How to choose a journal

Top tips
  • Make sure your paper fits within the scope of the journal
  • Assess the credentials of the journal or publisher
  • Browse the content they publish for quality and relevance to your field
  • Check the quality of their website
  • Check what tools and services they offer to authors
  • Submit your research to one journal only, but check if they offer transfers to other journals
  • Follow the instructions for authors carefully

There are two main factors to consider when choosing a journal: that your paper fits within the journal’s scope, and the reputation of the journal itself. The reputation is not necessarily based on metrics such as the impact factor, but on aspects such as the professionalism of the editorial team, the journal’s audience and reach, or turnaround times, to name a few.

Whichever publisher or journal you choose, make sure they have high standards of peer review and publication ethics. Think. Check. Submit. is a campaign that has been launched recently for this purpose, and we recommend visiting their website for a useful checklist that will help you assess the credentials of a journal or publisher.

The World Association of Medical Editors (WAME) has also provided some guidance to help editors, researchers, funders, academic institutions and other stakeholders distinguish predatory journals from legitimate journals: Identifying Predatory or Pseudo-Journals.

There are of course other factors to consider. You may want to ask the publisher about the tools and services they offer to authors, check the quality of their website, and what content they publish.

If you have never submitted a manuscript before, be aware that submitting to more than one journal simultaneously is a breach of publishing ethics. If your paper is rejected you can resubmit to another journal, or opt to transfer your paper within the same publisher. A good editorial team should be able to advise on these matters at the time of submitting.

Once you are happy with the journal you have selected, you will need to follow the instructions for authors very carefully as they vary from journal to journal. If you do, you will maximise the chances of your paper being peer reviewed and accepted.

BMJ Journals

With a trusted brand and more than 60 peer-reviewed journals in our portfolio, you are sure to find a home for your research project.


Or find your chosen journal in this list:


Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases BMJ Quality & Safety Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry
Archives of Disease in Childhood BMJ Sexual & Reproductive Health Lupus Science & Medicine
ADC Education & Practice BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care Medical Humanities
ADC Fetal & Neonatal BMJ Surgery, Interventions & Health Technologies Occupational & Environmental Medicine
BMJ Case Reports British Journal of Ophthalmology Open Heart
BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine British Journal of Sports Medicine Practical Neurology
BMJ Global Health Considerations in Medicine Regional Anesthesia & Pain Medicine
BMJ Health & Care Informatics Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin RMD Open
BMJ Innovations eGastroenterology Sexually Transmitted Infections
BMJ Leader Emergency Medicine Journal Stroke and Vascular Neurology
BMJ Medicine European Journal of Hospital Pharmacy The BMJ 
BMJ Mental Health Evidence-Based Nursing Thorax
BMJ Military Health Family Medicine and Community Health Tobacco Control
BMJ Neurology Open Frontline Gastroenterology Trauma Surgery & Acute Care Open
BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health General Psychiatry World Journal of Pediatric Surgery
BMJ Oncology Gut  
BMJ Open Heart  
BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care Injury Prevention  
BMJ Open Gastroenterology International Journal of Gynecological Cancer  
BMJ Open Ophthalmology Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer  
BMJ Open Quality Journal of Clinical Pathology  
BMJ Open Respiratory Research Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health  
BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine Journal of Medical Ethics  
BMJ Paediatrics Open Journal of Medical Genetics  
BMJ Public Health Journal of NeuroInterventional Surgery