How to select a journal
Impact Factor (IF) : based on the number of citations the articles of the journal have received on a given period (2 or 5 years).
CiteScore : similar to the Impact Factor, but used for Scopus (Elsevier). IF can only be used by Thomson Reuters.
Eigenfactor : take into account the journals on the WoS (period : 5 years), but also care about the citation habits of the different disciplines.
Sources : where can I get the information?
Journal Citations Report (JCR) based on the Web of Science database, you can see the IF or Eigenfactor of each journal, among others;
Scimago Journal & Country Rank (SJR) : based on the Scopus database, you can check the SJR indicator, the H-index and many others;
If you wish to publish in an Open Access Journal, you can check the Directory of Open Access Journal (DOAJ), which indexes journals with a peer-review committee. You can learn more about Open Access on our page What is Open Access?
Some editors take advantage of the movement towards Open Access. Their predatory journals ask you to pay fees but do not provide any of the services requested to be a good quality journal (e.g. no peer-reviewing, or of poor quality). They are difficult to spot: their website might give an Impact Factor or mention real researchers as members of their committees (but these researchers do not know they are mentioned !). Here are some tips to avoid them:
- You are contacted by email. Their address if often non-professional (e.g. gmail);
- They praise your work highly;
- They say you'll be published very quickly;
- Fees are very low or, on the opposite, very high, according to your discipline
If you still have doubts, you can :
- Check the Impact Factor they announce on Journal Citation Reports;
- Check if they appear on Stop Predatory Journals list. Same for publishers;
- Consult lists of good quality journals, such as the DOAJ:
- Ask them specific questions about their committee or the fees;
- Ask your coworkers' opinion or discuss it with your laboratory referent
Already sent your article to them ?
Ask your coworkers for advice or go see your laboratory referent
About hybrid journals
Some journals, basically non-Open Access, accept to publish your article in Open Access if you pay fees. This means your institution will pay the fees AND the subscription to access the other articles.
We strongly advice you not to publish in hybrid journals. We would recommend to publish in a full Open Access journal, or in a "normal" journal and to deposit your post-print (the version accepted for publication before it is formatted) on a green Open Access repository such as HAL.