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Guide to Getting Published in Journals

A guide to help researchers and feel confident identifying suitable journals and preparing their paper for submission

What does the editorial board tell you about a journal?

In this section, we will give some suggestions on how to check the members of an Editorial Board to help guide your submission choices.

First of all, check the Editorial Board to see whether any of the names are familiar. There are two key reasons why recognising the names on an Editorial Board can be beneficial.

  1. If you cited any of the board members in your paper, it is likely that your paper is within the scope of the journal, as you are both interested in the same topics. Note that this is not a suggestion that a journal will be more likely to accept your paper if their board members are cited in it (nor if you cite papers from the journal itself). That kind of favouritism would be unethical, and not a reason in itself to submit. However, the overlapping research topics is a good indication that your paper would be relevant to the journal.
  2. If you know the names because they are big names in the field, although not cited in your paper, you may be aware of their specific expertise and have an idea of whether your paper falls within their fields.

The Editorial Board pages of the journal may also feature information about each member, their subject specialities, their types of paper they handle, role profiles and other information that may reassure you of who they are, the professionalism of the way in which the journal is managed, and other features which you may wish to make a note of in your journal comparison spreadsheet.

Doing further research

If none of the names are familiar, or there is very little information about the board, then you may wish to do some background research on the members.

Using your search tool of choice, e.g. FSTA or Google Scholar, perform a search for the key board members, or a selection of several members at random, to see what you can find. Hopefully your investigations will reassure you that they are a sound researcher, and that your submission would be in good hands.

We look in more detail at indicators that a journal may be fake or ‘predatory’ in a later section of this guide, but if you cannot find any satisfactory information, an institution, role profile or other evidence of their expertise, or their details do not match what is provided on the journal pages, then you may wish to make notes of this in your spreadsheet, or even remove the journal from your list.