Deciding Where to Submit Your Work

Where to start:

  • Look at your list of references! Journals you've cited in your work might be good places to submit.
  • Search for articles on your topic in a subject-specific database, and make note of what journals appear frequently in your search results.
  • Ask your subject librarian! They can help you find good quality journals that are relevant to your research area.
  • If you've received an e-mail inviting you to submit your article to a journal, check the "What is a Predatory Publisher?" tab of this guide for help determining if the publisher is legitimate.

Next steps:

  • Visit the journals' websites to review:
    • Scope (topics in which they are willing to accept submissions)
    • Author guidelines (formatting of manuscripts/illustrations/reference lists and other requirements for submission)
    • Turnaround time (how long it takes from submitting an article to receiving a decision)
  • Prioritize your list. Most journals do not want to review submissions that are also under consideration elsewhere, so you will need to wait to receive a response from Journal #1 before submitting to Journal #2 and so on.
  • Visit for more guidance on assessing journal quality. poster and button

Conference or Journal?

In some disciplines, like computer science and engineering, it is more common for researchers to submit papers to be presented at a conference than to submit an article to a journal.

Recommended reading:

Where to publish your research?

These resources will help you identify potential journals to publish in

Is this journal publisher trustworthy?

Signs a journal or publisher might be deceptive or predatory include:

  1. The journal is not listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ).
  2. The journal is not listed in the Ulrichs directory. It is not included in one or more major indexes.
  3. The publisher is not a member of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA).

Visit the website for the journal.  You might have concerns if...

  1. You don't regularly read this journal.
  2. You don't recognize previously published authors. You don't recognize the members of the editorial board, or there is no editorial board listed.
  3. It does not appear to be affiliated with a university, scholarly society, or commercial publisher you are familiar with. It is vague about what country it's based in.
  4. You cannot easily identify if they have article processing fees and/or how much they cost.
  5. The journal does not appear professional—look for an impact factor, an ISSN, DOIs for individual articles, easy to find contact information.

Visit for more guidance on assessing journal quality.

Subscription vs. Open-Access Journals

Open-access journals differ from subscription-based journals in that their content is free for everyone to read.

There are two main models for open access publishing: green open access and gold open access

The gold open access model is centered on publication in an open access journal or a hybrid journal. In either case, the authors will likely have to pay an Article Processing Charge (APC) to the journal for publication. Hybrid journals are subscription journals which offer authors the option to make their article open access along the same lines as the gold open access model.

Read more about APCs and library support for open access publishing

The green open access model requires additional work on the part of authors, who must identify a subscription based journal which grants them the right to deposit their manuscript in an online repository. Learn more about different open access models and their implications for your research.

Legitimate open-access journals follow the same standards for rigorous publishing that traditional subscription-based scholarly journals do. Their inclusion in a subject-based literature index like Chemical Abstracts or a directory with strong inclusion criteria like the Directory of Open Access Journals means that they have been reviewed by experts and judged worthy. These journals will be transparent on their websites about their editorial oversight, affiliations, selection criteria, peer review process, and any charges to authors.

While some open access journals have questionable practices (see the "Predatory Publishers and Deceptive Publishing Practices" tab for more), open access publishing should not be regarded as inferior to traditional subscription-based journals.

Recommended reading:

What is an ORCID?

...And why should you have one?

An ORCID is a unique identifier assigned to an author, like a Social Security Number. It's a way of distinguishing between authors with similar names, and determining if two different versions of a name actually belong to the same author (eg. if a name changes due to marriage).

Publishers are starting to require that authors include their ORCID or sign up for one during the submission process. Why not create your ORCID now?