Finding a Suitable Home (Journal) for your Article, Report, Review, or Essay

I love finding journals for my work. Maybe it is the chance to run free with my imagination, entertaining a variety of possible hosts with whom to share my work. It is sort of like speed dating: reviewing journal aims and scopes, checking their recently published articles, perusing who is on the editorial board, all the while wondering if they will be interested in what I have to share, and hoping that they will be helpful to me in clarifying my work and understanding how it fits in the field that we evidently both care so much about.

Would you be interested in publishing my work? (

My first step is always to think broadly about who might be interested in my work. Today there are tens of thousands of refereed academic journals, so it is possible to find a handful of hyper-specific journal aims into which your article will fit. For example, I just finished a qualitative research report on significant learning experiences in asynchronous online courses. Suitable journals might include those that focus on qualitative research, phenomenological research, educational research, higher ed, online learning, distance education, humanistic learning theory, and so on. There are even journals that focus on qualitative research in higher education, or phenomenology and pedagogy, or online learning in higher ed. Etc. Find one or more suitable scholarly areas for your work.

Next, go to Using the dropdown toolbars, choose the areas of scholarship, narrowing it down as well as you can with their categories. Social Sciences>> E-Learning >> USA is what I chose. (USA includes only those journals published in the US or edited by people living in the US.) This yielded around 300 journals to choose from. I found maybe 12 journals that look suitable.

The journals are listed by the SCIMAGO ranking system, which I imagine is similar to ordinary protocols that go by the number of citations an article receives on average. But just because a journal is a lower tier, it doesn't mean that it will be easy to have your article published. 

Review the aims and scope of each journal, removing those that have specific aims that you do not cover. If everything seems good, then review a few issues to see if your article would fit into them. Once you are satisfied, it is time to prepare your manuscript for peer review.


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