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Strategic publishing

This guide provides information on applying strategic measures when considering publishing, promoting and tracking your research.

Choose the right journal for your research

Checklist for Choosing a Journal

The checklist below provides a series of statements that can be used when assessing a journal as a possible option for submitting an article.

Each statement should not be taken in isolation as sufficient to condemn or exonerate a journal, as most journals will not meet all criteria, and some predatory journals will meet some criteria. A combination of factors should be taken under consideration to add merit to the journal’s suitability. 

Other resources 

There are also resources from publishers that can assist with finding a relevant journal to submit an article based on a title and/or abstract:

It is recommended to check authoritative sources, rather than rely on the journal’s own information. 

Relevance, Quality, Discoverability

Identifying possible relevant journals

There are a range of methods and tools that can be used to identify relevant journals within subject areas such as journal lists. The lists often include rankings and citation metrics.

Measures of relevance include:

  • How well known is the journal within a research discipline? Speak with your colleagues or supervisor.
  • The journal and publisher are known to me.
  • The journal is well regarded in my field of research. 
  • My colleagues regularly publish in this journal. 
  • The journal has been recommended to me.
  • This is a journal that I regularly read and cite works from.
  • There is a match between the subject of my article and the journal's aim and its scope.
  • The journal matches my target reader audience.

Identifying quality journals

An indication of a journal's quality is whether the journal conducts peer reviews on submitted journal articles.

Not all articles within a peer reviewed journal will be refereed. Editorials, letters and opinion pieces are examples of non-refereed articles.

For a journal article to be included as a research publication at a University such as RMIT, it must be refereed/peer reviewed. For more information about the eligibility criteria for a journal article to be included as a research publication at RMIT, refer to the RMIT Researcher Portal.

Measures of quality include:

  • The journal is peer-reviewed. Check the status in Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory
  • Whether the journal has an impact factor or a SCImago journal ranking. Check the status in SJR (SCImago Journal & Country Rank).
  • The journal title is included in the 2023 ERA journal list.
  • The journal title is included in a discipline ranking list.
  • Is the journal's publisher a member of a recognised professional association?
  • The journal has a clear peer-review process.
  • The journal has clear publishing fees.
  • The journal has clear information regarding acceptance and rejection rates.
  • The journal has a clear timeframe from submission to publication.
  • Contact details are available for the journal's Editorial Board.
  • The journal is a member of COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics).

Ensuring discoverability of your work

When selecting a journal, consider whether your target audience can find your work.

Measures of discoverability include:

Another option is to consider an open access publication. Open access publications are available freely online and increase the potential readership, beyond those within academic databases.

If your publication is open access, ensure that a copy of the full text is included in the RMIT Research Repository. This Repository is an open access repository providing free, searchable access to research publications authored by RMIT University staff and students.

The following table lists various sources that may be used to verify the relevancy, quality and discoverability of the journal/s you are considering to submit your manuscript for publication.


Resource Relevance Quality Discoverability

Journal Citation Reports (Clarivate Analytics) 
A comprehensive resource tool that allows you to evaluate and compare journals using citation data drawn from the Web of Science database.

SJR (SCImago Journal & Country Rank) 
A free resource using data from the Scopus database that allows you to search journals individually or by discipline. 
Scopus Sources
Allows you to browse measures for journals in different subject areas or search for individual journal titles.

Scopus Compare Sources
Select and compare up to 10 titles in a specific field. The results are displayed graphically for simple visual comparison of journals.


Dimensions database
A free resource can be used to search for relevant journals and check against journal lists including the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) list or Fields of Research (FOR) codes.


Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory
Check the publication details of possible journals including whether a journal is refereed/peer reviewed and which databases index the journal. Ensure that the major database/s used within your discipline are listed here.

Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) 2023 journal list
The 2023 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) journal list from the Australian Research Council website.

Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)
Provides guidelines on scholarly publishing practices.
Think, Check and Submit website
Provides information to use when evaluating journals.
F.A.I.R Access to Australia's Research
Use these principles to assist with making research output and data findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable.

Web of Science lists:


Discipline-based journal rankings