Journal finder


ideas on how to find an academic journal suitable to your article


UHI Perth and ICIMOD


September 4, 2024

Finding an academic journal for publication it is not a linear process. Here some notes I have taken for different methods can be used. As an example I will use my search related to a recent research done at ICIMOD with the following abstract and keywords:

Natural springs are the main water source for the 13 million people living in the midhills of Himalaya. These sources have been under stress due to numerous factors, such as climate change, infrastructural development, and socio-economic changes. To combat this trend, spring revival activities have been carried out across the Hindu Kush Himalaya in the last few years. Considering two study sites in Nepal, this work attempts the frst costbeneft analysis for spring revival in rural settings. Firstly, using literature and community consultations, we drafted a cause-effect map. Secondly, we quantitatively estimate the costs and benefts using four scenarios: two based on the study sites and two on more generic situations. Positive (>1) beneft-cost ratios were found in three scenarios, showing that spring revival has potential but local conditions (household served, presence of other water sources, usage) are important factors to be considered.

Keywords: Nepal, spring, mountain, cost-benefit, revival, water

Using Search engines

The first method uses ELSEVIER journal finder and using the abstract as input. The matches were all marked as low matches. The second method used JANE semantic engine. results seemed very general and even using the keywords did not produce interesting results. CLARIVATE manuscript matcher ( The reulsts were even less pertinent than in the previous 2 cases. See table below.

Results of searches form 3 engines
Rank ELSEVIER_abs JANE Clarivate
1 Forest Policy and Economics The Science of the total environment  SUSTAINABILITY
2 Ecological Economics Environmental monitoring and assessment ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND POLLUTION RESEARCH
3 Land Use Policy Scientific reports APPLIED SCIENCES-BASEL
4 World Development Heliyon  PEERJ
5 Environmental Development Environmental science and pollution research international ENERGIES
6 Journal of Rural Studies Journal of geophysical research ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT
7 Global Environmental Change PloS one BIOMED RESEARCH INTERNATIONAL
8 World Development Perspectives BMC microbiology ENVIRONMENTAL EARTH SCIENCES
9 Ecosystem Services International journal of environmental research and public health LAND
10 International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction PeerJ NATURAL HAZARDS

Using cited bibliography

In the past I found a simpler and more effective way was also tried simply by looking at the cited bibliography in the text1. Results are shown below and seem to be much more pertinent.

1 Process: [1] extract references from text using sites as anystyle or rintze:elle. [2]Using R package bib2df import the .bib file as a dataframe. [3] Plot the most frequent journals.

Results from cited sources in the article
Var1 Freq
Mountain Research and Development 7
Water Policy 7
Annual Review of Environment and Resources 3
Ecological Economics 3
Environmental Earth Sciences 3
Journal of Hydrology 3
Water International 3
Results of literature search narrowed to Cost-Benefit analysis
Var1 Freq
Water 7
Annual Review of Environment and Resources 5
Ecological Economics 5
NA 5
Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis 4
Sustainability 4
Agricultural Water Management 3
Water Resources and Economics 3


BibTeX citation:
  author = {Butte, Giacomo},
  title = {Journal Finder},
  date = {2024-09-04},
  url = {},
  langid = {en}
For attribution, please cite this work as:
Butte, Giacomo. 2024. “Journal Finder.” September 4, 2024.