As a scientist or a researcher, you make huge strides in advancing knowledge in the STEM field. Your healthcare interventions can save lives, change the way we understand science and enrich our quality of life. When you’re ready to share your knowledge, the best way to do it is by publishing your work. Undoubtedly, publications are an excellent medium for scientific communication. Academic journals have become the most effective and fastest means of broadcasting key research findings. There are two categories of academic journals – ‘International Journals’ and ‘National Journals’. International journals mostly publish articles written in English, since it is the lingua franca chosen to facilitate research dissemination among scientists from different countries. However, it is essential to note here that publishing in regional or national journals is just as important!
Importance of Publishing in National and Regional Journals
International journals are considered as having a very prominent scientific role. They act as the porters of credible science and disseminate it to the widest possible audience. In this scenario, how do we justify the role of national and regional journals?
One of the primary roles of a national journal is to provide a platform for publishing research outcomes having more relevance to the domestic populations. Publishing in national journals are likely to have a direct impact on the geographies concerned. This also increases the chances of research dissemination on topics with national or local interest. Moreover, not all researchers are proficient in English, so they try to stay well-informed about the latest literature by reading national journals. Articles about endemic diseases published in provincial or regional journal further assist in the training and professional development of medical practitioners. Regional journals are an excellent platform for studies that might be interesting from a local or regional point of view, but not very relevant for the international audience. These journals also facilitate publishing of local research without English proficiency.
Deciding whether to publish in a regional or an international journal depends immensely on the research topic. Let us take an example to understand this better. Organometallic reactions replicated anywhere in the world would produce more or less similar results. Nickel will behave the same way in China as in Spain. However, when it comes to population based studies such as clinical trials or food preferences, lifestyle based studies; one may find vast differences due to diverse social culture and norms, ethnicity, population structure and research etiquettes.
Significance of Impact Factor for National/Regional Journals
The number of citations that an article receives is often considered as the measure of the scientific impact and importance of the publishing journal. Despite certain shortcomings and criticism, the Impact factor calculated by Thomson Scientific has become a benchmark for judging the value of journals. However, this may not always be the correct yardstick for judging journals published purely in the regional (non-English) languages. Several of these journals, although having a rich publishing history and societal significance, struggle to maintain the standards set by international journals. This can be clearly exemplified in the field of biomedical research. Despite the unquestionable importance of rapid global dissemination of medical research and clinical trials data in English language for global outreach, studies related to daily medical practice and short publications about local health studies, find more relevance in the domestic arenas.
If your research contributes to knowledge with more relevance to your region/ nation, it will by all means attract the regional researcher community. Publishing in national journals helps in exploring local problems and potential solutions, as well as to bridge the gap between local medical practice and trending research. Original, contemporary, and compelling research, always interests people! It would definitely be an advantage if you could share your work with local researchers especially if you can explain its impact on their lives.
How to Select a Good National Journal?
Predatory journals are on the rise. Masquerading as legitimate and reputable journals, these sham journals charge extravagant fees from the unsuspecting authors under the pretext of quick publication. Therefore, it is necessary to distinguish between unscrupulous publishers and genuine national publishers.
While selecting a national journal, consider the following aspects:
1. Ensure that your article is discoverable, accessible, and can be found easily by search engines. One effective method of achieving this is publishing journals that are indexed in prestigious databases such as the Science Citation Index Expanded (SCIE).
2. The journal exhibits proven trust with a considerable experience in curating and verifying scientific knowledge.
3. The journal follows rigorous standards for peer review.
4. Publishing in this journal safeguards higher visibility and lets your work reach the audience your research deserves!
5. Make sure that the journal has high-quality, relevant scientific articles published in a timely manner.
6. The articles listed in the journal are cited by international researchers, thus indicating the impact of the journal.
7. The journal follows international editorial conventions and the editorial board members include highly acclaimed and distinguished research scholars.
Researchers, scientists and tenured professors generally prefer to select research topics having more relevance to international journals. This is indeed crucial for their academic career advancement. The h-index and citation numbers generated from international journals is usually much higher. Yet, publishing in national journals should be recognized as a valuable contribution to the advancement of science and should be encouraged!
Finding the right national or regional journal can often be challenging for most academics. To make things easier, Enago offers its ‘Open Access Journal Finder‘ tool. This tool assists authors in identifying the most suitable and relevant open access journals to publish their manuscripts, promising a better chance of publication!
Have you ever published in regional journals? How was your experience? Do let us know in the comments below.