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GR ST 529: Preparing Publishable Thesis Chapters

Writing support for graduate students

Do your Research!

There won't be nasty surprises when you do research on journals beforehand!

Using Online Tools to Discover Journals

We often use Google whenever we need information about anything.  For finding general information about a journal, it can be a useful first place to check.  However, it won't always be a good choice for all the research you need to do on journals.

We usually use Google Scholar and article indexes and databases to find articles. But you can flip that purpose and use indexes to identify journals that are publishing articles on topics similar to your own.

This strategy is especially useful if you are working in an interdisciplinary subject area. You might be familiar with journals in your main subject area, but maybe not familiar at all with the other subject area(s).  Here are some familiar tools and sites that will be helpful.

Working off-campus?  Be sure to sync Scholar with ISU Library collections! That way you'll connect seamlessly to content the ISU Library owns!  Here's how:

First, choose Scholar's three-line icon (hamburger), in the top left corner of Google Scholar's home page. Open it to choose the Settings icon, then choose Library Links. Next, type in Iowa State University and choose specifically the ViewIt@ISU option.  Save, and you're done!

Sync Google Scholar

NOTE: Google Scholar tweaks its interface very often, and the specific location of Settings changes frequently.  Just know that you need to find Settings to sync Scholar to our collections.

Once you find an index in your subject area, search your topic. When you have relevant search results on screen, pay attention to the journals that are publishing these articles.This may help you widen your list of prospective journals, and you may discover some relevant journals you hadn't known before.

Put together a list of these journals and investigate them further.

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Using Journal Directories: UlrichsWeb

Okay, now that you've got some journals in mind, you need to find quick facts about them, such as:

  • Are they really peer-reviewed?
  • Are they Open Access?
  • Are they still publishing, or defunct?
  • How long has the journal been around?
  • What topics do they publish? 

Note that the Advanced Search of UlrichsWeb can offer a lot of precision to your searches.

Your Librarian

Abbey Elder's picture
Abbey Elder
150 Parks Library
Iowa State University