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Online Journal Selection Tools

Choosing the right journal for your research manuscript is a crucial step in the publication process. There are many factors to consider such as scope of study, type of study, type of article, journal audience, indexing, impact factor, processing timeframe, accessibility, and fees. Several online tools have been developed to help researchers with this task. The following is a brief summary of some of the currently available tools; this list is not exhaustive, and is not in any particular order.

JournalGuide is a freely accessible tool developed and funded by Research Square that allows researchers to evaluate scholarly journals, mainly in the biomedical field. It allows 4 search options: by paper match (title, abstract, keywords), by journal name or ISSN, by publisher, and by category. Further filtering options include open access features. Researchers can then simultaneously compare up to 3 journals to assess impact, accessibility, timeframes, and any fees. JournalGuide currently includes over 46,000 titles with updates from industry data sets, public resources, journals, and authors.

Elsevier Journal Finder uses smart search technology and field-of-research specific vocabularies to match your manuscript (title and abstract) to over 2200 Elsevier journals. The information provided includes details on impact factor, manuscript processing timeframes, acceptance/rejection rates, and production times. You can filter the search by fields of research, and also limit to journals with open access options.

Springer Journal Selector uses semantic technology to facilitate searching of the 2600 plus Springer publications by matching your abstract or article description. Your search can be further filtered by impact factor, and by the publishing model; e.g., fully open access.

Edanz Journal Selector is a search engine affiliated with Springer, the American Institute of Physics, and BioMed Central, and includes over 28,000 journal titles, and 7.5 million abstracts. Search criteria include journal name, publisher, field of study, key words, and ISSN. Entering the abstract or keywords will select journals that have previously published on similar topics. This search can then be further filtered by impact factor and publishing frequency.

Cofactor Journal Selector is a journal comparison tool that allows you to select journals without supplying any text, such as the title, or abstract. They offer a number of drop down options including subject area (e.g. article subject, target audience), peer review process (e.g. conventional or post-publication, single or double blind), open access options (e.g. fully open access or hybrid, creative commons license, and fee levels), speed (e.g. editorial decision, and time to publish), and other items such as impact factor, provision of journal metrics, and inclusion in CrossMark. Based upon your selections the search will provide a list of journals that best fits your specified criteria.

Scientific Journal Finder (SJFinder) is a cloud based service that utilizes MEDLINE/PubMed, and the Solr platform to provide a search engine that can recommend a list of suitable journals based upon the title and abstract of an unpublished manuscript. The recommendation provides information on publication frequency, SCImago Journal Rank (SJR indicator), and open access options.

Journal/Author Name Estimator (JANE) allows you to enter the title and/or abstract, or even keywords, of your manuscript and then click to find a journal, authors, or articles. Using this method, JANE helps you find relevant citations, potential co-authors, peer reviewers, as well as a target journal. JANE utilizes MEDLINE records that include an abstract and published in the last 10 years to find the best match. It first selects the 50 most similar papers, and calculates a similarity score. Similarity scores from the same journal or author are then combined to calculate a confidence score for that particular author or journal.

JournalReviewer is an independent site that collects information provided by users/authors about their personal experience with academic journals’ review processes. The information includes details of time under review, number of reviewers, length of reviews, usefulness of feedback, and other details about the review experience that you might not be able to find on the journal website. They currently include 788 journals in the database, with 226 reports submitted.

Journalysis is described as a free service for academic authors run by academic authors reviewing experiences with academic journals. They offer advice and support to aid in the journal selection decision-making process. They hold extensive lists of academic journals, with summary information including impact factors and publisher details. Authors submit comments to share their experiences with a journal, and Journalysis collects and summarizes all the relevant information in one place.

SciRev is described as a website made by researchers for researchers. Their aim is to make the scientific review process more transparent. Researchers can choose a journal depending on the reviewing time frame, and editors can compare their performance to other similar journals. Researchers submit information, and this is translated into scores. Journal scores can then be compared for criteria including duration of first review time, total manuscript handling time, immediate rejection time, and an overall rating of the review experience. Journal editors are also encouraged to submit specific information about their journal.

The goal of any selection tool is to help an author choose the right journal for their specific paper. Authors have a large number of journals to choose from with many similar features and often little specific information on details such as manuscript processing times, and the peer review process. It is often a balance between finding an affordable prestigious journal that will best help you reach your target audience, offer the exposure you need, and facilitate easy and relatively speedy submission, processing, and publishing.

Have you come across a useful tool that you would like to share? Please let us know in the comments section below.

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