Getting a paper published in a good journal is an accomplishment. It takes a lot of research, time, and analysis to come up with a quality research paper – and that, mind you, is not an easy task. Unless you aim to get your papers published in any of those unauthenticated, un-peer-reviewed journals, research papers need a lot of work and waiting. This means the nature and authenticity of the journal are as crucial as the paper itself. Thus, it would help if you sorted which journals are good and which are not.
There are thousands of journals out there, but only a few of them have a respectable standing in academia and research. For example, The Lancet is a well-renowned medical journal with an impact factor of 60.393 as of the year 2019. This makes it a publication of authority that can influence the direction of public discourse and research in medicine. So, this begs the question: what makes a good journal? Let us find out while we are here.
Getting your paper published is one thing; making it visible to people at large is another. That is where indexing helps. Journals with a good academic standing have a large indexed base. This means the journal has been indexed in journal indexes. Now, to make it simpler, there are Journal Indexes such as Google Scholar where users can find articles to read. Another example is Index Medicus which has been in existence since the late 19th century and has amassed a formidable reputation among members of the medical community. So, ensure that whichever journal you choose has been duly indexed in at least a few well-established journal indexes.
Another key aspect of good journals is their impact factor. This, in addition to indexing, contributes to the increased visibility of the papers published. For an academician and research scholar, it is highly important to have her articles cited in others’ research. This adds to the credibility of her research and reflects positively on her abilities. The impact factor of a journal shows how the papers published in it have been performing in reality. It acts as a measure of the frequency with which a paper gets cited in other papers in a given year.
There is a reason why paid journals are often discredited they are paid, of course, and they have very lenient acceptance criteria. Keeping such criteria means that the nature of scrutiny is cursory and not up to the current standards; any person with an average research paper can send in their paper and get it published. This is not limited to paid journals only. Even those without any processing fee but lenient acceptance criteria often do not inspire confidence in the scientific community. Whenever you submit your paper to a journal, go through its acceptance criteria. The tougher the fight, the better the journal – and it should be the case because unless your research contributes or adds something to the existing knowledge, there is no point in publicizing it in the first place.
It is unforgivable not to pay attention to the details of the editorial team of the journal. See, you are going to submit your paper – something you have worked hard on – to a journal, and being unaware of its basic details is an oversight unacceptable in every way. Every journal has an editorial team; you must take a good look at the same. See who the members are, whether there are distinguished personalities on it, whether the chief editor and his assistant editors have the requisite credentials and whatnot. It is not just a matter of submitting the paper; how a paper is evaluated and proofread is also essential. An inadequately qualified editorial team would only downgrade the quality of papers received by them.
You will often hear people suggesting that the journal should always be peer-reviewed. What is a peer-reviewed journal? Let me explain: the very name suggests what it means; it means that the editorial team has contemporary experts on the subject matter who will review the papers received. Well, there is no need to elaborate on why such journals, therefore, are highly regarded in the scholarly world. If your peers are favorable to your research, then more merit is added to your research.
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