Submission Strategies

Most scholarly journals require that you submit your article to them exclusively for review. Normally, this requirement will be listed on the journal's author submission page. You may have to wait weeks or months until you are able to submit your article to another journal for publication if your article is considered and ultimately rejected by your first choice journal.

Law reviews are an exception; many of them allow simultaneous submissions. However, law reviews are run by students and may not be considered a "peer reviewed" publication by most academics.

Think carefully about your reasons and goals for publishing before selecting which journal to submit your article to. If your article includes citations in the same journal, you may have a good fit for your paper.

Journal Metrics

Journal metrics are used to identify key journals in a research field.  This identification can be useful to authors who are considering which journals to submit manuscripts to for future publication.

The Impact Factor is the most familiar metric in academia.  Despite their merits, journal metrics can be misused for evaluating individual authors. Scholars are increasingly relying on almetrics to measure their impact. Altmetrics measures the use of social media tools such as bookmarks, links, blog postings, and tweets to gauge the importance of scholarly output by authors.  Using altmetrics as a measure of scholarly impact is controversial as social media indiciators can be deceptive in measuring scholarly impact. View the Altmetrics section of the HKS Library's Measuring Your Scholarly Impact Research Guide for links to altmetrics sites. 

Selecting an Academic Journal

Conduct a literature review for top journals in a specific discipline. Scholars will often publish journal articles that assess and evaluate the top ranked journals in their field. Conduct a search in a large interdisciplinary database such as Proquest Social Sciences Premium Collection or Ebsco's Academic Search Premier using keywords such as "top journals" or "highly ranked journals" and the field.

Databases for journal rankings and assessment are listed below:

Journal Acceptance Rates

Journals may include the acceptance rate in the “information for authors” section on a journal's website.  Another way to find acceptance rates is to look for the journal's annual editor's report,which provides details on the number of manuscript submissions and the journal's editorial process.

Occasionally, societies or authors will publish acceptance rates for journals within a particular discipline.Try a general Google search to find these pages using keywords such as “acceptance rates and biology” (replace biology with the name of the discipline you are interested in).

Examples of scholarly society sites with information on manuscript submissions numbers and acceptances:

Law Review Submissions