Selecting what and where to publish

Background reading Top

Olsen, Linda (2014) Guide to academic and scientific publication: How to get your writing published in scholarly journals, Academia.

Introduction Top

Writing for publication requires a higher academic standard than writing an undergraduate essay or project report. While undertaking your research degree you may publish one or more of the following:

  • a research report
  • a conference paper
  • a journal article.

Background references

Finding where to publish Top

Publishing in a high ranking journal or conference proceedings is important. However, there is intense competition to publish in high impact journals. Consult with your supervisory team and peers for further advice.

  • Ulrichsweb database includes information about journals including peer review processes, audience, frequency of publication and indexing information.

Watch the video: Searching for peer-reviewed journals (YouTube video, 2m50s)

The Australian Government's Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) initiative produces a list of journals organised by 'fields of research' through extensive consultation with discipline experts, academic peak bodies and members of the public.

Invitations to publish Top

You may be invited to submit a paper to be published as:

  • a book chapter
  • an article in a special edition of a journal (usually on a particular topic)
  • an entry in an encyclopaedia.

These opportunities are particularly valuable because you know in advance that your work will be accepted for publication as long as your writing meets editorial standards. Being part of a larger collaborative writing project improves your writing, builds your research track record and increases your impact factor.

Be wary of email invitations from print-to-order publishing companies to have your thesis published as a 'book'. This form of publishing is generally considered to be 'self-publishing' and attracts little or no prestige within the academic community. Furthermore, the publishing agreement terms may constrain your right to re-use your own work.

Your completed thesis will be published online via QUT ePrints. This means that it will be discoverable via search engines and may be cited by other researchers. You retain copyright ownership of your thesis and the power to grant others non-exclusive rights to use all or parts of it.

Open Access Top

Open Access (OA) is free, immediate, unrestricted and permanent online access to peer reviewed journal articles, theses, scholarly books and book chapters worldwide. OA content can be found by general search engines such as Google, OAIster, institutional repositories such as QUT ePrints, and national portals or even regional repositories such as Australia's Trove.

OA is important because it exposes your research to a wider audience thus increasing the possibility that it will be read, used and cited by other researchers and/or practitioners worldwide. Many studies have shown across all fields that journal articles made freely accessible to all are cited significantly more than articles that are accessible only to subscribers (Gargouri, 2010).

There are two ways (sometimes referred to as 'roads') to provide open access:

  • Green Road - open access repositories
  • Gold Road - open access journals.
  • SHERPA/RoMEO provides summaries of the rights retained by authors under the terms of the standard agreement contracts used by hundreds of publishers. You can search these databases to find a journal or publisher at a specified level of open access.

Green open access Top

  • Open Access (OA) repositories store and disseminate openly accessible digital copies of scholarly works. Repositories are maintained by research institutions and authors supply (self-archive) the publication details and digital copies. QUT ePrints is a green OA repository.

QUT ePrints

It is QUT University policy that a final pre-publication manuscript copy of all research publications be deposited in QUT ePrints. You must also submit a digital copy of your completed thesis to QUT ePrints. When a journal article manuscript is deposited in QUT ePrints, the Library checks the publisher's policy and sets an appropriate access level. In some cases, access to the manuscript copy will be temporarily restricted where this is required by the publisher. Once the required embargo period has passed, the file will be freely downloadable. During the embargo period, access to the file is still possible via the 'request a copy' link in the record. Open Access, via Green and Gold roads, provides free, immediate, unrestricted and permanent online access to open publications and institutional repositories. For all researchers, OA provides many opportunities to ensure your work is read by a broad audience and gives greater equity of access to scholars across the world.

Your completed thesis will be published online via QUT ePrints. This means that it will be discoverable via search engines and may be cited by other researchers. You retain copyright ownership of your thesis and the power to grant others non-exclusive rights to use all or parts of it.

Gold open access Top

  • "Gold Road" OA journals provide open access to their articles. An OA journal article is available freely online to all readers. Most open access journals utilise Creative Commons licences.
  • The Directory of Open Access Journals is a portal of many open access scientific and scholarly journals.

Some Gold OA journals levy a charge to the author to cover the cost of peer review and publication. The charge, often called an 'article processing charge' (APC), is generally paid for by a portion of a research grant or by the university.

Example: BioMed Central and PLoS are Gold OA publications.

QUT academic staff can apply for support to cover the cost of the article processing charge (APC) when publishing a research article in a peer reviewed open access journal.

Be aware that some subscription journals offer authors the option to have their article made freely available online. The fee for this option is generally between US$3,000 and US$5,000 per article. QUT Library will not pay the APC for QUT authors to publish in these journals. However, publishing your article in QUT ePrints will ensure your subscription journal article is accessible.

Activity - use Ulrichsweb to identify a suitable journal to publish in Top

  1. Identify one suitable journal to publish your work in from Ulrichsweb database - note the journal must be current and refereed.
  2. Using the SHERPA/RoMEO service consider the open the open access policies of the publisher for your chosen journal

Summary Top

As an early researcher you may publish a research report, a conference paper, or a journal article. Use Ulrichsweb database to find a suitable journal. Take advantage of opportunities to write a book chapter, an article in a special edition of a journal, encyclopaedia entry or book review.