When you have a created a shortlist of journals, you should check if your article is within the scope of these journals. Most academic journals have a section ‘aims and scope’ on their website.
You can also look at the importance of the journal in its field, based on citation data:
• Journal Citation Reports (JCR): Journal Citation Reports (JCR) is a tool for journal evaluation, providing production and impact data drawn from over 10.000 scholarly and technical journals worldwide. It helps you to determine the relative importance of journals within a field. The most well-known metric in JCR is the Journal Impact Factor (JIF). The JCR is based on data from Web of Science.
• Scopus Sources: Scopus also provides journal level metrics, for example, CiteScore and SJR SCImago Journal Rank. These metrics can help to find important journals within a field.
You should avoid publishing in ‘questionable journals’: Open Access journals which don’t provide the editorial and publishing services associated with legitimate journals (open access or not). In the online module ‘Watch out for predatory journals and publishers’ you find tips on how to recognize these journals.
When you already have written an abstract, there are tools available that can match that abstract with journals, often the journals of a particular publisher:
- Springer Journal Suggester: https://journalsuggester.springer.com/.
- Elsevier Journal Finder: https://journalfinder.elsevier.com/
- Endnote Manuscript Matcher: available in EndNote Web, via Web of Science. This tool uses Web of Science to match your abstract.
- Edanz Journal Selector: https://www.edanzediting.com/journal-selector