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Publishing Your Research: Submitting Your Article

Guide to Getting Published

Managing Your Rights As An Author

You as the author or creator of an original work automatically have copyright for it, which gives exclusive control of how the work is reproduced, distributed or performed.

If you transfer copyright, you no longer have control of how your work is distributed or used. Consider which rights are truly necessary to grant the publisher and which rights you want to retain.

These rights affect the potential reach and impact of your work as well as your ability to use your own work, including whether you could legally distribute copies of your article to colleagues and students.

The author's agreement or a summary of the publisher's policies is often available on the publisher's web site or the web site for the journal. Be sure to read them and clarify the fine print!

Instructions for Authors

NIH Requirements

The National Institutes of Health requires that all investigators funded by NIH submit the final, peer-reviewed manuscript of any article accepted for publication to the National Library of Medicine’s full-text archive, PubMed Central, so that it is made freely and publicly available no later than 12 months after the official date of publication.

Who Publishes on My Topic? Where to Publish?

Web of Knowledge's Analyze Results tool can help you find which journals are publishing on your topic. 

Search Web of Science on your topic, then click on Analyze Results at the top right of the results list.  At the next screen, select Source Title and the number of titles you want to see.  The journals with the most citations matching your topic will then display.

JANE: Journal / Author Name Estimator:

Have you recently written a paper, but you're not sure to which journal you should submit it? Or maybe you want to find relevant articles to cite in your paper? Or are you an editor, and do you need to find reviewers for a particular paper? Jane can help!

Just enter the title and/or abstract of the paper in the box, and click on 'Find journals', 'Find authors' or 'Find Articles'. Jane will then compare your document to millions of documents in Medline to find the best matching journals, authors or articles.


JournalGuide is a free tool that helps researchers to evaluate scholarly journals. In addition to searching by journal name, category or publisher, authors can use the title and abstract of a paper to discover journals that have already published articles on similar topics. By matching journals to a paper’s content, researchers can see which journals would be most likely to have interest in their story.

Ulrich's Periodicals Directory

The Directory may be used to find information about a particular journal (is it refereed? who is the publisher?) as well as to identify journals that publish in specific subject areas. (Not available at WFU Libraries).

Elsevier Journal Finder

Look for a specific journal or match your abstract and/or keywords with to a list of Elsevier's numerous titles.

Open Journal Matcher

This tool compares the similarity of user-submitted abstracts with abstracts from the Directory of Open Access Journals, and provides a list of the 5 top matching journals. 

Where to Publish: Journal Impact Factors

Several instruments have been developed to statistically assess the quality of journals by their impact.

Google Scholar Metrics:   Google ranks journals based on 5-Index (5 year hindex) and h5-median.  Filters by broad subject area, e.g. Engineering and Computer Science and by language. 

Journal Citation Reports (JCR) provide data that helps you evaluate and compare scholarly journals in the sciences and social sciences based on citations in indexed articles to other articles in a particular journal. The journal impact factor is a measure of the frequency with which the "average article" in a journal has been cited in a particular year. The impact factor will help you evaluate a journal's relative importance, especially when you compare it to others in the same field.


Created as a competitor to JCR's Impact Factors, the Eigenfactor™ Score is a measure of the overall value provided by all of the articles published in a given journal in a year.  The Article Influence™ Score is a measure of a journal's prestige based on per article citations.  The site also evaluates the cost effectiveness of journals.

SCImago Journal Rank

The SJR is another competitor to JCR's Impact Factors, created from the Scopus database.  It expresses the average number of weighted citations received in the selected year by the documents published in the selected journal in the three previous years.

Understanding the Limitations of the Journal Impact Factor

An article explaining impact factors.  Kurmis, Andrew P., Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. American volume 2003, 85-A(12): 2449-2454.

Evaluating Potential Publishers

What Peer Review standards do they use? Check if the peer review guidelines are openly posted by the journal or contact the journal to ask for details about their peer review process.

Who is on the Editorial Board? Identify who is on the editorial board and check how qualified they are to review your work.

What is their acceptance procedure? How long did it take for the journal to accept your paper for publication?

Is the journal indexed? Is the journal indexed in major databases or index services, such as PubMed, Web of Science, PsycInfo, etc?

What is the journal’s publication history? Does the journal have a regular publication schedule? Look for how many issues are published per year, and for how many years.

Who are authors that have previously published in the journal? Check who the authors are that are submitting to the publication. Are they all from the same institution? Are there repeated authors or groups across a few issues, or one dominant author?

What is the quality of the articles in the journal? Read a few articles. Are they well-written, and/or provide data and a sound scientific method?

What university was the research affiliated with? Check that the author is affiliated with an institution or university that is reputable. Does the institution have a program or expertise in the field that is being written about?

What are the citation counts on some individual papers? Check the citation counts of several articles in the journal. Are these articles being cited by others in that field? 

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