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Tools to help choose a journal

Some experts in academic writing and publishing recommend writing for a particular publication, i.e. choosing your journal or other publication before you begin preparing your manuscript.

This will help you present your project and findings or arguments in the way the editors and reviewers expect to encounter them, giving you the best chance of demonstrating your work is a good fit for the publication.

It may be tempting to ask a publisher you’d like to work with to recommend a journal for your work, but publishers have to be very careful about making such recommendations, so are unlikely to be able to help you.

We recommend that you check out our guidance on Developing a publication strategy: Where should I publish? for a number of considerations to take into account when choosing a journal or a publisher, but here are a few tools you may wish to explore:


Scopus is a major database of peer-reviewed literature: scientific journals, books and conference proceedings. As a researcher affiliated to The University of Manchester, you can search Scopus’ collection of research abstracts and citations to identify journals which specialise in publishing research in your discipline. You can also contact us if you’d like the Library to suggest possible journals for you to explore.

SCImago Journal Rankings

These are rankings based on citation data from Scopus, which let you choose a subject category and see, for each journal in that category, the average citation impact of recent articles from it. If a journal is comparatively high in a ranking, this may suggest that it is one of the more widely read journals in its subject.


The Directory of Open Access Journals includes around 12,000 reputable OA journals, the majority of which do not charge an Article Processing Charge (APC) to publish your work. It’s easy to ‘Browse subjects’ to identify OA journals in your discipline.