Choose your journal

Although many researchers start to choose the journal after finishing the manuscript, it is highly recommended to select the journal before starting to write and adapt the structure, content, writing style, language and length of the manuscript to the target journal’s editorial standards. The journal you choose to submit to can make a significant difference to your paper getting to the peer review stage or publication and, subsequently, the impact your work may have in your specialist area.

The most common reasons for papers to be immediately rejected on submission are that they fall outside the journal’s aims and scope or fail to comply with the instructions for author guidelines. Understanding what journals want to publish and whether your paper matches their editorial goals and requirements is key to successful submissions.

There are several details to consider and investigate in your journals of interest to help guide your choices and increase the chances of getting to peer review.

This section details some of the common characteristics of journals that may inform your decision on where to submit and guide you to the most appropriate and effective choices. Over time you may build up a list of journals within your specialist area that are most relevant to your work, and become familiar with their specific requirements. Your submission might not get accepted by your first choice journal, but careful choice will help avoid the common frustration and disappointment of immediate rejection.