Clearly outlining a journal’s scope and aims enables readers to swiftly grasp its relevance and ensures prospective authors submit pertinent manuscripts. This streamlines the process, saving time and effort for both authors and the journal’s managers.
Typically, online journals have a dedicated ‘Scope’ or ‘Aims & Scope’ page, where this information is presented to readers. Typically, such a page would outline the journal’s unique objectives and the journal’s target demographic of scholars and practitioners. In some cases, the scope statement may describe the reasons the journal was founded as well as any specific focus, such as the subject area(s) and, potentially, geographic regions that the journal seeks to target (e.g. national vs international circulation).
It is recommended that the scope statement also covers the types of content accepted (e.g. original research articles, book reviews), the publishing model (for example diamond open access) of the journal as well as the chosen peer review policy (e.g. double blind, open). Other features that should be described include publication frequency and article selection criteria.
While a new journal may be inclined to adopt a broad, multidisciplinary focus to attract more submissions, it is generally advisable to adopt a precise and targeted approach for the journal’s covered topics. This is primarily because new journals often emerge as a response to a perceived gap in the existing coverage of a research field.
For journals that are already well-established, it is advisable to occasionally revisit the scope, aims and focus to ensure that they remain accurate and relevant.