1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

How does one decide on a journal?

  1. Jun 25, 2007 #1
    How is it decided which journal a piece of research is to be sent to for publication? Naturally the journal must be relevant to the area of the research, but there are numerous journals who tend to operate either nationally or internationally with overlapping areas of interest. Is it simply whichever journal the researcher feels is most likely to be interested?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 25, 2007 #2
    It is mainly what journal is most appropriate for that specific research. In addition, there are journals are used more by Russian or European or American physicists. Specifically, nuclear physicists from the US typically publish in PRC, while European nuclear physicists typically publish in the journals Nuclear Physics A or Nuclear Physics B.

    You always try to get your article published in the journal that is interested in your research which has the highest impact factor- which is some kind of measure how well cited the journal is.
  4. Jun 26, 2007 #3
    Ah ok, so it's a balance between the desire to get your research seen, and a realistic appraisal of how interesting it actually is - and up to the submitter to decide on the most widely-known journal that has a likelihood of publishing you.

    Are submissions ever/often refused flat out on grounds of space?
  5. Jun 26, 2007 #4
    Some journals have max length criteria (don't know if that is what you mean by space). But, typically the submission process takes some time and they will fit your article in soon after it is accepted for publication.

    I have never heard anyone being rejected on the grounds of "Sorry, all filled up- no more room in the journal."
  6. Jun 26, 2007 #5


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    This is why you need either a mentor or a supervisor who understands not only the technical aspect of the subject matter, but also the "politics" of the system. One tends to start learning and have a feel for it after one is in the field for a while, but before that, a consultation with someone in the same field is the most appropriate thing to do.

    Journals such as Science, Nature, and even PRL require a paper that has a significant and extraordinary impact, even beyond the narrow field of study of that area (this is true for Science and Nature). So unless your work has that caliber, your manuscript will not even make it pass the editors who, I think, reject more than half of the submission even before they get to the referees.

    Even for specialized journals, you still need to know or have a feel for what level of importance they would want. I have submitted papers to Phys. Rev. B, and often, they were sent to 3 referees, which is a common number for PRL, Nature, and Science. Yet, it has almost the same degree of scrutiny as the other more "prestigious" journals.

    The best thing you can do is familiarize yourself with the journals that you wish to submit to. Check if they have published topics in your area, and if the caliber is of the same as what you will be reporting. You want a journal that people in your area are most familiar with and cited often.

Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook