Selecting the Perfect Journal – What to Look For

By Marissa Massare on Jul 19, 2021
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With so many journals and publishers in the academic community, choosing the right one can be quite the daunting task, especially when looking beyond just topic coverage and scope. Factoring in things like acceptance rates, publishing models, turnaround times, peer review, among many other important elements means an exhaustive list to sort through. Then add in the threat of predatory publishers and publications seeking to make a quick buck through unethical practices and you have a perfect storm of complication and confusion.
Looking at more than just subject coverage in the age of predatory publishing is a big factor when selecting the right journal, especially when planning to publish under open access. Predatory publishers exist and it is important that researchers supply themselves with criteria to use when deciding which open access journal to submit their work to.
Warning Signs That an Open Access Publication Could be Predatory:
  • The Article Processing Charge (APC) is requested before the peer review
  • The submitted manuscript is guaranteed to be accepted and published if the APC payment is received.
  • The journal does not list an editorial board.
  • The journal does not transparently display an OA or ethics policy, licensing agreement, or APC.
  • The journal does not list its peer review process.
  • The journal does not carry a legitimate ISSN. (Note: ISSNs can be checked here).
  • There is no contact information for either the editor(s)-in-chief of the journal or the publisher.
  • The reason for any waiver of the APC is not clearly identified nor linked to a funding body.
Signs That a Journal is Legitimate:
  • The publisher partners with well-known ethical organizations (i.e., Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA), etc.).
  • The journal has a legitimate ISSN. (Note: ISSNs can be checked here).
  • The journal is indexed in established and credible indices, directories, and abstracting lists which can include Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), Web of Science, Scopus, Inspec, Cabells, etc.
  • The journal has transparent policies and a robust peer review process.
  • All publishing fees and APCs are clearly stated with absolutely NO correlation between the APC being paid by the author and the results of review process outcomes.
  • The journal has a clearly defined editorial board.
  • The editor(s)-in-chief of the journal have legitimate academic and professional expertise and their contact information is displayed on the journal’s webpage.
Besides the warning signs to avoid predatory publishing acts, it is also important for researchers to consider the overall quality of their manuscript prior to submission to ensure that it has the best chance of being accepted. It is often that a manuscript can align perfectly with the journal’s scope and coverage, but due to negligent editorial mistakes, it is rejected.
IGI Global offers a plethora of author services through its partnership with eContent Pro International – specifically English language copy editing and proofreading, scientific and scholarly editing, typesetting, translation, and figure, table, chart, and equation conversions. By utilizing these services, authors have a higher chance of having their manuscript accepted by the journal of their choice.
Because IGI Global partners with eContent Pro International, for any author that has their work improved through the use of the author services, they can have the amount paid for such services deducted from the open access APC should they opt to proceed with publishing under OA in any IGI Global journal. With more than 173 journals, a blend of both hybrid and gold open access, IGI Global has an abundance of options for authors to choose from when trying to determine a credible publication outlet for their research. IGI Global’s journals, which offer coverage across a multitude of subject areas, such as education, environment and agriculture, business management, computer science, information technology, media and communications, healthcare, and engineering, are sure to find a fit for everyone.
To browse all IGI Global journals, please visit IGI Global’s journal webpage.
All journal calls for papers can be viewed here.
For inquiries regarding OA publishing, please contact IGI Global’s Open Access Division at We would be more than happy to recommend a suitable IGI Global journal for your research!
About IGI Global

Founded in 1988, IGI Global, an international academic publisher, is committed to producing the highest quality research (as an active full member of the Committee on Publication Ethics “COPE”) and ensuring the timely dissemination of innovative research findings through an expeditious and technologically advanced publishing process. Through their commitment to supporting the research community ahead of profitability, and taking a chance on virtually untapped topic coverage, IGI Global has been able to collaborate with over 100,000+ researchers from some of the most prominent research institutions around the world to publish the most emerging, peer-reviewed research across 350+ topics in 11 subject areas including business, computer science, education, engineering, social sciences, and more. To learn more about IGI Global, click here.

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A very good article!