Monkey Forest Tales: How to choose a journal for publishing your data?

In our last post we talk about the challenges of analyzing and writing from our data. The next step is to decide where are you going to publish your findings. Although this step usually you need to start thinking about it before your actually write your paper. Because the way you write depends on the audience you want to address and that matters when you choose the journal too.

Most journal audiences are driven to a certain journal depending on the scope and sometimes specificity of the journal. I used to think that because I was working with primates the only journals I will be able to publish on were primatological journals, but that is not true. It all depends on the way you write, the audience you want to reach and the applicability of your research to other fields.

So if you are starting on this publishing path of academy, one of the things you need to start thinking when you are choosing in which journal you want to publish your data is to define the type of audience you are publishing for. Is your data only applicable to primates or can be something that applies to other group of animals?

Also, is your data applied for a specialized type of audience or can be for a wider audience. What is your preference for a journal?  In which language you want to publish? The language is an important consideration, especially for those of us who doesn’t have English as our native language. It can imply an additional cost to publishing your results if you need to use a translator or a proof editor before you submit your paper.

Another consideration that a lot of us doesn’t think about much is the cost of publishing. A lot of journals in science have a fee that need to be paid if you want to publish a paper in those journals. Also some journal have fees for figures in color and if your figure is important to be publish it in color, taht is a cost you have to consider. This is usually a constraint for most researchers in developing countries which not only make research with limited funds, but also never have money allocated to publishing papers.

As you see, there are many considerations when you are choosing were to publish your paper. With time you get better at writing for different audiences, although I found it is usually challenging to do so. Also, with time you get better at writing in English as your second or third language. As usual my better advice is to be patience, ask yourself or your advisor about the audience of the journal you want to publish on and be persistent during the process that usually is long and sometimes requires more time than you expected. Good luck with your future publications.

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