Selecting the journal to submit your paper

Once you’ve done all the hard work, where do you submit your paper? Actually, let’s rewind that. It helps if you plan where you want to submit before putting pen to paper. That’ll help you focus on who your audience is, and means you can work to the guidance from the journal’s instructions to authors. Your research needs an audience if it’s going to be read, and hopefully make in difference in your area of interest.

You can “sound out” editors with a brief synopsis of your work, or you can check thoroughly through the instructions to authors and be satisfied that you’re meeting the criteria of your chosen journal. Remember, the journal’s editorial board want to publish high quality research that’s going to be of interest to their readers, so they are trying to help you get your work into print, rather than being the ferocious gatekeepers determined to keep you out.

Have a browse through the recently published articles in the journal, see if you think your work could sit alongside the kinds of papers they already have published.

Check that the journal is a well respected publication in its field of interest, take a look at the people on the editorial board and the names of authors publishing. Use the Think, Check, Submit website’s checklist to be sure the journal is one you want your work to appear within.

Finally, make sure your work addresses all of the criteria that the journal is looking for, if they say they don’t publish work under or over a certain word count, then make sure you’re within their limits. Following their guidance, you can get your paper into print!




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