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Choose the right outlet

Things to consider

Choosing where to publish your work is one of the most important decisions you will make regarding the dissemination of your research. You should target the top journals that are relevant to your work, and that are likely to be read and cited by other researchers working in your field. Below are various factors you might consider when choosing journals and publishers:

Peer advice Discuss where to publish with senior colleagues or mentors.

Check discipline-specific lists of top journals and publishers, such as the (opens in a new window)OBRSS Publication Channel List (Level 2) or (opens in a new window)FT50 and (opens in a new window)ABS lists in Business.

Does the journal/publisher have a strong reputation in your discipline? Some large publishers, like the following, provide online tools to find an appropriate journal for your work:

Again, your colleagues or mentors may have advice on which outlets are considered prestigious in your discipline.


Consider your key references and the most highly cited papers and authors in your area, and look at the journals in which they appear. When considering a journal, ask yourself how well your research fits with their ethos and remit.


Look at journal scope and editorial board. Is the journal broad in scope or is it read by a specialist community? What kind of reach and circulation does it have?

Peer review

Check that the journal bases its publication decisions on rigorous peer review. Peer review is considered a stamp of quality from the research community.

Turnaround times

Check the journal’s publication turnaround times, especially if speedy publishing is important to you. For some researchers in fast-moving disciplines, publishing quickly is an important way of ensuring their research findings are relevant. 

Open access

Ensure that the journal is open access as this helps to increase the visibility and discoverability of your work. The (opens in a new window)DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals) provides a list of open access journals. Read our section on open access to learn more.


Check if the journal will charge you for publishing your work.  UCD Library and IReL have negotiated several (opens in a new window)Open Access Publishing Agreements with key scholarly publishers to ensure that you will not be charged for publishing. A full list of all the journals included in the agreements can be found (opens in a new window)here.


Check that the journal is indexed in major bibliometric databases, such as (opens in a new window)Scopus and the (opens in a new window)Web of Science

Promotion of outputs

Some journals/publishers put a lot of work into promoting outputs. They might write plain-English summaries of the research they publish, create graphical abstracts, or be especially active on social media. 

Online attention

You can use Altmetric Explorer to find out which journals publish research that receives the most online attention. 

Other factors

Other factors to check are acceptance rates (which can vary from 5% - 95%), rejection rates, the publication format, your co-authors’ preferences, and other terms and conditions. 


Avoid predatory journals and publishers

Predatory publishing is an exploitative academic publishing business model that involves charging publication fees to authors without checking articles for quality and legitimacy, and without providing editorial and publishing services that legitimate academic journals provide.

(opens in a new window)Think Check Submit is a website that can help you find a trusted publisher for your research. You can also use (opens in a new window)Think Check Attend to judge the legitimacy of conferences.

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