Recently, I submitted a paper to a journal, attracted by its quick decision-making process. After submission, I realized it's ranked as a Q2 in its field. While I had made sure that the journal was indexed in SCI/SCIE, I didn't verify its quartile ranking initially.

Given the emphasis some institutions and colleagues place on publishing in high-impact or top-tier journals, I'm now contemplating the potential implications for my academic track record:

Will such a publication be viewed differently by hiring or tenure committees, grant reviewers, or other stakeholders in academia?

  • Is there any issue with the question? if possible please do comment also.
    – hanugm
    Aug 14, 2023 at 17:26
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    The issue with the question is that the answer is just ‘who knows? Maybe? It depends?’
    – user438383
    Aug 14, 2023 at 17:56
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    Note that "quick decision-making process" is positively correlated with a journal of questionable quality. Aug 15, 2023 at 7:16
  • Should be relatively harmless as long as you have high-quality articles on top of it, if necessary when submitting a CV you can just remove this one from the list anyway and have selected articles. Be warned in future that ''quick decision process'' is a red flag for a predator journal. How can you possibly guarantee quick peer review if the relevant expert might be on holiday for three weeks?
    – Tom
    Aug 15, 2023 at 9:26
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    Q1 or Q2 according to which metric and to whom? Today's Q2 journal may be tomorrow Q1 journal, and viceversa.
    – EarlGrey
    Aug 15, 2023 at 13:58

5 Answers 5


There's nothing wrong about a publication in a Q2 journal, and in itself it won't harm your track record at all. However of course Q1 journals are better, so if your work would've been acceptable at a higher level (of course we can't have any idea whether that would've been the case), it's a missed opportunity.


In my opinion Scimago journal ranking classification into Q1, Q2, Q3, and Q4 can not be a parameter always, for judging good journals. In my field, mathematics, i can list several prestigious journals which belongs SCI/SCIE indexing through Web of science collection, but unfortunately they belong to Q3 or even Q4 category. I believe during COVID pandemic, several journal didn't perform well or were not regular due to several issues. As a result citation and other things didn't go well, which is why they came to Q3, Q4 from Q1 or Q2. I published one article in a Q2 journal which became now Q3 journal. Ofcourse, there are other reasons. The upshot is that, Q3 or Q4 journal doesn't always mean low category journal. They still can be good journal. For example, American Math. Monthly belongs to Q3 category but it is a prestigious journal. There are many more.

  • I believe during COVID pandemic, several journal didn't perform well or were not regular due to several issues This is not science. Either provide some reason why they did not perform well, otherwise you are just doing some feel-good speculation.
    – EarlGrey
    Aug 15, 2023 at 13:38
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    @EarlGrey, I know a good mathematics journals(SCI/SCIE indexed) which didn't publish regular issues from 2020-2022, but now published those backlog and is in regular form in 2023. I don't want to expose the name of the journal here
    – learner
    Aug 15, 2023 at 16:46
  • Then it may have nothing to do with the pandemic and it may be just a temporal coincidence. It happened and I am quite sure it will happen again, with or without pandemic.
    – EarlGrey
    Aug 16, 2023 at 7:46
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    @EarlGrey, ofcourse there can be other reasons behind the backlog, as I don't know exact reasons. However, the pandemic affect can not be ruled out, as I personally suffered during pandemic.
    – learner
    Aug 16, 2023 at 10:55

The advice I got was not to publish in any journal that I don't regularly cite articles from. I don't think it really matters what the stats say - you presumably know the field you are in: if it's a journal that often publishes papers you find good, then it's going to be fine. (You could also withdraw the paper if it hasn't been accepted yet.)

Another wise piece of advice I was given was that it's not worth publishing things just to be published. At least in my humanities field, it's better to take the time to keep working on something until it's ready for the best possible journal rather than hurry it out. People know how long good research takes, so they won't judge you any worse for having fewer papers if all your papers are amazing - don't get tempted by quick turnaround promises to place your papers in lower tier journals but place your work in the best venues possible. That said, some top tier journals can be very efficient (it all depends on the field and the editors).

It's also surely going to depend on what other papers you have out - if you only publish in second-tier journals, that's going to give off a certain impression. If this is the only one out of a handful of papers that are in top-tier journals, noone will care. It also matters more at the beginning of your career.

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    In experimental fields, it's important to publish any results you have, even if they are not appropriate to the "best possible journal". Unfortunately, those best journals often will only take particularly groundbreaking or surprising work; this leads to publication bias, because null results are often not considered groundbreaking or surprising. That might mean that 20 people test different combinations of jelly beans, but only one of them finds something "worth" publishing, with a result that people reading the literature get the wrong idea about jelly beans.
    – Bryan Krause
    Aug 14, 2023 at 19:13
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    Ah, yes - of course. Thank you for that: I had forgotten to consider the experimental fields!
    – PFD
    Aug 14, 2023 at 19:21
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    Another wise piece of advice I was given was that it's not worth publishing things just to be published. -- In addition to what @Bryan Krause said, there are the (problematic, in my opinion) journal article requirements given in this Academia SE question that I read 5 minutes ago. Aug 15, 2023 at 13:24

This will vary depending on what the person finds valuable. For example, I only look for one or two top quality journal (conference) articles in which the person is the first author. This indicates to me that the researcher can perform at a high level. If a researcher can only publish in Q2 journals, then he/she has more to learn or located in a poor environment.

We all (hopefully) understand the 'pressure' to publish, and that there is a learning process and time before one can produce high quality work. This means if you are starting, a Q2 journal won't really hurt, assuming this trend doesn't continue.


Most of the time you are judged for the quality of the article or result, less of the journal or conference it got published. Unfortunately, researchers publish so much that instead of reading the papers, people have to rely on meta data like the prestige of the journal it was published in.

For publishing ask yourself, if a journal published articles relevant for your work and if your article would be interesting to its audience.

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    Most of the time you are judged for the quality of the article or result, less of the journal or conference it got published. this is a feel-good answer, it will receive a lot of positive votes, and unfortunately far from reality. However, in rare cases, if you have only 1 or 2 papers, the comitee reviewing your CV may go through your papers to see if they have any value. Please note that at the first sign of low quality (bad images, typos, sentences ending nowhere) the comitee will rapidly discard your profile. And these low quality signs are what makes papers rejected in "better" venues.
    – EarlGrey
    Aug 15, 2023 at 13:37
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    I second @EarlGrey regarding the "feel-good answer" point. When it comes to things that are really important careerwise (read: hiring for permanent positions) the hiring committee will most certainly look at the journal names but hardly at individual results. Aug 15, 2023 at 17:55

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