Create a Journal Comparison Spreadsheet

We encourage all authors, whether new or experienced, to create a spreadsheet for recording journals, acting as a personalised index of potential titles relevant to your specialist subjects. We will call this your journal comparison spreadsheet.

Populate this spreadsheet of journal titles with a range of defining characteristics, information, scientific and editorially relevant details, to help you decide between them, depending on the requirements of any particular piece of research.

How does this help?

All authors may find this a valuable means of learning about modern publishing practices, policies and offerings from different journals and publishers. It will help induct early career researchers into the world of research publishing, and give seasoned authors, who may even be journal editors themselves, some extra fine-grain insights into a range of journals in the field.

This spreadsheet will prove a valuable resource for you as you continue to write articles from your projects and need to check the suitability of more journals. Investing time in building this list early on could save you time and effort later, and having convenient reference to an array of journals and their characteristics can also help you as you prepare to write up your research in advance of submission, and even while you carry out your project work.

Essential and potential fields to include in your journal comparison spreadsheet

  • Journal Name
  • URL
  • Publisher
  • Name of Society(if relevant)
  • Submission system URL
  • Editor/s-in-Chief names and notes
  • Editorial Board names and notes
  • Aims & Scope (Main themes)
  • Aims & Scope (Audience)
  • Summary of instructions for authors:
  • Types of research articles (e.g. Original/Short/Review etc)
  • Word Count limits
  • Abstract
  • Reference Limits
  • Figure / table limits
  • Style / Format (e.g. Harvard, APA, journal’s own)
  • Social media links (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, etc)
  • Index Database listings
  • Peer review policies, speed of peer review and time from submission to publication
  • Publication models – Full Open Access, Hybrid (Subscription & OA option), Subscription access only, etc.
  • Archiving policies (e.g. allows posting pre-prints prior to submission or post-publication)
  • Article processing or paged/colour figure fees
  • Ethics statements and adherence to guidelines
  • Compliance with funding or institutional mandates
  • Impact Factor
  • Scopus SJR
  • Scopus Cite-Score
  • h-index
  • Altmetric Notes
  • Identified through (a note to remind yourself where you found the journal – from FSTA, Web of Science, reference lists etc)

These are just examples and there may be additional fields you feel are appropriate, now or in the future. Maintained and used effectively, this will be a living document to make your life easier and improve your submission experiences.

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