While trying to select the journals I can submit my present work and future work, I realize the time between the date the authors send the article to the journal and when the revised article is submitted. Usually this is something between 6 months and more than 12 months.

Althought I am focusing on the Impact Factor (IF) to select journals, I think that 12 months to have a feedback that might include "add more variables analysis","this article will be more valuable if you test also model x,y and z", can have a huge impact on you work. It will make you stop what you are currently doing and possible spend up to 2 months making the changes. This might make a big mess on your work if you have deadlines to respect, however this happens to everyone in academia.

My question is, besides the IF journal based selection, how can we select a journal with enought quality with lower IF? What alternative criteria should one use to select the journal? Should we choose newly created Journals?

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    You might want to clarify what you are asking here; are you asking for alternative criteria for choosing journals, or whether or pros/cons of publishing in new-founded journals?
    – posdef
    May 29, 2013 at 8:02

3 Answers 3


I largely prefer to talk with people about what they think of the various journals, see who is in the editorial board, and look at what they publish to determine which journals I consider as good. IF can be very biased even at the scale of a journal (Chaos, Soliton and Fractals had a pretty decent IF...)

Other criteria include price and politics of the publisher (e.g. see the cost of knowledge pledge and the blog posts around it), quality of the publishers work (do you have to check proofs in three days with no indication of what has been changed in your paper?), dissemination (is the journal subscribed by a lot of libraries? is it open access? Is it read by many people?), editorial standards (ranges from "any editor do what she wants and takes decisions alone" to "all the editorial board must approve a paper for it to be published, and the name of the handling editor appears on the paper"). All of them may be difficult to determine, that is why talking with other people in your field about journals is important.

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    ...and: does it allow posting preprint on arXiv (see site with journal statuses: sherpa.ac.uk/romeo). May 30, 2013 at 15:57
  • @PiotrMigdal ArXiv is limited to a smaller set of disciplines but the Romeo link is very useful, thanks!
    – tripleee
    Aug 29, 2014 at 6:40

Sadly, the published times between when a paper is submitted, revised and published should be taken with a pinch of salt. Some journals these days have changed the review process so that there is no longer a "revise and resubmit" option, and instead the paper is rejected but with an encouragement to resubmit a revised manuscript as a new paper. This means the "submitted" date on the published paper is the date of the submission of the accepted version, not the initial submission of the paper. I personally think this is unethical and no longer review for journals that have this policy as I think it is unfair on the authors, firstly because it deceives them into thinking the journal has a more rapid review process than it actually does, but more importantly because it deprives the authors on priority on their discovery.

So as well as IF, I would say that the review process is a factor to consider.

A good way to choose a journal is to see where the leading figures in your field publish their papers.


Many good suggestions have been given in the answers by Benoît Kloeckner and Dikran Marsupial. I would like to add to these answers by including the following.

Most journals are fairly specialized. The impact factor (IF) tells us how much a given paper published in a specific is referenced on average. So although it may be important to publish in high IF journals it is also (I would say more) important to make sure the paper is seen and read. A high IF journal ensures that this happens to some extent. But, sometimes ones subdiscipline is poorly represented in such a journal and it may turn out that a lower ranked journal may be the major outlet for papers in the discipline. Knowing where people publish their papers is therefore a good guide to the palette or possiblities.

Therefore, take a careful look at where papers you refer to are published and try to assess where your "audience" is likely to look. Such journals are also likely to provide very good insightful reviews. So when you look at journals try to look at your possibilities from all directions and assess the best journal based on all of the suggestions made in the answers here.


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