You are half-way through your research and you are starting to think about the options you have regarding publishing. There are many journals out there, but how to tell which is the right one for your study?
When it comes to journal publishing, one thing you need to consider is the audience. Who do you wish to share your findings with? Who could be interested in what you have to say? Higher education scholars only, or maybe also scholars who work in the broader field of education? Or perhaps scholars in a discipline, such as sociology, political science, management or economics? If you are still figuring this out, your reference list may give you a hint or two about who you are engaging with in the conversation.
What is the difference anyway? By and large, in a disciplinary journal you would normally be expected to use the theory, concepts and vocabulary pertaining to that discipline, use higher education as a case to build an argument and engage in debates which are relevant for that discipline or some specific strand within it. Sometimes this may also mean arguing why you have chosen higher education as your case.
On the other hand, in a journal which specializes in a field, such as higher education, you are normally expected to do the reverse: choose a disciplinary and theoretical approach and/or a conceptual framework and apply it to the phenomenon you are observing in higher education. Analogously, this may sometimes involve convincing the editors and reviewers why you have chosen a specific theory.
If you decide to stay in the field and are not really sure which journals are out there for you or where to start looking, we have compiled a list of (a) higher education journals and also one of (b) educational journals which also publish studies in higher education. You can download the list here:
Here’s some info about the list. The information provided in it is meant for general overview and more as a starting point in finding a suitable journal. That being said, you should always check the journal’s webpage, its publications and topics covered. Also, make sure to cross-check the information we provide in the table (it may have changed in the meantime and, well, mistakes happen).
Although we did our best to cover as many relevant journals as possible, the list is most certainly not a complete one. If you know a journal which is not included in the list, if you can provide a piece of information missing in it, or if you spot a mistake (or more), we would appreciate if you would let us know by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you & good luck!
Jelena Brankovic is a postdoctoral researcher and lecturer at the Faculty of Sociology, Bielefeld University, Germany. Her research interests are in the sociology of organizations, competition, and global dynamics. You can follow her on Twitter.