Consider a case of a new researcher that does not know well all possible journals and has no access to human advice (from colleagues). (please do not comment that this is the best - out of scope of the question!)

Or one journal rejected the paper and the author is looking for outside the box candidates.

Possible examples:

1. E.g., in medicine, one can use this tool (ETBLAST) by submitting full text of the article http://etest.vbi.vt.edu/etblast3/

Some journals even require top 3 similar papers (found by ETBLAST) to be pasted into a form during submission (making sure authors well addressed related literature).

2. Or Elsevier JournalFinder service.http://journalfinder.elsevier.com/

  • 9
    1. Read lots of papers. 2. Submit to journal containing the most articles you preferred.
    – user102
    Commented May 31, 2013 at 16:02
  • 13
    1. Read your own bibliography. 2. Submit to the journal you cited most often. (Presumably you read lots of papers before you wrote yours.)
    – JeffE
    Commented Jun 2, 2013 at 3:04
  • I don't fully agree with the above comments. I tend to cite lots of high impact journals but it doesn't imply that my work is that ground-breaking to be accepted by those. Better to be realistic and choose some less prestigious journal for a start.
    – Rabbit
    Commented Aug 6, 2013 at 20:32
  • 1
    Not applicable to your current situation, but note that it is often a good idea to decide the journal in advance. This allows you to structure the text as is usual in their articles and additionally stress some points that they seem to value in the text. This is particularly relevant for special issues. Commented Mar 7, 2014 at 9:34
  • 3
    I just tried Elsevier's tool, out of curiosity, and it returned "Journal of Archaelogical Science" and "Archives of Geriatrics and Gerontology" as two of the top five journals to submit an article about theoretical syntax. The moral of the story: check those suggestions with an actual human being that knows the field.
    – Koldito
    Commented Mar 7, 2014 at 11:19

2 Answers 2


You need to know your field. Part of knowing your field is reading lots of papers. This should give you an idea of what kinds of papers each of the major journals publishes, and what journal may be best suited to you. If you're a good researchers, you ought to already know what are the main journals that publish research in your area. If you don't already know that, then maybe you need to spend more time reading published work first.

In particular, the best way to figure out if a particular journal is a good fit for your paper is to read a bunch of papers published at that journal. That will give you a pretty good sense. You can use the "call for papers" as a further sanity check, but nothing substitutes for reading what else they have published.

There is no shortcut. If you are a knowledgeable about your field, a random webpage is not going to know your field better than you do. If you are not knowledgeable about your field, then the first thing you need to do is to fix that.


Presumably you have included references in your article! Just check which journals you tend to cite most (or at least twice each in your article). Those must be good and relevant enough (since you cite the work published there in the context of your own work). Then check their guidelines to be sure (possible length constraints, level of detail, etc.)

If you do not want to go to the most prestigious journals because you fear your work is not groundbreaking enough, or because you want an easy ride, or, as you said, because they rejected your article already, here is a relevant rule-of-thumb: do not publish in a journal which you would never cite for whatever reason.

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