Publishing your research
For the purposes of the Higher Education Research Data Collection (HERDC), a 'research publication' is characterised by:
- substantial scholarly activity, as evidenced by discussion of the relevant literature, an awareness of the history and antecedents of work described, and a format which allows a reader to trace sources of the work through citations, footnotes etc;
- originality, that is, it is not a compilation of existing works;
- veracity/validity through a peer validation process or by satisfying the commercial publisher or gallery processes;
- increasing the stock of knowledge; and
- being in a form that enables dissemination of knowledge.
The following notes on scholarly journals, peer review and journal rankings, are intended to assist researchers who are seeking to publish their work in this way. Senior researchers in your discipline area will also be able to guide you to the most appropriate journals in which to seek publication.
What is a scholarly journal?
A scholarly journal is a periodical publication containing articles, often written by scholars publishing the results of their objective research. The APA Publication Manual (2001) states that 'journal articles are usually reports of empirical studies, review articles, theoretical articles, methodological articles, and case studies.'
How do you know if the journal you have selected is scholarly?
Judging whether a journal is 'scholarly' is not always easy - there are several indicators which may be helpful:
- Originality: Articles tend to focus on reporting original research, analysis, interpretation, or similar activities that communicate new ideas, theories, analysis, or experimental results. Some journals tend to focus on critical reviews of the scholarly or scientific work of a field, including book reviews, reviews of research, and similar critical evaluations of current research or thought in a field.
- Intended Audience: Scholarly journals are generally written for a specific audience already familiar with the field. Typically, scholarly journals are written for scientists, physicians, historians, professors, teachers, and other professionals who have a thorough formal training in a discipline. They already know the basics of a field and are looking to learn new and original information.
- Sponsorship: Scholarly journals are often sponsored by a professional organization or society. They reflect the credibility and role of that group in the advancement of knowledge and its reputation for scholarly or scientific advancement.
- Editorial and Peer Review: Editors are often important scholars or researchers in a field. It is common practice for journals to list their Editorial Boards to demonstrate credibility. Peer review or refereed is a process where a proposed article is critically evaluated for its originality, underlying research quality, its contribution of new ideas, theories, data, and information to the field of study, as well as its quality of writing. This review is done by other scholars who often are asked to evaluate an article without knowing the authors.
- Publication Frequency: Scholarly journals tend to publish on a monthly or quarterly basis. With the exception of a few well know scientific and medical journals, scholarly journals are almost never published weekly.
- Article format and length: Scholarly articles tend to include a bibliography and footnotes. A bibliography is a list of the resources (books, articles, studies, etc...) that the author used to write his/her article. You can usually find the bibliography at the end of the article. The articles in scholarly journals also tend to be longer than those in popular or industry publications.
Is this journal a refereed journal?
The HERDC definition of refereeing/peer review is included in the Specifications for the HERDC.
One way to check if a journal is refereed is through Ulrich's International Periodicals Directory, available online through the Deakin Library Database listing. In the online version, you can select refereed journals by checking the box on the search screen or by looking for the little black and white referee's shirt, which indicates the chosen journal is refereed (peer reviewed).
For the purposes of the Higher Education Research Data Collection (HERDC), journals listed in the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) indexes are accepted as refereed. Check the ISI Journal Master List
You can also check the journal itself. Within each volume of a journal are the requirements for submission. The type of journal (refereed/non-refereed) and the Editorial Board listings are often included on this page. Read this information carefully, as it often details the Journal's review process.
How can I find scholarly journals?
The Deakin University Library has many research databases that contain scholarly journal articles. For the discipline areas within the Faculty of Business and Law, the relevant electronic databases include:
You may also look at the databases relevant to your specific subject area at the Deakin Library Database subjects listing.
The journal rankings developed for the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) 2010 are no longer in use.
The journal ratings developed by the Australian Business Deans Council (ABDC) are available in a format searchable by ISSN or by all or part of the journal name at ABDC journal ratings. This service is provided by John Lamp of the School of Information and Business Analytics in the Faculty of Business and Law at Deakin University.
Apart from the ABDC journal rankings, there are several different compilations of journal rankings available, that cover the discipline areas relevant to the Faculty. These include:
- Journal Quality List, compiled by Dr Anne-Wil Harzing (University of Melbourne) This list covers multiple discipline areas, including Economics, Accounting and Finance, Management, Marketing, Sociology and Tourism.
- Citation Impact list, compiled by Professor William Starbuck's (New York University)This list covers multiple discipline areas, including Economics, Accounting and Finance, Management, Marketing and Sociology.
- Measuring Prestige of Journals in Industrial-Organizational Psychology, compiled by Zickar and Highhouse (Bowling Green State University) This list relates solely to measures of the quality of journals in the Organisational Behaviour area.