When your research is ready for publication, consider choosing a journal which will maximise the impact of your research. Tools such as Journal Citation Reports help you to identify the journal’s impact factor and its quartile ranking.
While these indicators are important aids to identifying a journal, it is also necessary to check out the scope of the journal, the publisher's terms and conditions, and to consult with colleagues regarding their publishing expertise. If you're not familiar with a particular journal and want to check that it is genuine and trustworthy, sites such as Think Check Submit can help.
Elsevier have produced a guide to help researchers in deciding where to publish, this can be downloaded here (registration required). Taylor & Francis have also created a guide to help researchers, looking at how and where to publish.
See the Researcher Handbook (internal RCSI only) for more information on publishing, including the importance of consistency in using personal, department and institutional names.
Journal metrics, such as Impact Factor, CiteScore, SJR and SNIP can help inform your decision on where to publish.
The best known international indicator is the Impact Factor, which is based on the average number of citations a journal has received over a two year period. The Impact factor is available from Journal Citation Reports (JCR), produced by Clarivate Analytics. A guide to using JCR to find impact factors, quartile and percentile rankings is available below.
Other journal indictors are available from Scopus
In order to maximise the visibility of your research, check which database your intended journal is indexed in. You want to ensure that your research will be discoverable in the results of literature/systematic review searches. The publishers’ websites will usually list the databases, but you can also browse journal lists from within the databases themselves.
An unfortunate side-effect of the growth of high-quality open access journals is the number of 'predatory' open access publishers that have also sprung up. These publishers essentially accept as many articles as possible in order to make as much money as possible. These journals provide little or no peer-review and editorial services, and as a result the quality of the articles they publish is poor.
Predatory journals can sometimes be hard to spot. Their websites can look professional, while making claims that are untrue. For example, saying that they have an Impact Factor when they do not, or claiming recognised experts are on the editorial board when they are not.
How to spot 'predatory' journals and publishers:
Predatory conferences, in a similar way to predatory publishers, send unsolicited emails or contact people through LinkedIn asking them to speak at a conference. They may take fees for attendance at events that never happen or else are not what was advertised – for instance a whole range of disparate conferences turn out to be in the same venue. This news report from CBC highlighted some examples.
If you have been approached by unknown publishers or conferences to write, speak or attend, always be cautious and check out the credentials of any publisher or conference organiser before signing up. Speak to colleagues or check the details online to see if they are credible. Bear in mind that some predatory conferences have been known to use names and photos of prominent academics without their permission.
The further checks you can make are similar to those for predatory publishers outlined on Think Check Submit. Signs that should concern you include:
What you can do:
Think. Check. Attend. is a useful 3-step approach to encouraging academics to ‘Think’ about the problem posed by predatory or substandard conferences, ‘Check’ the conference against a set of criteria designed to highlight attributes of good and bad quality conferences, and ‘Attend’ only if the conference adheres to the criteria consistent with a legitimate conference. It includes guidelines and a conference checker tool.