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Research Support: Choosing Your Journal

SETU Carlow Library's guide to assist researchers with all aspects of the research process from finding information to maximising impact.


The scope of the journal is probably the most important consideration when you are trying to decide on which journal to target for your journal article. It is obviously very important to choose a journal that is interested in the type of research that the you wish to publish.

Other considerations include the members of the editorial board, the peer-review system the journal operates and the average waiting time from submission to publication.

You should also consult with colleagues and investigate what journals your peers are publishing in, before selecting a journal to submit your article to.

Impact factor metrics are a useful guide to help authors to select high impact journals in their field.

Tools to Help You Select a Suitable Journal for Your Manuscript

There are a number of different online tools that will suggest possible journals to submit an article to based on the abstract, title and/or keywords.

The analyse results tools in Web of Science can also be used to find appropriate journals for your article (see the box below for a detailed methodology).

These tools can be useful but you will still need to check out the journal's scope and ranking(s) yourself before you submit your manuscript.

Finding suitable journals using Web of Science "analyse results" tool

The following method will show you how to use Web of Science to find journals that may be suitable to submit your article to:

  1. Go to Web of Science (
  2. Search for the topic of interest in the default Basic Search box in the field Topic and limit the search under Timespan for recent years (e.g. from 2010 to 2019).
  3. In the results page, click on the Analyze Results button in the top right corner of the screen.
  4. In the left hand navigation panel select Source Titles and then scroll down to the list of journal titles which will be sorted by record count.
  5. Click on the tick box to the left of one of the journals that interests you then click on "View Selected" at the bottom of the page.
  6. Go to one of the articles and click on the hyperlinked name of the journal. A box will appear which will give details of the journal including the Web of Science categories and Journal Impact Factor quartiles that it belongs to. (If the journal name is not hyperlinked the article may be from a conference or edited book).
  7. Repeat step 6 for each journal you are interested in.