This guide collects guidance for authors and research project managers looking a developing a publication plan, and identifying where to publish research outputs (primarily journal articles). It includes guidance around;
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The guidance below is provided to help you think about what to consider when looking to identify journals which might be appropriate for you to publish your research in, in order to meet the requirements and objectives of the authorship team. Your objectives should be aligned with any publication plan which may have been written to support the publication of your research project.
If you are a new researcher, or are researching in a new or unfamiliar area, then the guidance below may be helpful in choosing where to publish.
As an author, or as the Principal Investigator of a Research Project, it is important that you are aware of any funder requirements you or any co-author is obligated to meet. It is also adviseable that you have considered how you will share and disseminate your publication; this may include how you hope to make the publication open access in a scholarly landscape where this is increasingly the norm for scholarly publishing.
Consideration of any alignment with research group, department or institutional objectives, where appropriate, and consideration of drivers such as the UK's Research Excellence Framework (REF) should also be made as part of a publication plan which may help inform these decisions.
If your publication is reporting research conducted under a funding agreement, it is essential that you are aware of the requirements of the funder and what policies they have with respect of the resulting outputs of that research.
These requirements may apply to awards for a specific research project, salary support provided by a funding body (eg the Wellcome Trust) or a doctoral training award (eg RCUK). It is essential you are aware what publishing commitments you have agreed to as part of a funding agreement you have signed or are party to before deciding what and where to publish. Be aware that some funders already impose penalties for failing to comply with their publication policies, such as withholding payment of an award or consequences for future grant applications.
As a leading research institution, Durham recognises the value of its world class research and is committed to sharing its knowledge and expertise as widely as possible in order to enhance its use and impact.
As a researcher and an author, you may wish to consider which options are offered by journals or publishers you would like to publish with, and if:
See our open access web pages for more information.
Are you hoping your publication may be submitted to the next Research Excellence Framework (REF) exercise? If so, there are two key things you should consider:
See also our guidance on publication planning (on this guide) for considerations.
The type of book or monograph publication will affect how you decide with whom to publish, and the process of publishing itself. The following guidance is just an outline on some points to consider and some further guidance available.
Your first step is to create a short list of publishers to whom you could submit a proposal for publication. There are various ways you could do this.
It is also worth seeing which publishers appear most eager to solicit new material. Have a look at publisher's websites, or speak to publishers exhibiting at conferences. Identify which publishers make it easy for authors to get in touch and are clear of the format they require for a submission (of course, it is also perfectly valid to question why a publisher seems so keen to publish your new material).
The points below are some questions to consider in narrowing down your shortlist. Not all will be relevant in all situations.
All academic authors should be aware that there are a large volume of fraudulent or predatory publishers who will encourage you to publish your research (for example you thesis) with them, often for a fee. Although many publishers are legitimate and well respected, and may charge either for open access publication, or levy page or colour figure charges as part of their business model, not all such approaches are honest or genuine.
Fraudulent or predatory publishers may not provide the same level of editorial or publishing expertise that you might expect, and there is no guarantee that your work will remain available to readers in the future. Some predatory publishers offer a range of titles, with often professional looking websites and using names similar to existing, well established and respected journals.
If you are contacted by a journal, you should always exercise some due diligence before agreeing to publish with them:
If you are new to academic publishing, the process of peer review and what you might want to expect may be a source of some anxiety. As with many aspects of academic life, talking over concerns or asking for advice form a supervisor or colleagues might be your first port of call.
If this is not convenient, or if you need further guidance, we hope that some of the information here may be of interest.
Peer review encompasses a range of approaches where research is evaluated and its quality checked both before and after it is funded or published. In the case of publications, it involves submitted papers and other publications being subjected to a critical evaluation by independent experts (the author's peers), usually but not always prior to publication.
If you are new to publishing your research or interested in learning more about peer review you may be interested in some of the links below:
In recent years, new approaches to academic publishing have included a move in some journals to either fully open peer review, or publication of (sometimes anonymous) peer review comments post publication.
These can be useful both in evaluating research output, but also for early career researchers to gain an insight of the variation in peer review comments they may themselves receive, or examples of how to provide a good (or not so good) peer review service themselves.