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Publishing your article: What to consider when choosing a journal

Publishing a scientific paper is not always easy. Especially when it comes down to the decision where to publish. As each journal has its own style and audience, it is best to decide where you want to publish your article before you finish your final draft. This decision will largely depend on why you publish your research results and who you want to share them with. Here are a few things to consider when choosing a candidate journal for your article:


1. Is it a peer-reviewed journal?

2. What is the impact factor* of this journal?

3. What are the aims and scopes of the journal? Do they fit my article?

4. How quick is the process of reviewing and publication?

5. What is the audience of this journal?

6. Is it open access? 

7. Are there costs related to publishing in this journal?

8. Who are the editors of this journal?

9. What are the copyright policies?


Peer-reviewed simply means that your article will be reviewed by other professionals (your peers). Therefore, a journal that is not peer-reviewed will publish the article without being reviewed by other professionals, and thus may lack quality. The impact factor (IF) of an academic journal is a measure reflecting the average number of citations to recent articles published in the journal. It is frequently used as a proxy for the relative importance of a journal within its field, with journals with higher impact factors deemed to be more important than those with lower ones. In general, journal with a high impact factor reach a wider audience then journals with a low impact factor. There is always value in aiming high when choosing your candidate journal. However, it might be time consuming. If you are in no rush to publish your results, you might be able to count on good reviews and valuable feedback, and maybe even publish your article in high prestige journals. However, if you are aiming for a specific audience and/or need to publish your results in a reasonable timeframe (for example within practical conservation) you might want to consider a more specific journal with a lower impact factor. If you wish to know about the timeframe of each journal, it is best to consult your supervisor and/or colleagues about their past experience with a specific journal. 


When you made a decision on your candidate journal, it is important to read a few articles recently published in this journal, to get an idea if your article is a good match, and if not, how to best adapt your storyline. However, don’t be disappointed if your article is rejected. It does not necessarily reflect the quality of your paper, but could be simply due to the selection of the wrong journal. And don’t forget, practice leads to perfection!


Here is a list of some of the journals related to marine biology and conservation with their recent impact factor. You can also check this article by Peter Kareiva and Chris Yuan-Farrell for further information.


• Current Biology: 8.851

• Ecology: 5.175

• Journal of Applied Ecology: 5.196

• Journal of Animal Ecology: 4.827

• Conservation Biology: 4.320

• Ecological Applications: 4.314

• Mammal Review: 4.265

• Biological Conservation: 3.762

• Marine Environmental Research: 3.101

• Animal Behaviour: 3.068

• Ambio: 2.973

• Animal Conservation: 2.835

• ICES Journal of Marine Science: 2.760

• Marine Biology: 2.391

• Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology: 2.382
• Marine Ecology Progress Series: 2.292

• Biodiversity and Conservation: 2.265

• Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems: 2.136
• Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science: 2.057

• Population Ecology: 1.865

• Wildlife Research: 1.84

• Environmental Conservation: 1.826

• Endangered Species Research: 1.81

• Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology: 1.796

• Marine and Freshwater research: 1.757

• Marine Biology Research (Ophelia): 1.74

• Marine Mammal Science: 1.665

• Journal for Nature Conservation: 1.657

• Oryx: 1.64

• Journal of Mammalogy: 1.558

​• Journal of Zoology: 1.545​

• Mammalian Biology: 1.429

• Aquatic Biology: 1.26​

• Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the UK (spec. issue): 1.038

• Aquatic Mammals: 0.99

• Mammalia: 0.805

• Latin American Journal of Aquatic Mammals: not yet indexed

Dr. Els Vermeulen PhD, MSc, BSc 

Co-Founder & Scientific Director

Published articles:


Vermeulen, E. 2017. Intertidal habitat use of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Bahía San Antonio, Argentina. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the UK



Failla, M., Seijas, V.A., Vermeulen, E. 2017. Occurrence of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) of the Río Negro Estuary, Patagonia, Argentina and their mid-distance movements along the Northeast Patagonian coast. Latin American Journal of Aquatic Mammals 11(1-2): 170-177.


Laporta, P., Di Tullio, J.C., Vermeulen, E., Domit, C., Albuquerque, C., Lodi, L. 2017. Report of the working group on habitat use of Tursiops truncatus in the Southwestern Atlantic Ocean. Latin American Journal of Aquatic Mammals 11(1-2):  47-61.


Ott P., Barreto, A.S., Siciliano, S., Laporta, P., Domit, C., Fruet, P.F., Dalla Rosa, L., de Oliveira Santos, M.C., Meirelles, A.C., Marchesi, M.C., Botta, S., de Oliveira, L.R., Moreno, I.B., Wickert, J., Vermeulen, E., Hoffmann, L.S., Baracho, C., Simões Lopes, P.C. 2017. Report of the Working Group on Taxonomy and Stock Identity of bottlenose dolphins in the Southwest Atlantic Ocean. Latin American Journal of Aquatic Mammals 11(1-2): 16-28.


Lodi, L., Domit, C., Laporta, P., Di Tullio, J.C.,  Martins, C.C.A., Vermeulen, E. 2017. Report of the Working Group on the Distribution of Tursiops truncatus in the Southwest Atlantic Ocean. Latin American Journal of Aquatic Mammals 11(1-2): 29-46.


Vermeulen, E., Balbiano, A., Beleguer, F., Colombil, D., Failla, M., Intrieri, E., Bräger, S. 2016. Site-fidelity and movement patterns of bottlenose dolphins in central Argentina: essential information for effective conservation. Aquatic Conservation. DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2618


Vermeulen, E., Holsbeek, L., Das, K. 2015. Diurnal and Seasonal Variation in the Behaviour of Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Bahía San Antonio, Patagonia, Argentina. Aquatic Mammals 41(3), 272-283. DOI 10.1578/AM.41.3.2015.272


Vermeulen, E and Bräger, S. 2015 Demographics of the Disappearing Bottlenose Dolphin in Argentina: A Common Species on Its Way Out? PLoS ONE 10(3): e0119182.  doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0119182


Fruet, P., Secchi, E.R., Daura-Jorge, F., Vermeulen, E., Flores, P.A.C., Simões-Lopes, P.C., Genoves, R.C., Laporta, P., Ditullio, J.C., Freitas, T.R., Dalla Rosa, L., Valiati, V.H., Behereharay, L.B., Möller, L.M. 2014. Remarkably low genetic diversity and strong population structure in common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from coastal waters of the Southwestern Atlantic Ocean. Conservation Genetics Doi: 10.1007/s10592-014-0586-z


Weir, C., Coles, P., Ferguson, A., May, D., Baines, M., Figueirdo, I., Reichelt, M., Goncalves, L., De Boer, M., Rose, B., Edwards, M., Travers, S., Ambler, M., Félix, H., Wall, D., Azhakesan, V., Betenbaugh, M., Fennelly, L., Haaland, S., Hak, G., Juul, T., Leslie, R., McNamara, B., Russell, N., Smith, J., Tabisola, H., Teixeira, A., Vermeulen, E.,  Vines, J., Williams, A. 2014. Clymene dolphins (Stenella clymene) in the eastern tropical Atlantic: distribution, group size, and pigmentation pattern. Journal of Mammalogy: December 2014, Vol. 95, No. 6, pp. 1289-1298.


Vermeulen, E. 2012. Abundance estimates of southern right whales (Eubalaena australis) in Bahía San Antonio, Patagonia, Argentina. J. Cetacean Res. Manage. 13(1): 47–51.


Vermeulen, E., Cammareri, A., Holsbeek, L. 2012. Alteration of Southern right whale (Eubalaena australis) behaviour by human induced disturbance in Bahía San Antonio, Patagonia, Argentina. Aquatic Mammals 38(1): 56-64.


Vermeulen, E. and Cammareri, A. 2009. Variation in external morphology of resident bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Bahia San Antonio, Patagonia, Argentina. JMATE Vol2 N°2.


Vermeulen, E. and Cammareri, A. 2009. Residency, Abundance and Social Composition of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Bahía San Antonio, Patagonia, Argentina. Aquatic Mammals, 35(3), 379-386.