Starting points

Things to consider when planning a journal

Journal title

Ensure the journal title is distinctive, memorable, and brief where possible.

Check the ISSN Portal to ensure it isn't an already existing title.

Consider how the title of the journal will look in its abbreviated form, as this will form part of the unique journal identifier (DOI) and will be displayed in the journal URL.


Publication frequency

This is a crucial part of journal policies. It's recommended that journals regularly release new articles. There are many approaches to this, ranging from less frequent options like a special issue released once or twice a year, to continuously publishing once articles are accepted. Journals might have specific deadlines for submitting articles, or they might have open calls for submissions that aren't tied to a particular schedule.

Having a clear structure helps manage author expectations and displays professionalism from the journal. 


Aims and scope

The aims and scope of an academic journal should include a brief and simple explanation of the main reason it exists, and what it hopes to achieve. This approach will also better support discoverability via search engines.

It may also include:

  • An outline of the subjects covered (or whether it is interdisciplinary)
  • The type of articles published (and, possibly, what will not be published)
  • Author criteria
  • The peer-review policy and time scales.

This information will help readers to easily understand the journal and could persuade them to consider submitting their work for publication.


Content types

Journals should choose an appropriate mix of content types to publish. Journals usually publish a mix of peer-reviewed and non-peer-reviewed content, which are clearly labelled as such.

Typical journal content includes:

  • Original research articles
  • Case studies
  • Conference proceedings
  • Commentaries or letters
  • Book reviews
  • Editorials
  • Technical reports


Editorial roles

It's vital that you assemble the right editorial board to manage and run your journal, with clearly defined roles and responsibilities.

Journal editors are typically responsible for:

  • soliciting content for their title
  • recruiting reviewers
  • copyediting
  • publishing the final work
  • managing subscribers.

Ensure that there are enough people involved who can take over different roles in case of illness/people changing jobs. Titles hosted on Salford Open Journals will most likely be run by an editor-in-chief and an editorial board made up of students and staff from the University of Salford. Don't forget to plan for the succession of the title if people leave the University and no longer wish to be involved.