Why should one carefully choose journals before submitting a research paper?
Selecting the right journal is one of the most important steps in publishing your research. Often, the credibility of a research paper is judged by the journal it is published in. There are several other reasons that make selecting the right journal a task that needs to be carried out with great thought and caution. Some of these reasons are:
- The entire publication process from drafting the manuscript, submitting the manuscript, peer review of the manuscript, acceptance/rejection to final publication of the manuscript is very time consuming. The process of peer review itself takes several months. Additionally, it is unethical to submit your manuscript to more than one journal at a time. Also, most specialized and prestigious journals are highly selective about the papers they accept for publication. Therefore, if you select a journal which my take it ahead and send it for peer-review, following which it is rejected, it will waste several months of your time. Journal selection therefore needs to be carried out in a way that maximizes your chances of publication.
- Another menace that plagues the publication industry is the presence of predatory publishers. In a recent blacklist released by Cabell, the number of currently existing predatory publishers has touched 12,000. Sometimes, it gets very difficult to distinguish between a genuine and a predatory publisher. Therefore, careful selection of a journal is needed to filter out any predatory publishers.
There are several measures that you can take carefully select a journal. The Think Check Submit initiative helps authors select the right journal for their publishing requirements. Also, reviewing the scope and author guidelines of the target journal, identifying the target audience, seeking help from advisors/mentors/experts, and going through previous issues of the target journal reduces the chances of journal rejection. You can also access a detailed e-learning course on selecting the right journal for your manuscript here.