Institute of Teaching and Learning

Where can I publish my work?

Stuart Palmer, Institute of Teaching and Learning, Deakin University, May 2008

If you are seeking to disseminate the outcomes of your research through publication, the most appropriate avenue(s) will depend on the nature of your work. Depending on your field of research and/or the nature of your work, you might seek publication in one or more of:

  • a journal;
  • a book;
  • a book chapter;
  • a conference paper;
  • a performance;
  • an exhibition;
  • a letter to the editor.

The advice of an experienced colleague can be helpful in all matters relating to publication, including identifying appropriate places to seek publication.

Deakin receives part of its research funding from DEEWR (formerly DEST) through the Institutional Grants Scheme and the Research Training Scheme, based on the number and type of research publications authored by its staff. The quantum of funding is based on a points system, where different types of publication receive a different score. The current scoring system includes:

Category Publication type Score
A1 Books - Authored - research 5
B1 Book chapter 1
C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal 1
E1 Full written conference paper - refereed 1

Deakin uses a similar research publications scoring system internally for reporting on its publications, but, with different scores and covering a much larger range of publication types. More information on the research publications collection process can be found at the Research Services web site: http://www.deakin.edu.au/research/admin/pubs/

Journals

Scholarly journals are an important publication avenue for many forms of research output. In most discipline areas, there will be a range of possible journals that could be targeted for publication submission, though, not all will be refereed and contribute to the DEEWR research publications collection. Possible journal titles to target for publication can be identified from a number of sources, including:

  • seeking the advice of an experienced colleague;
  • checking the journals listed in the references of articles you already have; and
  • performing a search using the Ulrich's Periodicals Directory online.

The Ulrich's Periodicals Directory can be accessed at: http://ulrichsweb.com/UlrichsWeb/

Performing a keyword search using relevant keywords from your discipline area will return a list of possible journal (and similar) publication titles that you can investigate further. Detailed information for each title is available, including whether it is refereed (hence, whether it will count as a 'C1' publication for DEEWR) and a hyperlink to the journal website, if one exists.

Journal impact factors

As implied by the DEEWR publications scoring system, not all journals are considered to be of equal merit. A refereed journal is considered to be of higher status than a non-refereed one, because submissions are subjected to a process of peer review prior to acceptance for publication. Within the refereed journals that serve a particular discipline area/research field, there will be certain journals that have, over time, developed a reputation for the quality of the work they publish. Through a combination of factors, including the review processes they use, the number of submissions they receive, etc., it will be more difficult to get work published in these journals, and hence, a successful publication in these journals is taken to be an indicator of the merit of the work published.

Journal quality is an important, if not somewhat intangible, characteristic. One attempt to quantify this characteristic is through the use of journal impact/ranking factors. As the name suggests, these factors, through various mechanisms, attempt to provide a quantitative measure of the overall/average quality of the work published in a journal. This is generally related to the number of citations received by the papers published in a journal, as well as other factors. While there are many arguments made for and against particular journal impact factors, they remain important because they are a convenient, publicly available (if imperfect) metric of journal quality/ranking, and they will inevitably be used as part of any external national research assessment exercise. They may also be used by your Faculty for internal research impact assessment exercises.

Generally, indexes of journal impact factors are grouped by broad discipline areas, and, computed on an annual basis. The list of journals included in a particular index, while normally large, is finite, so, you will find many journals in your discipline area are not included in the ranking scheme. You may find that a journal included in one index is not included in another. The differing list of journals included, and the differing algorithms employed means that the same journal will almost certainly receive a different ranking in different indexes. Clearly, journal impact factors and rankings derived from them are not a perfect science!

Impact factor/ranking indexes that are available to Deakin staff include:

As an example, the following table lists journals relevant to the field of e-learning ranked in the top 30 % by their impact factor/score from a range of indexes, based on 2006 data.

Journal Index Score Rank Top 'n'%
Interactive Learning Environments Elsevier SJR
0.167
5/303
2 %
Educational Technology Research and Development Elsevier H index
18
36/303
12 %
Computers and Education Thompson ISI
1.085
16/100
16 %
Journal of Computer Assisted Learning Elsevier SJR
0.051
76/303
25 %
Journal of Educational Computing Research Elsevier H index
14
77/303
26 %
British Journal of Educational Technology Elsevier SJR
0.051
80/303
27 %
The Internet and Higher Education Elsevier SJR
0.050
86/303
29 %

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29th November 2010