Making Informed Publishing Decisions

Deciding Where to Publish

Stack of colorful journals

Being informed about the complex and ever evolving publishing process is necessary for scholars to retain control over their work. Traditional publishing models may require the signing over of author’s rights to the publisher. Authors could lose the right to use their work in future research, share work freely with others, self-archive work, or post it to their personal website. It is important to consider the accessibility of your works when deciding on where to publish.

One way to identify and choose a journal (or alternative publication format) in which to publish is to review journal metrics. Journal metrics are tabulated using a variety of complex algorithms based on citations per article over time. Therefore, a very reputable journal that has only been recently established might not have a high metrics score. The same is true for many open access journal titles who have only been around since the late 1990s to early 2010s. Below is a list of journal metrics and the directory of open access journals to assist authors in making submission decisions. (Amended from University of Guelph Library Publishing Support)

Scopus CiteScore

CiteScore metrics from Scopus are comprehensive, transparent, current and free metrics for serial titles in Scopus.

Clarivate Analytics InCites Journal Citation Reports

Journal Citation Reports measures research influence and impact at the journal and category levels, and shows the relationship between citing and cited journals.

Eigenfactor Journal Ranking

Launched in 2007 to provide scientific community with an method for evaluating the influence of scholarly journals.

Think Check Submit

Think Check Submit is a campaign to help researchers identify trusted journals for their research. Their website has a checklist for researchers to assess the credentials of a journal or publisher.

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) is a community-curated online directory that indexes and provides access to high quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals.

Open Access

Open Access logo

"Open Access is the free, immediate, online availability of research articles combined with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment. Open Access is the needed modern update for the communication of research that fully utilizes the Internet for what it was originally built to do — accelerate research."

— from SPARC

"Authors can choose to publish their research articles in a growing number of journals that meet the full definition of Open Access. Articles are free to all interested readers, and the publisher places no nancial or copyright barriers between the readers and the article. Open Access publishing is the fastest growing segment of the scholarly publishing market, and journal options are now available for nearly every area of research."

— from SPARC OA Handout


SHERPA RoMEO is an online resource that aggregates and analyses publisher open access policies from around the world and provides summaries of self-archiving permissions and conditions of rights given to authors on a journal-by-journal basis. RoMEO is a Jisc service and has collaborative relationships with many international partners, who contribute time and effort to developing and maintaining the service. ROMEO colors screenshot

Author Rights

Spark logo

The Stanford Libraries has a section on author rights in the publishing process and implications on copyright. They suggest authors refer to the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), a global coalition committed to making Open the default for research and education. The following are a list of helpful sites from SPARC which provide information about retaining authors rights and ensuring compliance with public access policy publisher and/or funder guidelines:

Public Access Policy Compliance


National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggests inserting the following language into the publisher’s agreement:

"Journal acknowledges that Author retains the right to provide a copy of the final peer-reviewed manuscript to the NIH upon acceptance for Journal publication, for public archiving in PubMed Central as soon as possible but no later than 12 months after publication by Journal.”


National Science Foundation (NSF) requires principal investigators who publish peer-reviewed journal articles or juried conference papers to deposit a copy of the item (either the final accepted version or the version of record, as defined in NSF's public access plan) in the NSF public access repository hosted by the Department of Energy (DOE).

NSF allows an embargo or administrative delay for access of up to 12 months from the date of publication for journal articles or juried conference papers. Individual journal titles (or proceedings or transactions) may institute shorter periods. If a publisher's embargo exceeds 12 months, NSF will make available the version deposited in the NSF public access repository.

Library Open Access Author Processing Charge Agreements

Publisher/JournalStanford MembershipOpen Access Article Processing Fee Discount (if applicable)


  • European Journal of Endocrinology
  • Journal of Endocrinology
  • Reproduction


Stanford Authors receive a 50% discount on Open Access APCs for these three journals from Bioscientifica. This does not include any other fees, such as for supplementary data or for color illustrations in the print version of the journal.

During the submission process, you will be required to state whether you wish to publish your article as Open Access, and if so, confirm whether Stanford subscribes to the journal. You must tick ‘yes’ to this question. Once the manuscript is submitted, the publisher will manually check and confirm with you directly. They will then send you a discount code on acceptance, which you can use during the payment stage.

BioMedCentral (BMC)


A 15% discount on APC's is available to Stanford authors.

BMJ Open Access Programme


Lane Library does not have a BMJ Open Access membership or membership code.

Cerebral Cortex (Oxford Academic Press)



Individual authors create a free account

Publishing in this medical journal is free and all articles are open access.

Dove Medical Press


Frontiers in Human Neuroscience






Liebert Author Advocacy Program (LAAP)


Nucleic Acids Research (NAR)


Stanford authors receive a 50% discount on author charges when publishing in Nucleic Acids Research.

Nature Publishing Group




Lane Medical Library will cover the article processing charge (APC) for authors who are current at Stanford when their article is accepted in PeerJ, a peer-reviewed open access biological, medical and health sciences journal. PeerJ no longer provides lifetime memberships through institutions.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Science


Open Access Article Processing Fee Discount (if applicable): Stanford authors receive a discounted open access fee of $1,300, compared to $1,700, to publish open because Stanford has a site license.

Royal Society of Chemistry


RSC discontinued its free voucher program to subscribing organizations, effective January 1, 2017.

Science Advances (AAAS)


AAAS members receive a 4% discount on APCs. For a CC BY-NC article, the member discount is $148. Corresponding authors at Stanford are eligible for a 15% APC discount. For a CC BY-NC article, the maximum discount is $1,108. The discount is based on institutional holdings.

Wiley Open Access


World Journal of Gastroenterology