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AUTHOR'S ENGLISH WRTING GUIDE
How to select a journal for paper submission
Selecting a journal for paper submission is difficult and requires careful thought. The four main factors to consider when deciding on a journal are visibility, cost, prestige, and speed of publication. In addition, there are two main types of journals: traditional and open access. A final factor to consider is each journal’s Impact Factor.
Open Access or Traditional
Traditional journals require individuals or institutions to purchase a subscription to read the papers they publish. As their name suggests, open access journals do not require a subscription before papers published in those journals can be read.
As noted, traditional subscription journals are only accessible to individuals or institutions that maintain a subscription. Subscriptions can be expensive, and only large, well-funded institutions have subscriptions to a wide range of journals. This affects how many people will be able to access your paper, which translates into number of reads and citations, both of which are important metrics for a paper’s success.
Open access journals tend to charge large fees per paper submission, a cost that individuals, laboratories, and institutions must bear, but they publish on websites that permit wide accessibility by many scientists and laboratories. This can increase a paper’s visibility and citation rate if they are widely read in the relevant field (e.g., Artificial Intelligence, Neurology). Traditional journals rarely charge submission fees, though they may charge printing fees for manuscripts that include color figures or photographs.
Most traditional journals have more prestige than newer open access journals (i.e., Science, Nature, The New England Journal of Medicine). However, newer journals are thriving and publishing within them ensures a reasonable number of readers, which can translate into citations. This is why it is important to know what a journal’s Impact Score is. A higher impact score means the journal has a higher number of readers and paper citation rates compared to journals with lower Impact Scores.
Speed of publication
Open access journals often publish faster than traditional journals, whose review process may be longer. Always read a journal’s instructions and guides for authors. They will describe their review process and estimated time from submission to publication for successful manuscripts.
It is best for paper authors to work together to evaluate journals for paper submission by considering the above factors. Once you have narrowed your search, scan a number of issues from these candidate journals to be sure your work fits well within their publishing history.