VCU Libraries

Research Guides

How to identify a journal for publication

This guide describes some common considerations for authors as they identify journal options for article publication.

Article Considerations

Which journals are included in your article's references?

  • Review the citations in your articles to quickly identify journals that are a likely match in terms of scope.

What is the format of your article? 

  • Most journals publish original research articles or review articles. However, if you want to publish more specialized formats or research materials, such as datasets or research protocols, you will need to narrow your search.

Does your article have an interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary approach?

  • Finding a journal with a similar cross-disciplinary scope will help ensure you are reaching all of the audiences for your research. If you cannot find a journal with the right scope, consider ways you can share the article and your research across other disciplines.

Is the article the result of grant-funded research?

  • Be sure to check funder policies for any mandates on publishing and select a journal that will allow you to comply. For example, the NIH, NSF, and many other federal government agencies have public access mandates for articles resulting from grant-funded research.

Are you planning to publish research data associated with your article? 

  • To support research transparency and reproducibility, an increasing number of journals encourage or require authors to share data and other materials underlying their articles.