Saturday, March 23, 2013

Weekly Challenge #6

Earlier this week, I encouraged you to take a look at the website of a journal that may not (probably not) have been in your area of interest. Now, find a new journal in your field, or one that you do not know very well. Spend fifteen minutes really getting to know the pages, and see what you can learn about the journal,  and through this process, about your own work and how it may or may not fit. Take some notes about what you have learned.

Responses welcome in the comments section, as always!


  1. I looked up Teaching and Learning Inquiry, a new journal from the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. I discovered that this is a new journal and the first issue will be released soon. I have added a scholarship of teaching and learning component to my research program in the last year so I will monitor this journal. The aims and scope seem to match well with my work. I will need to see at least one issue to be certain.

  2. Fantastic that you found this new journal. If you are not already on an editorial board or two, perhaps you wish to become a reviewer for it? Nothing like reading articles and reviewing them as a way of improving our skills. Good for the CV too (unless you have too much service already, of course).

    Great use of the challenge!


  3. Just a quick note: I am always interested to learn about new journals in my field but I am also apprehensive about sending a manuscript.

    The main problem is that we need to (or we are told to) publish in journals with a good impact factor or journals who have a long standing in your peer group for your speciality.

    This means that sometimes (most of the times) the thought of "sacrificing" a hard-fought-for manuscript to a fledging journal with no impact factor and no "standing" in your field (yet) usually wins and the manuscript is submitted to an already established journal instead.

    So how to deal with te "need" to publish in renowned and high impact journals and the possibility of supporting new journals by submitting your precious mansucript?


  4. So, why "must" you publish in high impact journals only? Who says? Why must you do so at this stage of your career? Sometimes, doctoral programs put so much pressure on their students that they make publishing nearly impossible, or very difficult. For instance, is it true that an article in a high impact journal is always better?

    It comes down to your goals and needs, and your publication record at different times of your career. If you ONLY want a job at one of the "highest ranked" research universities in the world, then perhaps focusing on impact factor makes sense. I think the best criteria, in general, is to find a good fit for your work.

    Over time, having a mix of articles in high impact journals and those that are more specialized is a good general strategy. However, so much of this really depends on your goals, the nature of your work, and what you wish to do. Sometimes, focusing too much on impact factor changes the nature of our work, and we start to become mediocre versions of our best selves.

    Of course, seek advice and counsel- but don't rely to much on faculty in YOUR PhD program- seek the advice of others who know "your story."

  5. Thanks for your reply, Rich. I am working in natural sciences/health sciences in Europe (UK/Ireland/etc) and we are always pushed to get into the higher impact journals (by that I mean the higher impact journals within our specific field which are relatively low and already specialised). I was awarded my PhD 4 years ago so not really accountable to a doctoral panel any more but I continue to aim for the publication in the higher ranking journals within my field.