The Molecular Ecologist Podcast: What do you look for in a journal?

The Boston Public Library (Flickr: Little Koshka)

A new episode of The Molecular Ecologist Podcast is now out on In this episode, we turn to a question that every academic scientist has to answer at some point: How do you choose a scientific journal to receive your paper? Kelle Freel, Shawn Abrahams, Katie Grogan and Jeremy Yoder chat about what they like in a journal, what they consider when picking a publication venue for a new paper, and the various meanings of an “impact factor.”

  • JANE, the Journal/Author Name Estimator, will select candidate journals based on a sample of text from your paper’s abstract.
  • The Wikipedia article on impact factors is a quick overview of the metric’s history and criticisms.
  • There have been multiple studies of the effect Twitter attention may have on a paper’s eventual citation count — one for ecology specifically was published in PLOS ONE in 2018.
  • The study establishing a “chaperone effect” in which papers are more likely to be published at a high-impact journal if one of the authors has published in the journal before is on the PNAS website.
  • The recent study of unprofessional peer reviewer comments by Nyssa Silbiger and Amanda Stubler is on the PeerJ website.

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The music in this episode is Leroy Anderson’s “The Syncopated Clock,” performed on piano by Markus Staab and available under a Creative Commons license via Musopen.

About Jeremy Yoder

Jeremy B. Yoder is an Associate Professor of Biology at California State University Northridge, studying the evolution and coevolution of interacting species, especially mutualists. He is a collaborator with the Joshua Tree Genome Project and the Queer in STEM study of LGBTQ experiences in scientific careers. He has written for the website of Scientific American, the LA Review of Books, the Chronicle of Higher Education, The Awl, and Slate.
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