How to Select the Most Appropriate Journal for Your Paper
Philip J. Thompson, MD
Editor in Chief, Respirology
Professor, The Lung Institute of Western Australia & Centre for Asthma, Allergy and Respiratory Research, University of Western Australia, Nedlands, Australia
Choosing the right journal will depend upon why you wish to publish in conjunction with the nature and quality of your work and will reflect your awareness of what journals are available and the topicality, quality and performance of those journals.
Why you want to publish may reflect a desire: to communicate world wide your discoveries to help advance human knowledge; to obtain good peer review of your work; to stimulate networking with other like minded investigators; to help obtain funding; to assist your career/promotion; or some combination of the above.
The target audience and prestige of the Journal will influence its content and standards. Do you wish to publish in a general topic based journal or alternatively one with a specialised readership? Is your work relevant to an international audience or is it more regionally orientated? The nature, standard and depth of your work as well as your aspirations will need to match the status and standing of the journal. The qualities of the Journal will be reflected in a number of dimensions, including its: impact factor; prestige; ease of submission; review process efficiency; quality of the review (constructive criticism); costs to authors; timeliness of publication (written or electronic) and the quality of the technical and layout aspects of the publication.
Other factors that may play a role relate to a Journals visibility, the development of some rapport with a particular journal or Editor and a desire to support a particular organisation that is associated with the Journal. For new authors it is important to discuss with peers and mentors, to read the instructions to authors and to read articles in the Journal you are selecting before committing to a particular journal. Periodically it is sensible for all authors to consider widening the Journals they associate with but counterbalancing this is the risk of highly specialised journals becoming unsustainable. However in the end you should choose the highest quality journal in the context of your work and try to tailor you future work to the standards they are setting.