How to...
Publish a journal article

Find out how to submit to a journal with our quick three-step guide. 

1. Choose the right journal for your work

Choosing a journal to publish in is an investment decision. A good choice can enhance the impact of your work and your reputation. Factors to consider are relevant readership, recent articles, societies and internationality, the likelihood of acceptance, circulation, and time from submission to publication.

There are two main things to consider here:

  1. What are the journals in your subject area?
  2. How can you best reach your audience and achieve your publishing objectives?

You can find out in a number of ways:

  • discussing with colleagues
  • checking with your professional association(s)
  • checking online journal listings.

Then consider:

  • What is the perception of the journal by your peers: how often do they read, browse, and consult it?
  • What is your own perception of the journal: how often do you read, browse, and consult it?
  • How often have you seen it cited?

And a final few pointers:

  • What type of paper are you planning to write i.e. practice paper, research paper, case study, review, viewpoint? Check first what type of paper the journal accepts.
  • Do you have an open access mandate?
  • Measuring quality – are rankings important to you? The Impact Factor is the most well-known ranking, but others exist. Citations are a good, but not a complete guide to quality. Consider a full range of impact metrics: Impact Factor, Scopus and CiteScore, H-index, Google Scholar, Altmetrics, usage and peer perception.

You must submit your article to one journal only. First, see the list of journals by subject area. From this list, you can go to the homepage of any journal to find if it is the right one for your article.

2. Send any questions to the right person

If you have questions about the journal (e.g. impact factor or time to publication), all contact details are on the Editorial Team link on the journal's home page.

The content editor will be able to answer your questions regarding getting our paper published, e.g.:

  • time to publication
  • time to review
  • using Manuscript Central to submit and track the progress of your paper.

The publisher will be able to answer your questions regarding the journal's vision, scope and quality indices, e.g.:

  • impact factor
  • where the journal is abstracted and indexed
  • scope and objectives of the journal.

Don't forget that you can always e-mail an editor outlining your proposed article (sending just the abstract, not the whole paper) to see whether they think your article is suitable; they are usually more than willing to offer advice and will often suggest an alternative journal if they feel their journal is not the best one for your article.

3. Submit your article

Every journal homepage has a link to 'Author guidelines'. Every journal has different guidelines. This is where you will find details of how to submit, and what to submit, to the journal.

Follow these author guidelines carefully. If you do not, you will increase the chances that your article will not be accepted.