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Promotion and Tenure - LIbrary Tools Guide

Library resources to help in promotion and tenure preparation

Journal Acceptance Rates

Locating acceptance rates for individual journals or for specific disciplines can be difficult, yet is necessary information for promotion and tenure activities. Journals with lower article acceptance rates are frequently considered to be more prestigious and more “meritorious”.

The method of calculating acceptance rates varies among journals: 

  • Some journals use all manuscripts received as a base for computing this rate. 
  • Other journals allow the editor to choose which papers are sent to reviewers and calculate the acceptance rate on those that are reviewed that is less than the total manuscripts received.
  • Many editors do not maintain accurate records on this data and provide only a rough estimate. 
  • Furthermore, the number of people associated with a particular area of specialization influences the acceptance rate. If only a few people can write papers in an area, it tends to increase the journal's acceptance rate.

You will find a few useful tips and resources on finding journal acceptance rates below:

  • Contact the editor of the journal

    Try contacting the editor of the journal to see if s/he will share the acceptance rate.

  • Google the journal name

    Some societies will also publish acceptance rates for their journals on their home pages. A Google search using the name of the journal or the name of the society will usually take you to the journal home page.

  • Cabell's Directory of Publishing Opportunities

    Acceptance rates for some journals can be found in this library subscription database. Currently over 1200 journals, primarily in Educational Technology, Educational Curriculum and Educational Psychology are available within this database but other discipline journals may also be included.

Information courtesy of University of Michigan subject guide "Research Impact Metrics: Citation Analysis"

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