How to Choose the Right Journal for Your Research

There are many variables influencing the choice of journal for manuscript submission. Factors involved include the visibility of the journal, the focus of the journal and how well it matches the topic of the manuscript, the impact factor of the journal, the timeliness of the editorial office process and whether feedback is constructive, journal accessibility, author costs, and the governance of the journal [1].


Did you realize that submitting your paper to a journal whose scope doesn’t align with your research topic is a common cause for rejection?


Indeed, research articles are frequently rejected due to a misalignment between the study topic and the journal’s scope, which is often avoidable. Selecting the appropriate journal is paramount for successful publication. Enhance your publication prospects by identifying journals that align with the focus of your research and your team’s work.


Authors of a scientific manuscript wish their paper to be published in a journal and then read, used and cited by their peers. However, there can be many stumbling blocks in this process. One such impediment is submitting the manuscript to an inappropriate journal [2].


Various online tools aid authors in selecting suitable journals, yet they rely on algorithms and cannot replace thorough evaluation of factors such as desired impact factor, journal interest in your field, and target readership. There are numerous factors that you may consider in choosing an appropriate journal for your manuscript and these have been listed out in this article [3]. Services like IRP’s Journal Selection offer tailored support. Our team shortlists 3-5 ideal journals, highlighting pros and cons for manuscript submission. Key considerations typically include:


  1. Scope of the journal
    Journals vary in scope, ranging from broad and multidisciplinary to very specific. Typically, they publish papers within a specific subject area, sometimes focusing on particular aspects within that field.
  2. Article type
    Ensure that your intended journal publishes the article type you plan to submit. If your article is a review, confirm that the journal accepts review articles. Even if your research topic aligns with the journal’s scope, if your article type isn’t typically published, it may face rejection.
  3. Readership and target audience
    Targeting the appropriate readership is paramount, prioritizing relevance over reach. For broader impact, consider multidisciplinary journals with non-technical audiences. For specialized topics, opt for journals tailored to your specific audience within the field.
  4. Journal visibility
    Getting your paper accepted and published in your desired journal is a significant achievement. However, ensuring your research is easily discoverable by other scholars is equally important. Increased journal visibility enhances the chances of your work being cited. Before submitting to a journal, verify if it’s indexed in prominent subject-specific databases and if it’s available online. Print-only journals may restrict the reach of your article, so consider digital accessibility for wider readership.
  5. Turnaround time
    To ensure timely publication, consider the peer review timeline of your target journal. Monthly journals typically have shorter review periods than those publishing annually. Check if the journal offers an online edition and posts accepted articles promptly. Open access journals are ideal for authors seeking quicker publication, often within two months.

You can use the following checklist to help you shortlist a journal.

  • Does your article align with the subject focus of the journal?
  • Is the intended article type accepted by the journal?
  • Does the journal reach your intended audience?
  • Is the journal indexed in bibliographic and subject-specific databases?
  • Does the journal offer an online version?
  • Does the journal’s impact factor meet your needs?
  • Is the journal highly esteemed within its field by colleagues and peers?
  • Could you please provide information on the turnaround time for articles submitted to the journal?
  • How frequently is the journal published each year?
  • Could you provide details regarding the publication charges?
  • Does the length and structure of your manuscript meet the journal’s requirements?


  1. Thompson, P. J. (2007). How to choose the right journal for your manuscript. Chest132(3), 1073-1076.
  2. Bhatia, S. J. (2018). How to choose the right journal. Reporting and Publishing Research in the Biomedical Sciences, 143-153.
  3. Jacob, T. G., & Sahni, P. (2022). Publication models and how to choose the right journal. Indian Journal of Rheumatology17(Suppl 2), S314-S318.

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