A resource for humanities scholars seeking to make their research and writing accessible to a wider audience through traditional outlets, such as academic journals and university presses, as well as digital and online platforms, popular and hybrid presses, and self-publishing.

How to choose the right journal for your article

1 reply, 2 voices Last updated by Nan Kim 1 year ago
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    • #59742

      Cara Jordan
      Participant
      @cjordan

      Many authors, especially grad students and early career scholars, struggle to find the right journal for their article–and they may not even know that this is even a problem until the rejections start rolling in!

      I asked Elizabeth Duquette, the former editor at J19 journal, to write a post about how you can strategize finding the right journal so that you’re more likely to get accepted.

      She recommends that you map out the different publications in your field so that you can figure out which journal is the most likely to even want to publish your research.

      What other advice would you give to authors who are desperately seeking acceptance?

    • #65810

      Nan Kim
      Participant
      @nankim

      Hi Cara, Thanks for starting this forum. I think one of the challenges of publishing in academic journals is the long time-lag from submission to publication, which can take up to 2 years! Hopefully the turnaround is faster in some fields, but it will generally take several months at least. In contrast those who are interested to write for wider audiences may well be aiming to discuss something timely, given the whole issue of relevance is generally time-sensitive.

      I struggled with this for a while, but at one point I felt I had to get something in circulation quickly. Otherwise, the interpretive analysis I was providing about recent events would no longer be useful. So I worked with an editor who publishes an academic open-source journal. It’s generally well-regarded in my field, but a bit of an outlier. I recall feeling wistful that, had I more time, I would have tried to get it published in a more established journal.

      What I learned from the experience is that it can be helpful to mix up one’s publication venues – in some cases, impact can prove to be more important than prestige. What I mean is that my article in the open-source journal went on to become probably my most widely read publication. I’ve been told by colleagues that they use it for teaching, and it quickly reached a crossover audience including activists and general readers since they could find it on their own. I know I’ve received invitations for other projects based on that one article. That included a commission to publish in a flagship academic journal, which afforded the chance to develop a longer and more academic counterpart to the shorter accessible piece.

      Even though that outcome wasn’t planned, I’m trying to think more intentionally about how some projects can be developed into publications for more than one venue, with adjustments for audience and accounting for variations in focus, writing style, and argumentation. Also, it was nice to have had a built-in “second chance” – I could take in feedback and responses from the accessible piece, and channel those added insights into writing the academic-article version. I imagine this is an m.o. comparable with that of academic writers who blog.

      • This reply was modified 1 year ago by Nan Kim.
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