By the time you start looking at the homepage of a journal, you should have already decided your target audience. You should be looking for information that will tell you if this is the right journal to publish your work.

What is the scope of the journal?
Journals usually have a statement that defines the scope of the journal and the subject areas that they publish. Sometimes this is hard to find or doesn’t exist. Check the journal pages on The Science Editorium to see if we have a summary of the scope of the journal. It is also a good idea to look through recent papers published by the journal. Perform a keyword search to determine if the journal has published papers in your research area. Try limiting the search to just the title or the abstract, as this will give you a better indication of the research areas that are covered.

Which other researchers publish in this journal?
Perform an author search to determine if your peers, collaborators, or competitors are publishing in this journal.

What types of articles are published by the journal?
There are many different article formats, and some journals only publish communications or letters with strict length requirements. Read Lesson 5 in this course for more information about choosing the right article format for your research.

What guidelines and templates are provided by the journal?
Some of the important sections to look for on the homepage are the author and reviewer guidelines, which are covered in more detail in Lessons 3 and 4. The resources area of The Science Editorium also contains a growing list of summaries of these guidelines. The journal homepage also includes important documents such as manuscript templates.