Once you are ready to share your findings, the next challenge is to decide how to disseminate your research so that it reaches the audiences that need to know about it.
The Writing for publication (PDF) presentation slides offer an introduction to areas to consider when writing and deciding where to publish scholarly outputs.
Scholarly publishing is currently changing, with a growing emphasis on open access to research. The University of Cumbria supports the principles of Open Access and encourages staff to publish in journals via the 'green' open access route.
The Library facilitates green open access publishing by managing the Insight institutional repository. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org for advice.
Sadly, some unscrupulous people are taking advantage of the open access movement to set up what are referred to as Predatory Publishers. A predatory journal is one that will accept virtually any article as long as they are paid to publish that article. This is a list of publishers that may be engaging in predatory practices. If you are approched by a publisher or journal offering to publish your article open access for a fee (usually called an article processing charge APC), please check that they are reputable and legitimate.
To assess a journal or publisher’s credentials, use the Think, Check, Submit checklist, a cross-industry initiative to help researchers identify trusted journals for their research. Here are some initial questions to ask:
- Are the article processing charges transparent?
- If the journal is peer-reviewed, is the peer-reviewed process transparent? Can you visit the publisher's website and read about their peer review process? Are you able to access the author guidelines?
- Is there information about who is/are the editor(s)? Is the information about the editorial board available and transparent?
- Is the location of the publisher’s office available on their website?
- Is the publishing process clear and transparent on the publisher's website?
- Is the journal indexed in a database such as PubMed, CINAHL, etc.?
- Is the publisher a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) (https://publicationethics.org/) or the Open Access Scholarly Publishers’ Association (OASPA) (https://oaspa.org/)?
Deciding where to publish journal articles
The publisher of each journal title should be able to supply authors with enough information for you to understand the scope of the journal, the editorial board, submission process and so on.
Things to consider:
Peer-reviewed or refereed journal articles
- Subject to the scrutiny of other researchers in the same field
- Author corrects and revises the article in response to comments from peers
Scope and audience
- Read the information for authors on the journal website to make sure your research fits the scope of the journal e.g. only review articles
- Consider the best audience for your paper e.g. wide reaching or interdisciplinary; narrow, technical or highly specialised
Open access policies from your funder or the University
- Some funders, such as RCUK, stipulate that the public must have open access to research outputs they have funded, preferably upon publication
- Make sure that the journal allows you to follow any funder or University guidelines
- The University's open access policy can be found here.
Prestige and reputation
- Based on the standing of the publisher or learned society behind a journal
- Academic colleagues can help establish the most prestigious journals in your field
Journal impact metrics
- Quantative metrics, such as Journal Impact Factor can be used to judge the impact of a journal title based on the number of citations it receives. There are limitations associated with this approach as a measure of quality; see here for more details.
Where the journal is indexed
- Can indicate the standing of a journal in a particular field
- Can affect the likelihood of others discovering your work, for example by searching Web of Science or subject specific index.
The Library can give you advice on dealing with copyright issues, such as seeking permission for including other people’s work eg an image or table in your own research.