Manuscript matchmaking: Finding a home for your article 

With so many options, finding the right home for your manuscript can seem daunting. However, with a few useful tools, you can quickly and confidently locate publication venues appropriate for your work. In this article, you’ll be introduced to two such tools: Scopus Sources and the Web of Science Master Journal List.

Free to use, Scopus Sources allows authors to search for publications indexed in Scopus, an abstract and citation database from Elsevier. Scopus Sources is easy to search. Once you’ve performed a simple keyword search at the top of the page, you can refine your result list further by utilizing the limiters on the sidebar. For instance, you can limit by the open-access status of a publication, minimum number of citations, minimum number of documents, and by specific types of publications (such as journals, conference proceedings, etc.).

You can also limit and sort your search by the CiteScore percentile into which a journal falls within a particular discipline. CiteScore is a metric unique to Scopus Sources; it is computed by dividing the number of citations a publication receives in a four-year period by the total number of citable documents produced by that publication during the same four-year period. Scopus Sources also provides a profile page for each publication you’ll see in your result list. Just click the publication title to access the profile, and you will be provided with more information about the publication and additional metrics, such CiteScores for previous years, the current SCImago Journal Rank (SJR), and the current Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) metric.

Another free tool for locating traditional and open-access publications in a variety of disciplines is Clarivate’s Web of Science Master Journal List (WoS MJL). The MJL includes journals indexed in the following Clarivate citation databases: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCIE), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Arts & Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), and Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI).

To get the full experience of the WoS MJL, be sure to create an account with Clarviate before you begin exploring. Searching is easy: start by typing in a few keywords in the search field. Or, just press the start button next to the search field; this will take you to a page where you can use the filters on the sidebar to refine your search. You can use these filters to narrow your result list to publications listed in one or more specific WoS indices, publications cross-listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals, publications within a specific discipline, publications originating in a specific country or region, publication language, frequency of publication, and/or publications appearing in the 2019 Journal Citation Reports.

Want to skip the search all-together? Try the WoS Manuscript Matcher tool. Just enter the title of your manuscript and a brief abstract, and WoS Manuscript Matcher tool will recommend a set of journals for your work based on the information you have provided.

Once you’ve completed your search or used the Manuscript Matcher tool, you will be able to view a profile for each journal in your result list. Although the level of detail in each profile will vary from journal to journal, many profiles will include general information about the journal, information about where it is indexed, a summary of the journal’s peer-review policies, and associated metrics (such as impact factor) if available.

Although finding the right home for your work can be tricky, these tools can help make the process just a little bit easier. Happy matchmaking!


Danielle S. Apfelbaum is a Senior Assistant Librarian at Farmingdale State College, where she serves as the Scholarly Communication Librarian. Her primary responsibilities include but are not limited to assisting faculty and staff with navigating copyright, fair use, open licensing, and open access publishing. She received her Creative Commons Certification in October 2018.