SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Adrian Bridgwater, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman

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Research Square Launches JournalGuide to Help Academics Find Best Journal for Their Manuscripts

Research Square – the U.S.-based, for-benefit organization which provides tools and services to hasten the pace of scientific discovery for the global academic community – has launched JournalGuide, a free tool to help researchers publish faster by choosing the best match for their manuscript from the beginning.

Using a central information hub containing primary data from journals, secondary information from public sources, and perhaps most importantly, the shared experiences of researchers who have previously submitted papers to those journals, JournalGuide helps researchers to quickly evaluate scholarly journals in order to determine which ones reach their intended audience and, therefore, represent the best match for the content of their manuscript.

“JournalGuide enables researchers to make data-driven decisions in order to narrow the field of journals which would be most likely to have an interest in their papers, allowing them to save months of time and frustrating rounds of rejection,” says JournalGuide Co-Founder and Managing Director Keith Collier.

According to Collier, the days of choosing a journal “because that’s where we always submit” are rapidly disappearing. Noting that open access and online publishing tools have resulted in an explosion of new journal growth – with more than 2,000 journals added to the Directory of Open Access Journals in the past 12 months alone – Collier explains, “JournalGuide’s powerful search tools and central information hub enables researchers to effectively search, sort, filter, and do side-by-side comparisons of journals’ selectivity, publication speed, cost, and open access options.”

JournalGuide works by matching scholarly journals to the content of academic papers so that researchers can immediately determine which journals will be most likely to have an interest in their articles. Researchers can use the title and abstract of a paper to discover which journals have already published articles on similar topics, in addition to searching by journal name, category, or publisher.

Unlike other search tools, JournalGuide also allows researchers to share their own publishing experiences with colleagues and to learn from others’ feedback. Through these shared ratings, researchers can help their colleagues make informed decisions about where to submit their papers. Author feedback also helps journals to improve, promoting a level of transparency that has not been available in scholarly publishing in the past.

While author ratings for journals are anonymous, they are audited by JournalGuide staff. Authors must be logged in to provide feedback and data are presented anonymously and in aggregate. JournalGuide currently is accepting ratings from authors, but is not yet displaying community data.

Researchers who are likely to benefit most from JournalGuide include first-time authors, international authors, and authors who are working on a paper somewhat outside of their traditional scope (e.g. multidisciplinary topics).

Collier notes that established researchers are also likely to find JournalGuide valuable. “Experienced researchers may find themselves in a situation where speed to publication has become the top priority,” he explains. “By providing actual times reported by other authors and times reported by journals, JournalGuide makes it easy for researchers under time constraints to find the fastest path to publication.”

While JournalGuide’s most complete journal data are currently in the biomedical fields, the team is working with major publishers to add title/abstract metadata from over 30,000 additional journals, and is gathering general information for the journal-specific pages across all disciplines. Robust keyword-driven search in fields outside of the biomedical sciences will be available by summer 2014.

JournalGuide grew out of the need to create a comprehensive database and powerful search tools for Rubriq, another division of Research Square. Rubriq, which provides independent peer reviews to help authors anticipate reviewer objections and choose the best journals for their papers based on both content and quality, needed a search tool that would provide customized journal recommendations as part of its standardized scorecard.

For more information about JournalGuide, visit www.journalguide.com.

About JournalGuide

JournalGuide is a division of Research Square, which makes it a sister company to Rubriq (independent peer review) and AJE (manuscript preparation services). As an independent company, we are not a publisher or journal and have no plans to become one. Our team is made up of published researchers and software developers who combine a deep understanding of the publication process with cutting-edge technology tools.

JournalGuide grew out of the need to create a comprehensive database and powerful search tools for the Rubriq team. Our goal at JournalGuide is to help researchers publish faster by helping them to evaluate and choose the right journal.

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