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I have a rather abstract paper on triangulated categories; I would say that it is of average size and quality. I want to find an appropriate journal to publish it; I would like it to be accepted in two months or so. Which journals of high enough reputation would be appropriate here?

Being more precise: this is the paper http://arxiv.org/abs/1011.3507 In it I introduce some new relations between t-structures and weight structures. There are several 'Hodge-theoretic' and motivic examples of my formalism in the paper; yet the only application of my results at the moment is the one to motivic conjectures (in my next preprint).

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You might do better with the following procedure. Go to meta.mathoverflow,net, and post a question in the category named something like "Is this an appropriate question?". Describe your intent as well as the question. If things go well, you will either get an improved version of your question and an increased probability of it being answered, or you will get a reason why this kind of question is not for MathOverflow (I think it is borderline myself), or you will get someone who is interested in the paper and help you with it. Gerhard "Email Me About System Design" Paseman, 2011.07.15 –  Gerhard Paseman Jul 15 '11 at 21:47
    
Also, if I were to try this, I would ask for reference requests for the material on which I was producing research, instead of journal names. Likely I would get an author or an article as a reference, and then use that to get a journal name. I have the feeling (regardless of your intent) your question asks for a cheap version of editorial work, and many MathOverflow denizens come here (I suspicion) probably to avoid/postpone such work. Gerhard "Tomorrow Approaches But Never Arrives" Paseman, 2011.07.15 –  Gerhard Paseman Jul 15 '11 at 21:52
    
See also mathoverflow.net/questions/7284/how-to-select-a-journal for general advice on selecting a journal. –  Arend Bayer Jul 16 '11 at 17:40
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up vote 9 down vote accepted

As this may be of use to others as well, I will try to provide some general points on journal selection for an `average' paper.

One obvious general approach to take is (i) to look where the references of your paper were published (and I note that there are lots still unpublished so here that may raise a problem... so check on whether they have now been published).

(ii) Look at, or estimate, the publication backlogs where available and make your decision on those grounds. (You have a delicate balancing act ahead as your idea of a two month acceptance is really hard to achieve and may need revising!)

(iii) Look at other journals similar to those found by (i), e.g. by iterating (i) on the recent papers in your reference list. Electronic journals tend to be quicker to publication, and probably also to acceptance, than traditional ones, of course, so (ii) will be biased in that direction to some extent.

(iv) Finally I have not read the introduction to your paper but often introductions are crucial in 'selling' a paper to the referee. If you say what the paper sets out to do, clearly and concisely, then your chances of getting a referee's report more quickly, and one which will be positive, will increase.

(v) The paper was submitted to Arxiv last November. That means you have a certain distance from it. Do a critical health check on it from the point of view of wording, sentence structure, spelling, etc., before sending it to any journal. Get a friend or colleague to do a quick read of intros etc. so as to get a second opinion on wording. Think of the poor referee, make their job easier. They need to be able to evaluate the paper fairly quickly. Check, yourself, for typos (and, of course, don't trust spell checking programs on this). My reaction to writing a report when there are clearly lots of typos is to put it off for a few weeks... therefore longer turn around time.

Finally I feel that your should have put the question in a different form. Specific journal suggestions are hardly the responsibility of MO but your general point on how to select journals for such a paper is a valid one .

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