Survey results: Journal Selection – part one


The first set of question we asked our respondents was to rank the factors that influence the selection of journal which they publish their research in. We asked the respondents to rank each of the factors with respect to its importance for publishing in monodisciplinary and interdisciplinary journals. The aim of this was to discover whether the respondents treat monodisciplinary research differently from interdisciplinary research. For the majority of factors, we have not observed major differences between mono- and inter-disciplinary research. This is summarised in a comment from one of the respondents who stated:

I don’t view journals differently based on whether I think they are monodisciplinary or interdisciplinary.

However, as we will see in the following posts, there were some factors in which there were some differences between the two research modes. Furthermore, looking at the individual responses, for some of our respondents the importance of factors varied with respect whether the journal or research is considered monodisciplinary or interdisciplinary. For example, one of the respondents described the process of choosing an interdisciplinary journal as ‘less constrained and prescriptive’:

Interdisciplinary research opens the possibility of less constrained targeting of journals and a less prescriptive approach to the journal choice. One is more likely to just put it out there and see where it ends up.

Due to the number of factors we will split the results of this analysis into two parts, published as separate blog posts. Thus in this post we will cover 1) the impact factor of the journal, 2) the reputation of the journal, 3) the reputation of the publisher, 4) the importance of the journal to the discipline or research field, 5) institutional requirements to publish in specific journals and 6) reaching a specific target audience.

Impact factor of the journal


For our participants, the Impact Factor of the journal plays a significant role when selecting journals to publish their research in. This appears to apply equally to both mono- and inter-disciplinary journals. However, although two thirds of respondents find it important, some respondents ignore it completely. One of the reasons for this appears to be that the impact factors depend on the field of research, thus making the reputation of the journal in the field more relevant measure. This is described in the comment from one of our respondents:
Impact factor for the journal related to its field of research. i.e. may have a low impact factor internationally but within field it may be the “place to go”. Impact factors are largely irrelevant.

Reputation of the journal


The reputation of the journal is one of the most important factors when selecting journals to publish in. There does not seem to be any distinction between mono- and inter-disciplinary research. One of the explanations for the importance of this factor is, as we have seen previously, that the impact factor of a journal depends on the research field, thus the reputation of the journal within the field is more important. Another element related to this is the reputation of the researchers publishing in the journal, as stated by one of the participants:
Quality and reputation of the journal matter greatly in my selection. I pay a lot of attention to who else is publishing in the journals, whether these are conversations I am eager to contribute to and have knowledge to add.

Reputation of the publisher


The reputation of the publisher can contribute to the selection of the journal, where the journal’s own reputation is unknown. For about a third of our respondents this was an important factor when selecting journals, which applies equally to mono- and interdisciplinary journals.

Importance of the journal to the discipline or research field


The importance of the journal to the discipline or the field is one of the key factors both for publishing in mono- and inter-disciplinary research. Naturally, it is somewhat more important for publishing within discipline or field.

Institutional requirements to publish in specific journals


For the majority of respondents the institutional requirements are not an important factor when selecting journals to publish their research. Nevertheless, the positive responses still indicate that for some researchers the choice of the journal. This seems to apply slightly more to publishing in monodisciplinary rather than interedisciplinary journals.

Reaching a particular target audience


Addressing a particular target audience is one of the key factors determining the selection of the journal. For more than two thirds of participants this factor is important, both with respect to mono- and inter-disciplinary research. Addressing the relevant audience is not only important for engaging in the discussion having a paper accepted by the journal.

In the following post we will examine how the respondents ranked the following factors: 7) the speed of the review process, 8) the speed of the publication of article, 9) topics and problems addressed in the journal, 10) methodological frameworks presented in the journal, 11) the wish to present an alternative approach to a topic of interest, and 12) the wish to demonstrate the broad applicability of one’s research. If you have any comments regarding the results published here, please leave us a comment below.

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