Determining Journal Acceptance Rates

  • Another important issue involves the question of journal acceptance rate. Although many journals will not openly disclose acceptance rates, you can try to google this.
  • In contrast to acceptance rates, most journals will readily report their citation factors.
  • As a general rule, journals with impact factors greater than 5 will tend to be difficult to publish in. You may want to err on the side of a journal that is not as competitive if you are hoping to get published quickly.
  • Another statistic that is often listed under the “For Authors” tab involves the average review time. As a general rule, 1 month is a reasonable review time.

The “For Authors” tab tends to include information on citation rate, review time, and the submission process.

Step 5: What Types of Articles does the Journal Prefer?

  • Another issue to consider is whether the journal accepts the type of article you are submitting.
  • You will want to check whether a given journal tends to accept case reports, case series, results of clinical trials, protocols, commentaries, editorials, letters to the editor, systematic/narrative reviews, meta-analysis, or whatever else you would like to submit. It should be noted that some journals do not tend to accept unsolicited review articles.
  • A lot of journals will have word limits and restrictions on the number of references, which can be an issue if you have a very long manuscript.

Step 6: Journal Fees

  • Unfortunately, journal fees can be harder to find. This information is not generally on the top of the page!
  • One suggestion is to google the name of the journal and the word “fees.” For instance, you could do a google search for “JNIS, journal, fees.”
  • As a general rule, most open access journals will tend to charge a fee. This fee is generally no more than $3,000 in US dollars. Other journals will charge a fee for colored images, which is often around $500. You will want to confirm with your client that they are willing to pay for these fees before you submit a manuscript.

Step 7: Is the Journal Open Access?

  • Open access info can be found either on the “About the journal page” OR in the author instructions, so be sure to check both places.
  • Open access means that the articles in the journal will be available to read, download, and reuse per license terms of the journal.
  • Although open access may require fees, it has been suggested that the greater accessibility resulting from open access leads to higher citation counts.
  • Many advocates also support the basic principle of open access, as it allows people the ability to read papers on medical topics without having to pay money.

wiki/guide/find.txt · Last modified: 2023/06/07 20:35 by jthurnham