Publishing & Scholarly Communication Resources

Choosing & Assessing Journals

Aims & Scope

The first step is always finding journals that are a match for your interests.  Here are some options for finding the perfect journal for you...

1) Ask your mentors!

2) Search databases (ERIC, PsycINFO, etc.) and review article bibliographies to see where articles of similar subject/interest were published.

3) Tools like Cabell's Directories and Ulrichsweb Serials Directory will generate a list of journals by subject or keyword.  Cabell's also includes information about journals submission and review procedures.

4) Review the websites of potential journals.  You'll usually find more about the journals purpose and scope.  If it looks like a journal of interest, take the time to review their submission guidelines and learn about their review process.


Impact Factor

The Impact Factor is a measure reflecting the average number of citations to recent articles published in science and social science journals.  It is frequently used as a proxy for the relative importance of a journal with its field, though real value of impact factors is a source of much debate.

Journal Citation Reports (JCR) is the only product that creates a true impact factor.  Unfortunately, JCR does not provide broad coverage of education journals.  If a particular journal is not covered by JCR, an impact factor has not been calculated for the journal. View this introductory guide [PDF] to learn more about JCR. 


Acceptance Rate

Acceptance rates may be located by using Cabell's Directories: Education Set. Unfortunately, Cabell's Directories does not provide comprehensive coverage of education journals and we do not currently subscribe to other sets, so you wont find a rate for every journal.

If you cannot locate acceptance rates through Cabell's Directories, check the journal or publisher web site to see if they share that data online, some like the American Psychological Association, post their rates annually. You'll find APA rates here. A last resort is to contact the editor or publisher to ask if they are willing to share their acceptance rates.



SciMago Journal Rank (SJR Indicator) calculates h-indexes for journals a measure of the scientific influence.  It accounts for both the number of citations received by a journal and the importance or prestige of the journals where such citations come from. This tool offers a variety of data point for journals: average cite per document, citation vs. self-citation, citable vs. non-citable, and cited vs. uncited documents.

Google Metrics allows authors to gauge influence of articles in scholarly publications.  Available metrics are h-index, h-core, and h-median, as well as a citation index.  Google Metrics can be browsed by publication, broad areas of research, and subcategories.  Google Metrics


Copyright and Fair Use

Copyright and fair use policies effect both how you use others' work and how others use your work. It is important to understand how to protect your intellectual property, and how to determine whether you can or cannot use materials according to fair use. 

Creative Commons is a simple way for authors to manage the licensing of their work.  Creative Commons licenses allows creators to communicate which rights they reserve and which rights they waive for the benefit of those who wish to use their work.  Creative Commons offers several types of licenses to suit varying creators' needs. Consider using Creative Commons licenses on your intellectual property to manage the ways in which your work can be used. 

To learn more about fair use and how you can use others' work, check out the UT Libraries Copyright Crash Course:

Copyright Crash Course

To learn more about UT and federal copyright policies, visit the Libraries Intellectual Property Information page.

Improving Access to Your Work

There are many ways to increase the number of ways people can access your work. When chosing where to publish your work, consider each publisher's self-archiving policies, as these policies will control whether or where you can share your publications.

SHERPA/RoMEO is a searchable database of publisher's policies regarding the self-archiving of journal articles on the web and in open-access repositories based at the University of Nottingham. SHERPA/RoMEO is the appropriate tool to utilize when searching for information relative to pre- and post-print policy, sample author agreements, author restrictions, and related information. Check out SHERPA Publishing Definitions and Terms to learn more about publisher policy jargon.



If you find that you do have self archiving rights, there are a few different options for getting your work out there:

The University of Texas Digital Repository (UTDR) provides open, online access to the products of the University's research and scholarship, preserves the contained works for future use, and promotes new models of scholarly communication.  

Disciplinary repositories such as ERIC are good ways to help your work reaches a wide audience because tools like Google Scholar include ERIC in their indexes.

Personal websites can also be a great place to self archive, and allow you to easily connect your identity with your body of work. 


Sometimes you're required to make your work public... The White House has recently issued a directive that will effect access policies for all authors funded by Federal agencies that fund more that $100 million of research annually. This directive is designed to increase tax-payers' access to government funded research. Read the memorandum, or visit the Open Government Initiative page to learn more, or check out NIH's Public Access Homepage to see how this directive has changed the way researchers must submit and archive their work. 


Assessing the Impact of Your Work

Google Scholar "My Citations" is a simple way to track your citations and potentially increase your visibility as an author using Google Scholar data.   My Citations enables authors to create a public profile that will appear in Google Scholar search results, view who is citing their work, track citations over time, and link to co-authors.  My Citationsalso automatically generates three citation indices for you: number of citations, h-index, and the i10-index.

Publish or Perish is a proprietary software application for PC that retrieves and analyzes academic citations usingGoogle Scholar data.  Publish or Perish can be used to generate total number of articles, total number of citations, average number of citations per author, h-index, g-index, and more.

Web of Science is a database that is useful for tracking citations. You can use the Cited Reference Search to seach by the cited author, cited work, cited year or a combination of the three to see where your work has been cited. Note that the number of Education journals tracked by this service is limited, so depending on where you publish this may not be the best tool for you. 

WorldCat Identities is a useful tool for determining library holdings for monographs. 

For a more in depth look at various measures and impact factors, check out the London School of Economics and Political Science Impact of Social Sciences: Maximizing the Impact of Academic Research Handbook

Subject Specialist

Janelle Hedstrom

Janelle Hedstrom 
Education Librarian


Meet: Request a consultation (available in person or via Adobe Connect)