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Support for Authors: Journal Selection for Manuscript Submission

Please note, this guide is currently a work in progress.

What do most people want from a journal?

a) Visibility, Reach, and Impact: 
For a lot of people from the target audience to read it, incorporate it into their research/practice, and cite it.


b) Quality, Rigor, and Professionalism: 
For the journal editors and reviewers to follow a high standard as they steward this work to publication and beyond.

c) Beliefs, Values, and Preferences: 
For the journal publisher to understand and/or share the author's (and their institution's/funder’s) core values/beliefs.

Q1: Where is this journal indexed?

  • PubMed – NLM Journal Catalog
    Use this tool to verify to what extent the content of a journal is indexed in PubMed and in MEDLINE.

  • Ulrichsweb
    Use this tool to see what other databases may index a particular journal.

  • PubsHub
    This tool includes information about indexing in PubMed/MEDLINE, among many other data elements related to the journal.

Q2: How does this journal compare to others?

Read the MSK Library Blog post: Tools for Ranking Journals by Impact


CWTS Journal Indicators
The Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) of Leiden University has created a journal indicator called the source-normalized impact per paper (SNIP). This indicator is a significant improvement it Journal Citation Reports impact factors. 

Eigenfactor analysis
The Eigenfactor score is intended to measure the importance to the scientific community by considering the origin of the incoming citations. Citations from more significant journals will result in a higher Eigenfactor score. 

SCImago Journal and Country Rankings
Ranks journals according to the  SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) indicator, another impact metric that is also included in Scopus.

Scopus Journal Analyzer
Select up to 10 sources to compare.

Q3: Where can I find other practical information? (eg. Is this journal... or Does this journal....)


Covers a large number of biomedical journals and provides information including journal impact factors, circulation numbers, acceptance rates, publication turnaround times, and links to author guidelines. 

Listing of open access scholarly journals in all academic subjects, including health sciences and medicine. 

Provides links to websites outlining instructions to authors for over 6,000 journals in the health and life sciences.

A high rate of retractions could flag a problem with proper vetting & quality control. Some publishers even use things like plagiarism detection software before a manuscript is published to lower their risk.


Q5: Can I trust this journal publisher? (ie. Is this a "reputable" journal?)

Further Reading

How to Select a Journal to Submit and Publish Your Biomedical Paper 
Bioimpacts 2012;2(10):61-8 (an open access article)
Presents a collection of the main criteria biomedical researchers use to select a journal to submit their work.

Gail M. Sullivan; What to Do When Your Paper Is Rejected. J Grad Med Educ 1 March 2015; 7 (1): 1–3. doi:

Questions to guide the journal selection process:

Find links to useful library resources that will help you find the answers to these questions by scrolling through this LibGuide page. For more a more detailed discussion related to each of these questions and related topics, be sure to check out the articles (from the MSK Library's Blog) listed below. New articles will be added on a regular basis.

Q1: Where is this journal indexed?

Read MSK Library Blog post: 

Checking to What Extent PubMed and MEDLINE Index a Journal

Author Names: Manuscript Submission & PubMed Indexing

Preprints and PubMed Version Control

Q2: How does this journal compare to others?

Read MSK Library Blog post: 

Tools for Ranking Journals by Impact

Q3: Where can I find other practical information?

Read MSK Library Blog posts: 

Retractions: What MSK Authors Need to Know

Preprints: Latest News & Useful Tips

Interim Research Products

Q4: How can I get journal contender suggestions?

Read MSK Library Blog post: 

Journal/Manuscript Matching Tools

Q5: Can I trust this journal publisher? (ie. Is this a "reputable" journal?)