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Bibliometrics and Altmetrics: Measuring the Impact of Knowledge: Acceptance Rates


Determining the acceptance rates of individual journals or within specific disciplines is a necessary part of promotion and tenure activities. Journals with lower article acceptance rates are regarded as more prestigious and being published in one tends to be viewed very positively during the tenure review process.

Publishers calculate their journals acceptance rates in various ways:

  1. Some journals use all manuscripts received as a base for computing this rate.
  2. Other journals calculate the acceptance rate using only reviewed manuscripts, not on all manuscripts received.  

Finding journals acceptance rates is a tricky and time consuming process. Start early!

Some ideas on how to find journals acceptance rates:
  1. Contact the editor of the journal to see if they will share the acceptance rate. A good approach is to ask how many submissions the journal receives a year. Then you can calculate the rejection rate by dividing the number of articles published in the last year by the number received. For example, a journal that receives thirty submissions annually and publishes only ten, has a rejection rate of 66 percent (returned 2 out of every 3 submissions). The acceptance rate, therefore, would be 34%.
  2. Check societies' web sites. Sometimes they publish acceptance rates for their journals on their home pages. A Google search using the "name of the journal" (use quotes) or the "name of the society" will usually take you to the home page. Add the words "acceptance rate" to the search string.

For example:

"Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine" AND "acceptance rate"

will get you to the journal's web site listing its acceptance rate.

Acceptance Rates by Selected Subjects


  • Cabell's directories of publishing opportunitiesAssists in selection of academic journals that are most likely to publish your manuscript. The index in Education Directory helps to match the characteristics of the manuscript to the topic areas the journal emphasizes. The directory also includes information on the journals' acceptance rates, publication guidelines, number of copies required, types of review process, the number of internal and external reviewers, time required for review and availability of reviewers' comments.
  • Journals in Higher Education - Virginia Tech's Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research includes a listing of almost 600 higher education journals. Gives acceptance rates and publication review times for some of the journals.




1. If you know of any other resources to be added here, please contact a reference librarian