Before selecting which journal to publish your research with, maybe search for advice?

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By some estimates, the number of published journal articles has increased by something like 20% compared to output in 2019. It is not clear the actual drivers for this significant growth, but papers related to the COVID pandemic are undoubtedly a factor and possibly also the closure of academic study at universities and other organisations enabled researchers to finalise submissions earlier than they had planned.

Whatever the reason, significant growth places strains on the publishing process, not to mention the huge increase in peer-review activities performed by our colleagues!

conpher was launched in the Summer of 2020. Its mission, to collect and share journal publishing experiences to help our colleagues choose the most appropriate journal to publish their research.

In our lives today, it is rare that we do not encounter a customer review for a restaurant, shop, product, film or hotel. Apparently 95% of shoppers reading online reviews before making a purchase! Why not apply the same logic to selecting which journal to publish in. And with Open Access Publishing potentially becoming the dominant business model in journal publishing, shouldn’t you check you are going to get the service you deserve and paid for?

After many months of work on your research – sometimes years – it is very important that any articles you decide to publish are treated with respect, professionally reviewed and published in a timely manner. Deciding where to submit can be an easy decision – ie you may have published previously in the same journal and know what to expect, but sometimes the nature or subject of your article may require you to look beyond your personal experiences. And that is where we hope conpher can help contribute to your decision making.

The data we have gathered outlines key factors such as quality, type of peer-review, OA options and costs. We have analysed over 3 million article records mapping metadata to calculate acceptance and publication times to indicate how long you should expect to wait for your research to be published. In addition, we have added recommendations and reviews contributed by academics throughout the world.

You can select a journal and see what your colleagues thought about the journal? Were they happy to recommend it or would they suggest you look elsewhere? They have rated the quality of the peer-review they received – did it help them improve the quality of their submission or was the peer-review unhelpful and possibly obstructive. After receiving reports that in some cases peer-review was non-existent, conpher released a new warning tool advising authors that the journal they were considering, could potentially be “predatory”.

Colleagues have shared the reasons why they selected the journal to publish in, have rated the overall experience and added comments to support their conclusions.

We have now received 10,000 recommendations and reviews from researchers around the world. This is a phenomenal response, and we will honour this by continuing to grow and develop the functionality of the platform. 
For all the academics and researchers who have taken the time to share their journal article publishing experiences – we thank you for the 90 seconds it took – your advice will help guide a colleague to a quality performing journal and for potentially save them months of stress and grief!

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