Journal/Manuscript Matching Tools

As the number of new journal titles steadily increases from year to year, choosing the most appropriate publication outlet for a manuscript is becoming more complex than ever. Add to that the very real threat posed by predatory publishers who are actively trying to deceive unsuspecting authors – not to mention the multiple open access options available to choose from – and you have a journal selection process severely in need of some support.

Luckily, automation has come to the rescue! In this case, via the development of a category of journal selection/finder tools often referred to as Journal/Manuscript Matching Tools.

What are Journal/Manuscript Matching tools?

Journal/Manuscript Matchers are innovative tools that offer suggestions for which journals to consider submitting a manuscript to based on a text-matching search using the manuscript’s title and abstract provided by the author. This software is similar to plagiarism detection software in that it compares strings of text. However, the two tools likely apply very different cutoff values for variables like percent similarity. In the case of journal finders, they don’t run the text comparison against other full-text articles, but rather against bibliographic literature database records (ie. other titles and abstracts).

The Journal/Manuscript matching tools work under the assumption that journals that have published papers on a similar topic before may be more likely to be interested in publishing on this topic again in the future. By searching for published papers that are “similar” (as per text word match based on the title and abstract only) to an author’s manuscript, these tools are able to suggest potential journal homes where “similar” papers have been accepted before for publication. Generally, these tools are helpful in identifying appropriate journals in terms of scope and target audience.

A limitation, however, is that past journal editor behavior does not always predict future journal editor decisions. (For example, a journal that is broader in scope may have recently published a special issue on a particular topic or subject area that the editors are not planning on revisiting any time in the very near future.)

What are some examples of available Journal/Manuscript Matching Tools?

Which Journal/Manuscript Matcher should you use?

Depending on the discipline and subject area whose audience you are targeting, one of these options may be more fruitful/relevant – with regards to the suggestions made – than the others. For example, the JANE or Journal/Author Name estimator, conducts the text-matching search against the PubMed database and is best for targeting biomedical journal titles. As such, if you are targeting an engineering journal, for example, you may be better off exploring the suggestions provided by the IEEE publication recommender, or more multidisciplinary journal matchers like Elsevier’s or Clarivate’s journal finder tools.

The oldest of these tools, JANE, was developed in 2007 by a Biosemantics research group at the University Medical Center Rotterdam’s Department of Medical Informatics (Netherlands). It is the least biased towards a particular publisher’s journal titles and it offers a fairly current snapshot of publication trends as the data from PubMed that it runs the comparisons against is updated monthly.

To get a better understanding of what you get out of these journal selection tools in general and to learn more about JANE, see this recent review:

Curry CL. Journal/Author Name Estimator (JANE). J Med Libr Assoc. 2019 Jan;107(1):122–4. doi: 10.5195/jmla.2019.598. Epub 2019 Jan 1. PMCID: PMC6300233.

To submit a request for assistance with the journal selection process, be sure to Ask Us at the MSK Library!

Checking to What Extent PubMed and MEDLINE Index a Journal

Understanding the extent to which a particular database indexes the contents of a journal is a crucial step towards maximizing the visibility and reach of your published work(s).

Although social media and other marketing channels have definitely helped with getting the word out about new research in scholarly publishing, the reach of bibliographic indexes in terms of providing access to content beyond an individual author’s personal and professional networks is still very significant.

There are a few factors that impact the visibility and reach of a literature database:

1) Public access versus commercial databases

Content that everyone has access to because it is not stored behind a paywall, regardless of how well-funded their institution is or if they are affiliated with a research library or not, has the potential of reaching a wide range of audiences across the globe. In the case of PubMed, for example: “On an average working day approximately 2.5 million users from around the world access PubMed to perform about 3 million searches and 9 million page views.”   

2) Syndicated/leased/shared versus proprietary content

Syndicated content is content that is published on multiple sites beyond the source, which broadens its reach and visibility”. There are some databases, like MEDLINE, whose content is leased to other database vendors and  can be searched (in whole or in part) in other resources. For example, MEDLINE content is included in EMBASE, CINAHL, and Cochrane Library. Having a journal indexed in both MEDLINE and PubMed, therefore, increases the potential for the contents of that journal to be discovered by searchers of databases beyond NLM’s PubMed’s free search interface.  For this reason, it is helpful to understand the difference between PubMed and MEDLINE and how each of these resources is put together.

3) “Surface” versus “deep” web indexing by search engines

Another important question to ask of an online database is: Do regular web search engines, like Google, “see” the contents of this database? In the case of the vast majority of database resources on the Internet, the standard World Wide Web search engines generally stop at the front door of the database tool and do not index the actual contents within the database. In the case of PubMed, however, Google actually “crawls” the records contained within the database, increasing their findability by Google Scholar searchers who may never search the PubMed database via its native interface.

From Vine R. Google Scholar. J Med Libr Assoc. 2006 Jan;94(1):97–9. PMC1324783:

“Much of Google Scholar’s index derives from a crawl of full-text journal content provided by both commercial and open source publishers. Specialized bibliographic databases like OCLC’s Open WorldCat and the National Library of Medicine’s PubMed are also crawled. Since 2003, Google has entered into numerous individual agreements with publishers to index full-text content not otherwise accessible via the open Web. Although Google does not divulge the number or names of publishers that have entered into crawling or indexing agreements with the company, it is easy to see why publishers would be eager to boost their content’s visibility through a powerhouse like Google.”

In short, selecting a journal to publish in that is indexed in PubMed, as well as, in MEDLINE, gives your manuscript a good head start towards achieving maximum international reach and visibility.

Follow these steps to determine whether a journal is indexed in PubMed alone, in both PubMed and MEDLINE, or in neither:

Click on the “Journals” link of the PubMed homepage or go directly to the NLM Catalog to search for Journals referenced in the NCBI Databases. Once you bring up a catalog record for a journal of interest, click on the title to open the full record where you can confirm a journal’s MEDLINE “Current Indexing Status”.

Below are examples of the indexing status information provided in NLM Catalog records:

























Questions?  Ask Us at the MSK Library!

Upgrading to EndNote 20 – Important Information

The latest version of the EndNote citation management software, EndNote 20, will become available to the MSK community on Wednesday, July 7th, 2021.

Established EndNote users should be aware that significant changes have been made to this latest release of EndNote.

Please review the information below to avoid any unexpected/unwelcome surprises and/or work disruptions on time-sensitive/critical projects.

  1. How does EndNote 20 differ from previous versions?
  2. How do I get EndNote 20?
  3. Can I upgrade to EndNote20 and keep the previous version on my machine too?
  4. What are EndNote 20’s compatibility and system requirements?
  5. Do I need to worry about my existing EndNote library files not working in EndNote 20?
  6. What should I do to avoid potential compatibility problems?
  7. If I create EndNote 20 libraries that my colleagues (who have not upgraded to EndNote 20) cannot open, what should I do?
  8. How do I get training on EndNote 20?
  9. Who should I contact if I run into any issues when upgrading to or using EndNote 20?
  10. Are there other citation management options available via MSK that I can use instead of EndNote 20?


1. How does EndNote 20 differ from previous versions?

EndNote users familiar with a previous version can compare features and review the differences on the EndNote website (for comparisons going back to X4, see here) or read about them on the MSK Library blog post where they can also view the 2:01 min video entitled: “What’s new in EndNote 20”.

2. How do I get EndNote 20?

a) PC/Windows Desktops connected to the MSK Network (onsite workstations and VCD):

If you currently use EndNote by accessing it in the MSK User Applications folder via the Windows start menu, then EndNote 20 will simply appear there once the new version is released to all users on the MSK network. If you are a new EndNote user, you will still need to contact the Help Desk at 123-3337 or 646-227-3337 to first have EndNote added to your MSK account.

b) MSK-issued PC/Windows laptops:

If you have an earlier version of EndNote installed locally on a Windows laptop, then you can go to the MSK Self-Service Portal, listed as Company Portal in the Windows Start menu to download the app. If you do not see it listed as an app option, contact the Help Desk at 123-3337 or 646-227-3337 to have EndNote 20 added for you.




c) Macintosh Desktops and Laptops:

Macintosh users can use the MSK Self-Service Portal to install the upgraded EndNote 20 software. Please review the macOS and system requirements and call the Help Desk if you do not see the EndNote 20 app available to you for download.

d) Non-MSK Machines:

Current Endnote 20 policy is that the software will not be provided for use on personal computers.  Remote users can use Endnote 20 via Virtual machines.

3. Can I upgrade to EndNote 20 and keep the previous version on my machine too?

No. When you install EndNote 20 on a machine locally, this action will cause previous EndNote versions to first be uninstalled. EndNote 20 will replace previous EndNote versions on all networked PC workstations. Also, an EndNote 20 tab will appear in MS Word and this toolbar will only link with an X9.3 and later EndNote library.

4. What are EndNote 20’s compatibility and system requirements?

EndNote 20 Compatibility and System Requirements 

a) PC: Windows 10

b) Macintosh: macOS 10.14, 10.15, 11.

See full specifications at

5. Do I need to worry about my existing EndNote library files not working in EndNote 20?

If you are using an existing EndNote library that was created in EndNote X9.2 or earlier, then you will be prompted to convert this library when you try to open it in EndNote 20 (or EndNote X9.3). 

Once you create an EndNote library in EndNote 20 (or are prompted by EndNote to convert an older library for use in EndNote version X9.3 or later) the library will NOT be compatible with earlier versions of the application (version X9.2 or earlier).

For this reason, it is strongly recommended that you upgrade to EndNote 20 on all computers that you will be using to access the EndNote desktop software.

6. What should I do to avoid potential compatibility problems?

Before converting an existing EndNote library to the new format, you may wish to create back-ups of any EndNote library files that are important to you. You may choose to back-up your libraries by using one or both of these options:

a) Sign up for an EndNote Online account and sync your important existing desktop EndNote libraries to your cloud-based EndNote Online account.

b) Save your important existing desktop EndNote libraries as “compressed” libraries (while in your current version of EndNote) by going to File > Compressed Library…

7. If I create EndNote 20 libraries that my colleagues (who have not upgraded to EndNote 20) cannot open, what should I do?

The best way to handle this situation is to share the citation records with your colleague(s) by using your EndNote Online account as an intermediary. You can sync your desktop EndNote library to your EndNote Online account and then share it with your colleague(s) just by going to File > Share… and inputting your colleague’s email (the same email that they will have used to create an EndNote Online account of their own).  They will then be able to sync these citations to their own EndNote desktop library (of an earlier version). See (1.02 min) video – In action: EndNote 20 (Windows) library sharing – Web of Science (

8. How do I get training on EndNote 20?

a) MSK Library classes:

You may register for an upcoming EndNote 20 workshop offered by the MSK Library or submit a request for an individual training consultation.

b) EndNote (Clarivate Analytics) training options:

You may also wish to view short video tutorials on specific EndNote features. By going to EndNote’s YouTube training channel and selecting the EndNote 20 (Windows) essential features that includes 19 videos (all less than 2 mins in length).

Clarivate Analytics also has free live training options that you may register for and attend online or view as a recording (EndNote 20 essentials (Windows): a class recording). Also, a variety of Quick Reference Guides can be downloaded and consulted.

9. Who should I contact if I run into any issues when upgrading to or using EndNote 20?

a) MSK Library:

Research Informationists at the MSK Library are available to help you troubleshoot any EndNote issues. Feel free to contact them via the Ask-A-Librarian online form, via telephone, or Chat.

b) EndNote (Clarivate Analytics) product and technical support:

You can explore the EndNote knowledge base for answers to popular questions or contact an expert:

United States / Canada: +1 800-336-4474

10. Are there other citation management options available via MSK that I can use instead of EndNote 20?

For additional citation management software options, please review the MSK Library’s Citation Management LibGuide. Be sure to consult the citation manager comparison table to help you choose the citation management software tool that best fits your needs.

 Questions?  Ask Us at the MSK Library!