Author Archives: Miriam Ndungu

How do you decide the best journal for your research?

Looking for a journal to publish in is pretty much like window shopping for an item you want to purchase. As you window shop for your publishing options, here are some highlights of the process of identifying the best fit;
Information about the journal is found on the respective journal websites. Some of the issues you need to look out for are;

1. What are the journal’s aims and scope?
2. What type of papers does the journal publish? Are they empirical studies, original research, reviews or case studies?
3. What are the article processing charges? Do they have waivers for developing countries?
4. What are the publication timelines- response time, peer review, early cite?, how many issues a year?
5. What is the acceptance rate? Though this should not discourage you, it gives you a realistic idea of the probability that your paper will be accepted.
5. For maximum visibility verify if the journal is indexed in Scopus, Web of Science, Scimago, Google Scholar
6. Review sample papers from the journal to confirm if your paper is aligned in terms of for example writing style, general structural format, language and focus.

Nb: Verify claims that are made on the journal website to avoid falling prey to fraudulent journals. We will look at how to identify these predatory journals in our next write up.

Publishing in the right journal

The decision on where to publish your research is a critical one. Having invested so much in your research, you need to publish in a journal that will present your research in the best way possible and reach the right target audience. The choice of journal may also affect career advancement, professional reputation, and funding opportunities. How then do you make this all important decision? Here are some tips;

  1. If you opt for open access publishing, the Directory of Open Access Journals is a useful guide
  2. The SCImago Journal & Country Rank portal will aid you in selecting a journal on your subject as well as give you the impact factor of the journal
  3. Some publishers make the process easier by providing a platform which can recommend a journal based on your title and abstract. Some of these are;
    a. Springer Journal Suggester
    b. Wiley Journal Finder
    c. Elsevier Journal Finder
    d. IEEE Publication Recommender

Most of the journal suggesters give you important journal information such as Journal impact factor, publication timelines and acceptance rate.This information will aid in making an informed decision

Impact of journal choice on your citation count

We looked at basic tips on optimizing the impact of your research here. Still on the subject of visibility of your research, the choice of journal you publish in needs careful attention. Here are factors to consider;

  1. The most basic question to consider is if the journal is available online. Publishing in a print only journal will greatly limit access and visibility of your research.
  2. Publish in an open access journal. Directory of Open Access Journals is a good place to help in identifying authentic and authoritative open access journals. Browse by subject to get an idea of the journals that are available on your subject.
  3. Choose a journal that KU has subscribed This means that any staff or student in any university in Kenya is able to access the full text of your work hence increasing the chances of being cited.
  4. Target a journal with a high impact factor. The SCImago Journal & Country Rank portal is an authoritative source of information on journal impact factor. The portal can also help in identifying a journal you can publish in.
  5. Target a journal with high visibility. The most basic indexing site you should check on is Google Scholar. To check if the journal is indexed by Google scholar, search for it here. It is also important to find out if it is indexed in electronic databases. It would be even better if it is indexed in subject specific electronic databases in your discipline.

NB: Some journals are now fraudulently claiming to be indexed by different indexing sites. Confirm and verify by searching for the journal on the sites.

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