Where to publish: Some guidelines

How do you find a reputable journal, one which will give your work visibility? You may be aware of the main journals and publishers in your field, but if you’re new to publishing are you likely to be accepted? Aim to be both ambitious and realistic.



  1. Ask colleagues or your supervisor for advice and suggestions. They will have been through this same process themselves.
  2. Decide who your audience is. Are you aiming for an academic journal, an industry magazine, a publication from your professional body?
  3. Once you’ve found a potential title look at the scope of the journal from the publisher’s web page. Is your article a good fit? Look through some recent issues to check your article is in the same field.
  4. Find out more about the journal in Ulrich’s Global Serials Directory.
  • Check how well the journal is indexed, ie are the articles included in databases such as Scopus or Web of Science. This will increase the chances of your work being discovered.
  • Is the journal peer-reviewed? A referee shirt symbol indicates it is peer-reviewed
  • Look at the demographics section to see the journal’s intended audience
  • Whether you’re writing a book or an article for a journal most publishers provide help for authors. Examples include RoutledgeWileySageElsevier. Take time to read their submission guidelines to avoid making simple mistakes
  • If your research is funded you will probably be required to make your writing freely available for others to read, via the Open Access initiative. Use SHERPA/FACT to find out how you can comply.

Predatory journals and publishers

Predatory publishers provide sub-standard services, often cheating and deceiving authors.

If you want to find out more the following sources may be helpful:

Grudniewicz, A., Moher, D., Cobey, K. et al (2019) Predatory journals: no definition, no defence. Nature 576, 210-212

COPE Council (2019). COPE Discussion Document: Predatory Publishing

Quick links

Directory of Open Access Journals

Peer Review (Sense About Science)

Doctoral Development Programme workshops

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