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Where Can I Publish My Research Article?

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In This Section

Where Can I Publish My Research Article?

The process of submitting and publishing research articles can be perplexing, and junior scholars often have few resources to assist with navigating the process. The suggestions below, from AAA's Director of Publishing, Oona Schmid, are meant to assist scholars of all stages in submitting and publishing their research in peer-reviewed journals.

First, a note of caution: Beware "predatory" publishers, whose journals have no scholarly reputation. Jeffrey Beall, a librarian at Auraria Library, University Colorado Denver, maintains a list of questionable, scholarly open-access publishers on his website, Scholarly Open Access. The criteria for determining predatory publishers can be found here. In 2010 Beall's list was comprised of 6 companies; in the spring of 2014 the list now has 300 companies and thousands of specific journals.

Step One: Identify potential journals in your scholarly area. 

The following is a partial list of anthropology journal titles, organized alphabetically.

Step Two: Rank these potential journals for your specific article.

I suggest four considerations for creating your personal short-list. 

  1. Scope. Evaluate your manuscript against a prospective journal's scope and article types. Click on the hyperlink or use a search engine to locate the Aims and Scope, an "About this journal" page, and/or "Author Submission Guidelines." Any of these documents will provide details about the type of desired content, submission details, as will reading a current issue. To locate these documents online, you may need to type in journal name and the word "journal."

  1. Timing. Think about how much time you have before you need an acceptance letter. Scholars may only submit a given paper to one journal at a time. Peer reviewers can be hard for editors to chase down. Loosely speaking, time to publication correlates with how well an editorial office is run and, if a journal is publishing late or an editor does not respond to an inquiry about average time ranges, these are harbingers that your manuscript may languish.

  1. Visibility once published. If your article is a scholarly one, and you want it to have the best chance to be read by other scholars, you will want to look at the pages on the journal's site that describe where the titles is Abstracted and Indexed. Typically the more services that index a given journal, the more likely it is that the articles within will be located and read by various scholarly audiences. Abstracting and indexing information is often prominent under "About the Journal webpages.

  1. Reputation. If your goals of publishing are related to academic advancement, you must evaluate the reputation of the journal. Journal titles are sometimes very similar to one another, and deceptive (or "predatory" journals) may select titles that are extremely similar to legitimate titles.  Among publishers who make return value and services to their authors and readers, there is still a wide range of scholarly reputations. To help assess reputation, I compiled four systems of evaluation on the list of titles. Which systems matter for your career depends on the nature of your employer and its geographic location. Ranking journals is controversial; no single system is able to navigate the nuances of scholarly discourse in a completely fair or objective way. 

   If you are interested in a more comprehensive resource, you might also consider purchasing How to Get Published in Anthropology.

For authors interested in international journals, the World Council of Anthropological Associations maintains an excellent list of its members' publications and other journals as well.

Please email corrections or suggestions to:

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