Professional Development

32 - Prior to writing: Picking a journal
The choice of a target journal for publishing our manuscript is based on several factors that may vary according to the area or particular conditions of each researcher. However, some common factors can be considered.The first and perhaps most important factor is the relevance of our data. If the findings are well-grounded and unprecedented, then we can choose high-level journals of our specific area.An important issue at this stage is to try to publish in journals that have shown previous interest in similar work. This is easy to find out: review the articles published in that specific journal in the last 2-3 years.Obviously, most researchers prefer to publish in the best journals. These journals are easily classified by their peer-review system and by the Impact Factor ranking, as we have already mentioned.In addition to the relevance of our data and the reputation of the journal, we must consider what kind of reader we would want to read our results. This is when we need to weigh factors like journal circulation, audience, association with scientific societies or frequency of publication.Our own experience with a journal in a previous manuscript is the best way to know its interest in receiving future manuscripts. This way, we know whether the time taken with communications and revisions is suitable.Finally, some journals charge the author a fee for each page published. The Journal of Investigative Dermatology, for instance, charges 50 US$ per printed page and 550 US$ in case of publishing color art. Some journals even charge fees just for peer review. The author must be aware of these facts before sending a manuscript.