Analyze the text of your article with tools like JANE or Manuscript Matcher. These tools are quick and easy to use. Paste your text in the text box, and they will provide you with a list of relevant journals. Note: Manuscript Matcher requires an EndNote.com account. MD Anderson employees can create a free EndNote.com account when they are on an MD Anderson campus.
Ask colleagues if they recommend a specific journal in the subject area.
Browse the articles you are citing in your manuscript. If you are citing the same journal more than once, it may be worth investigating.
Review the author guidelines before submitting to a journal. The author guidelines will determine whether your manuscript is suitable for a specific journal. Author guidelines detail the types of articles accepted (reviews, case reports, original research, etc). Search for author instructions here.
Open access journals make your work freely and immediately available to readers. When you choose an open access journal, anyone, whoever they are, can read and access your work.
Open access journals require authors to pay an upfront fee to make the article publicly available. Many authors cover this fee through grant funding or departmental funds. The purpose of the fee is to cover the charges incurred when editing and formatting your paper.
There are a handful of questionable or predatory journals that will ask authors for a fee, but not provide editing or peer review services. Even though they will usually follow through with “publishing” your paper on their website, these papers will rarely end up in major databases like PubMed. This can damage the author’s reputation and affect their promotion and tenure process.
Impact factors are used to measure the importance of a journal by calculating the number of times selected articles are cited within the last few years. The higher the impact factor, the more highly ranked the journal. It is one tool you can use to compare journals in a subject category.
Impact factors are useful, but they should not be the only consideration when judging quality. Not all journals are tracked in the JCR database and, as a result, do not have impact factors. New journals must wait until they have a record of citations before even being considered for inclusion. The scientific worth of an individual article has nothing to do with the impact factor of a journal.
Most authors publishing in academic journals will be asked to sign a license when they publish that transfers copyright ownership to the publisher.
When MD Anderson authors are submitting a manuscript for possible publication, they should let the publisher know if their manuscript was funded in whole or in part by the NIH. This will prompt the publisher to either submit the article to PubMed Central on behalf of the author, or allow authors to submit a version of their manuscript after publication. Learn more about this here.
If you are publishing in an open-access journal the publisher may ask you to select a copyright license. Here are the most common options available:
CC BY-NC-ND (Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives) – This is the most common license used by open access journals. This license allows the author or public to copy, distribute, and transmit the article without permission, as long as the author and the source are cited. This license does not allow the published work to be used for commercial purposes, and no modifications to the original work are allowed.
CC BY-NC (Attribution-NonCommerical) – This license allows the author or public to copy, distribute, and transmit the article without permission, as long as the author and the source are cited, and it is not being used for commercial purposes. This license allows the author or reader to make modifications to the article.
CC BY-NC-SA (Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike) – This license allows users to copy, distribute, and transmit the article without permission, as long as the author and source are cited, and it is not being used for commercial purposes. Modifications to the article are allowed, but anyone who modifies the work must share it under the same license.
CC-BY (Attribution) – This is the least restrictive license, which allows any user to “distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work,” as long as the author and source are cited. This license allows for text mining and other automated processes. Any work with a CC-BY license can be used commercially or non-commercially.