23things, reference management, research, Uncategorized, writing

Things 6, (and not 7 and 8): the Goldilocks week


Journal editors=bears



This week’s things are all about targeting a journal, finding out more about its scope and what kinds of papers it accepts, who reads it, what its reputation is, how long it takes to get published. Oh wait, that’s just thing 6! Wow, this week is a bit of a beast…I might have to save 7 and 8 for another blog, 6 has taken *forever*.

Thing 6: Choosing where to publish

So I’ve called this the Goldilocks ‘thing’. Is the journal too soft? Too hard? Which one is just right? Because if you write a good enough paper then hopefully if you choose a journal which appreciates your type of paper then nobody will get eaten by bears, I mean you might get published. It’s Sunday, I’ve been doing data entry all day, my brain is as mushy as bear porridge right now, I’ll stop with the weird analogies.

Eek, this thing is hard! So I decided to start by trawling through my Mendeley database using ‘qualitative’ as a search term. Not all journals in my field seem to rate qualitative research much, so I might as well choose one which is friendly towards qual studies, at least in principle. I also then did a search on ‘naturalistic’ or ‘field study’ to see where these types of studies were published, as many of the studies in my area are either lab studies or RCTs, neither of which relates to my work.

The paper I’m planning is a small part of a mixed methods longitudinal study, focusing on a single theme which I found in my qualitative analysis (which was also found in a couple of other qualitative lab studies). I want to relate this theme to some theoretical constructs used in sport and exercise psychology (but I’m more keen to emphasise the exercise aspect rather than the sport), point out how these constructs are related to real-life behaviour, and suggest some practical applications of my findings.

I went through and made an extraordinarily boring table with the journal name, the type of paper/s I found in my database which they published, and I copied and pasted the aims and scope from the journal websites. Gosh, this table is so dull it’s making my eyes glaze over, please don’t even think of reading it. Basically, I put an asterisk next to journals which I think might be the most relevant in terms of their qualitative-friendliness, and the similarity of the papers to the one I’m planning. I don’t think this paper will be suitable for more general journals, health psychology journals or Big Picture Theory journals, and definitely not for RCT-loving journals. I included the other journals just because I think it might make life easier when I come to write other papers to have these handy…

I ignored the bits about open access (because I’m self-funded, I don’t have a funding body coughing up a couple of k just to share my work with the world), reputation (they’re all pretty good, and I figure that it’s fairly difficult to get qualitative papers published anyway so better to get the right fit. Plus, my first paper is unlikely to feature in Nature), and the only one to give any indication of publication timelines is the top one. None of them give any idea of success rates (unless I can find this somewhere else?) Audiences seem to be similar for the top 4  I think, though QRSEH is probably more likely to have a sociological lean, given its emphasis on qualitative research. I still haven’t actually narrowed it down to a single journal yet, I need to go back and look at the papers within each one for a better idea of which one would be best. Then it’s onto Thing 7!



Picture (it’s rather delightful, isn’t it?) By Arthur Mee and Holland Thompson, eds. The Book of Knowledge (New York, NY: The Grolier Society, 1912) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


Table 1: Exceptionally Boring Summary Table

Journal name Type of article Aims and scope
Psychology of Sport and Exercise* qualitative lite, lots of motivation studies Psychology of Sport and Exercise is an international forum for scholarly reports in the psychology of sport and exercise, broadly defined. The journal is open to the use of diverse methodological approaches. Manuscripts that will be considered for publication will present results from high quality empirical research, systematic reviews, meta-analyses, commentaries concerning already published PSE papers or topics of general interest for PSE readers, protocol papers for trials, and reports of professional practice (which will need to demonstrate academic rigour and go beyond mere description).
International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology* thematic analysis, runner’s thoughts The International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology ( IJSEP ) publishes empirical and theoretical contributions in the science of physical activity, human movement, exercise, and sport.  The journal’s Editors and Editorial Board encourage researchers and scholars worldwide to submit their work for publication, since the journal emphasizes its international perspective. Innovative applications, cultural and cross-cultural research and position statements of international organizations are especially welcomed.
Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health* discourse study, grounded theory Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health is the first international journal solely dedicated to the advancement and debate of qualitative research within sport and exercise psychology, sport sociology, sports coaching, and sports and exercise medicine. Providing a forum for qualitative researchers within all the social scientific areas of sport, exercise, and health the journal offers researchers, practitioners, and students access to cutting edge empirical inquiry, scholarly dialogues, and the latest developments in qualitative methodologies and methods. Open to all qualitative approaches, Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health aims to be eclectic in content. It publishes original empirical work that uses qualitative approaches as well as qualitative meta-syntheses and review articles on the methods and methodologies of qualitative research.
Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology* narrative analysis, IPA The Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology (JSEP) publishes research articles by leading world scholars that explore the interactions between psychology and exercise and sport performance, editorials about contemporary issues in the field, abstracts of current research on sport and exercise psychology, and book reviews.
International Journal of Behavioural Medicine parkrun study, a bit qualitative lite but applied The International Journal of Behavioral Medicine (IJBM) is the official publication of the International Society of Behavioral Medicine (ISBM). It presents original research and integrative reviews on interactions among behavioral, psychosocial, environmental, genetic and biomedical factors relevant to health and illness. The scope of the Journal extends from research on biobehavioral mechanisms and clinical studies on diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation to research on public health, including health promotion and prevention. IJBM publishes research originating from all continents, inviting research on multi-national, multi-cultural and global aspects of health and illness.
BMC Public Health mixed methods study of community intervention BMC Public Health is an open access, peer-reviewed journal that considers articles on the epidemiology of disease and the understanding of all aspects of public health. The journal has a special focus on the social determinants of health, the environmental, behavioral, and occupational correlates of health and disease, and the impact of health policies, practices and interventions on the community.
Health Promotion Practice interpretive study Health Promotion Practice (HPP) publishes authoritative articles devoted to the practical application of health promotion and education. It publishes information of strategic importance to a broad base of professionals engaged in the practice of developing, implementing, and evaluating health promotion and disease prevention programs. The journal’s editorial board is committed to focusing on the applications of health promotion and public health education interventions, programs and best practice strategies in various settings, including but not limited to, community, health care, worksite, educational, and international settings. Additionally, the journal focuses on the development and application of public policy conducive to the promotion of health and prevention of disease. The journal includes issues related to the professional preparation and development of health educators. The journal recognizes the critical need to (1) promote linkages between researchers in the academic and private sectors with health promotion and education practitioners; and (2) address the health issues of ethnic and racial minority populations. These partnerships and collaborations are reflected in the editorial philosophy and the broad scope of published articles and contributed sections.
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity qualitative lite IJBNPA is devoted to furthering the understanding of the behavioral aspects of diet and physical activity and is unique in its inclusion of multiple levels of analysis, including populations, groups and individuals and its inclusion of epidemiology, and behavioral, theoretical and measurement research areas.  IJBNPA prioritises research based on randomised controlled trials (RCTs), systematic reviews (with or without meta-analyses, as appropriate), and observational studies. IJBNPA will also review other study designs such as strong or ground-breaking methodological papers, rigorous qualitative studies, debate papers and commentaries. IJBNPA publishes pilot studies only in exceptional circumstances and it does not publish protocol papers or letters to the editors.
Perspectives in Public Health ethnography of running Perspectives in Public Health is an indexed bi-monthly, multidisciplinary public health journal with a truly international scope. Indexed in PubMed and ISI, Perspectives in Public Health publishes original peer-reviewed articles, literature reviews and research papers, and opinion pieces on all aspects of the science, philosophy, and practice of health promotion and public health, as well as news and features.
Psychology, Health and Medicine thematic analysis of habit formation Psychology, Health & Medicine is a multidisciplinary journal highlighting human factors in health. The journal provides a peer reviewed forum to report on issues of psychology and health in practice. This key publication reaches an international audience, highlighting the variation and similarities within different settings and exploring multiple health and illness issues from theoretical, practical and management perspectives. It provides a critical forum to examine the wide range of applied health and illness issues and how they incorporate psychological knowledge, understanding, theory and intervention. The journal reflects the growing recognition of psychosocial issues as they affect health planning, medical care, disease reaction, intervention, quality of life, adjustment adaptation and management.ReadershipPsychology, Health & Medicine is aimed directly at health psychologists, general psychologists, and health care workers such as hospital and community doctors, social workers, planners and managers. The journal will be accessible and of use to both the academy and the professionals.
Qualitative Health Research IPA study, dragon boats Qualitative Health Research is an international, interdisciplinary, refereed journal for the enhancement of health care and to further the development and understanding of qualitative research methods in health care settings. We welcome manuscripts in the following areas: the description and analysis of the illness experience, health and health-seeking behaviors, the experiences of caregivers, the sociocultural organization of health care, health care policy, and related topics. We also seek critical reviews and commentaries addressing conceptual, theoretical, methodological, and ethical issues pertaining to qualitative enquiry.
Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport mixed methods study, workplace intervention Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport publishes research in the art and science of human movement that contributes significantly to the knowledge base of the field as new information, reviews, substantiation or contradiction of previous findings, development of theory, or as application of new or improved techniques. The goals of RQES are to provide a scholarly outlet for knowledge that: (a) contributes to the study of human movement, particularly its cross-disciplinary and interdisciplinary nature; (b) impacts theory and practice regarding human movement; (c) stimulates research about human movement; and (d) provides theoretical reviews and tutorials related to the study of human movement. The editorial board, associate editors, and external reviewers assist the editor-in-chief. Qualified reviewers in the appropriate subdisciplines review manuscripts deemed suitable. Authors are usually advised of the decision on their papers within 75–90 days.
British Journal of Health Psychology The British Journal of Health Psychology publishes original research on all aspects of psychology related to health, health-related behaviour and illness across the lifespan including:

• influence of emotion on health and health-related behaviours

  • psychological interventions in health and disease
  • (other stuff, not relevant to me)

It encourages submissions of papers reporting experimental, theoretical and applied studies and research carried out at the individual, group and community levels is welcome. The journal also welcomes systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Submissions concerning clinical applications and interventions are particularly encouraged.

BMC sports science, medicine and rehabilitation observational study, not qualitative BMC Sports Science, Medicine and Rehabilitation is an open access, peer reviewed journal that considers articles on all aspects of sports medicine and the exercise sciences, including rehabilitation, traumatology, cardiology, physiology, and nutrition.
Social Science & Medicine IPA, walking Social Science & Medicine provides an international and interdisciplinary forum for the dissemination of social science research on health. We publish original research articles (both empirical and theoretical), reviews, position papers and commentaries on health issues, to inform current research, policy and practice in all areas of common interest to social scientists, health practitioners, and policy makers. The journal publishes material relevant to any aspect of health and healthcare from a wide range of social science disciplines (anthropology, economics, epidemiology, geography, policy, psychology, and sociology), and material relevant to the social sciences from any of the professions concerned with physical and mental health, health care, clinical practice, and health policy and the organization of healthcare. We encourage material which is of general interest to an international readership.
Sport, Education and Society Les Mills study Sport, Education and Society is an international journal which provides a focal point for the publication of social science research on pedagogy, policy and the body in society and the wide range of associated social, cultural, political and ethical issues in physical activity, sport and health. The journal concentrates both on the forms, contents and contexts of physical education, sport and health education found in schools, colleges and other sites of formal education, as well as the pedagogies of play, calisthenics, gymnastics, sport and leisure found in familial contexts, sports clubs, the leisure industry, private fitness and health studios, dance schools and rehabilitation centres.
Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being is a peer-reviewed outlet for the scholarly dissemination of scientific findings and practical applications in the domains of health and well-being. Articles are encouraged from all areas of applied psychology including clinical, health, counseling, educational, sport, cross-cultural and environmental psychology. The mission of the journal is to provide readers with outstanding articles that present the latest data and best practices in the application of psychology to the promotion of well-being and optimal functioning. Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being will publish empirical work, theoretical papers, model intervention programs, case studies, debates, and reviews. Of particular interest are intervention studies (e.g., randomized  controlled trials) and meta-analytic reviews.
Journal of Applied Sport Psychology IPA, walking The purpose of the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) is to promote the development of psychological theory, research, and intervention strategies in sport psychology. The journal is a direct benefit of membership in AASP and is received by student and professional members field/observational/naturalistic studies:
Journal of Health Psychology naturalistic study, not qualitative Journal of Health Psychology is a leading international peer reviewed journal that aims to support and help shape research in health psychology from around the world. It provides a platform for traditional empirical analyses as well as more qualitative and/or critically oriented approaches. It also addresses the social contexts in which psychological and health processes are embedded.
The Journal of Behavioral Medicine comparison of indoor/outdoor, not qualitative The Journal of Behavioral Medicine is a broadly conceived interdisciplinary publication devoted to furthering our understanding of physical health and illness through the knowledge and techniques of behavioral science. Application of this knowledge to prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation is also a major function of the journal, which includes papers from all disciplines engaged in behavioral medicine research including: psychology, psychiatry, sociology, epidemiology, anthropology, health economics, public health, general medicine, and biostatistics. Examples of typical research areas include: effects of psychological stress on the immune and cardiovascular function; sociocultural influences on health and illness; adherence to medical regimen and health maintenance behavior (e.g., exercise, nutrition); the study of appetitive disorders (alcoholism, smoking, obesity) that serve as physical risk factors; behavioral factors in the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS; pain, self-regulation therapies and biofeedback for somatic disorders; and brain-behavioral relationships that influence physiological function.

6 thoughts on “Things 6, (and not 7 and 8): the Goldilocks week

  1. Wow, this is incredibly detailed and very well presented. You are a blogging pro!

    Thought provoking discussion of different journals and yes I see the overlap of journals that we use. This is really useful because it offers a new perspective for me and adds to my understanding of different journals, so thanks!

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