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Nursing Resources: Publishing in a Journal

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Choosing a Journal

Stack of multicolored booksBefore you write, it is good practice to have an idea of where you plan to submit so you can develop your manuscript to meet the requirements of the publisher, journal, or website.

Some strategies for identifying where to publish:

  • Decide on your priorities; e.g. impact factor, shortest editorial time, acceptance and rejection rates, type of peer-review,intended audience, indexing in databases, reputation of the publisher.
  • Investigate journals and publishers that appear in your working bibliography.
  • Consider professional organizations' publications.
  • Look to journals you regularly read or receive table of contents from.
  • Talk with colleagues and collaborators about current and past projects and their experiences.
  • Read about publishing in your discipline.
  • Use the resources below to learn more about specific journals once identified.

Once you have identified a potential journal:

laptop with glasses sitting on the keyboard

  • Check the journal's reputation
    Be sure to document why you chose the journal to submit to.  This can be very helpful when writing your tenure case or annual review. Some information you will want to keep for each journal include things like impact factor if available, where the journal was indexed, how you discovered it, and what made you decide to publish there.

  • Read author guidelines
    Guidelines for authors can typically be found on the journal or publisher's website or in posted calls for submissions. Some journal directories, such as Cabell's, publish abbreviated author guidelines. Always check to make sure that you are using the most complete and up-to-date set of guidelines available.

  • Review samples
    Look at previously published materials from your potential publication outlet to get a feel for the type of work accepted and the quality of their end product.  If you need help tracking down issues of the journal please contact your librarian. 

Author Guidelines

Author guidelines for publishing in a journal can typically be found via one of the following methods:

  1. On the journal's homepage.
  2. In the back of a printed issue of the journal.
  3. In a posted call for submissions.

Some journal directories, such as Cabell's, publish abbreviated author guidelines.
Always check the journal to make sure that you are using the most complete and up to date set of guidelines available. 

Sample Issues

It is a good idea to look at previous issues of the journal to which you plan to sumbit your manuscript in order to get a feel for the formatting and type of article accepted. Following are some suggestions on how to locate a sample issue of a journal:

1. Sample issues of a journal are sometimes available on the journal homepage along with author submission requirments.

2. If Helmke Library owns the journal you may browse it freely. 

a. Locate print journals in the catalog located on the library homepage.

b. Locate electronic journals in E-Journal Finder located on the library homepage.

3. If Helmke Library does not subscribe to the journal, you may be able to access the table of contents via one of our subscription databases.  To find the correct database, please use Ulrich's for a listing of indexing sources then refer to our A-Z List of Databases o see if we subscribe to the necessary index.  Once you have located a database that indexes your journal, you can search the contents of that journal and set up a Journal Alert to follow new issues.  If you require assistance, please contact your subject librarian.