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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.

Where to Publish: Finding the Journal

There are several types of journal finders:
Scopus - search it on your topic then click on Analyze Search Results and on the next screen click on the "card" that says Document per  year by source. A list of journal titles will be on the left.

Web of Science  - search it on your topic, then click on Analyze Results at the top right of the results list.  At the next screen, select Publication Titles. 

Elsevier Journal Finder
 - search for a specific journal or subject keyword or match your abstract to a list of Elsevier's titles.

Wiley's Journal Finder - search for a specific journal or match your title/abstract to one of Wiley's titles.

JANE: Journal / Author Name Estimator - search by keyword or enter your title or abstract of your paper. JANE will then compare your document to millions of documents in PubMed and the Directory of Open Access Journals.

JournalGuide - search for free by journal name, category or publisher as well as by entering your title or abstract. By matching journals to a manuscript's content, researchers can see which journals would be most likely to have interest in their manuscript.

Open Journal Matcher - a tool that 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. 

Case Reports - a list of journals that accept case reports, compiled by the Open Science Framework. Some guidelines for writing a case report.

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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