Your publishing strategy

  • Scholarly publishing is undergoing rapid change. The number of published journals continues to increase, as does the number of open access publishers and publishing opportunities
  • In a research environment with a strong focus on research quality and impact, informed by data and evidence, it is increasingly important for researchers to make informed decisions about where to publish to ensure maximum exposure and impact of their research
  • What you decide to publish is an important consideration. This page is designed to assist you to develop a publishing strategy that will help guide your decision making.

    Selecting and targeting journals and publishers

    Talk to mentors, supervisors, colleagues and research networks for advice on key publications in your field.

    Consider your intended audience or readership

    • Is your work more suited to an audience of specialists, such as those working in your field, or to a wider audience? Some journals publish on a wide range of topics and others focus on more specialised areas
    • Does the editorial policy and content of a journal match your ideas? Many include an editorial policy which is generally available on a journal's website
    • Get to know your journals. Look for information about authors, journal history and scope, submission guidelines, review process and possible author fees
    • Scan through issues to get an overview of the content and the types of articles that are published to determine how your content fits with the stated aims, objectives and coverage.

    Check the quality of a journal or publisher

    • Is the journal peer reviewed? This is critical information and can generally be found on a journal's website, or through Ulrich's Periodicals Directory.
    • A growing number of post-publication peer review resources are available.
      • Check Faculty of 1000, where experts provide reviews of papers after they have been published and provide rankings of the articles and the journals in which they're published.
    • Consult Ulrich's Periodicals Directory and Journal Citation Reports for authoritative information about journals, including whether a journal is indexed in key subject databases and whether it is available as an open access title.
    • Consider the credentials and publication output of the editorial board. Information about editors can be found on the web and in many subject and citation databases.
    • Look at journal rankings. These are lists of journals and conferences ranked according to specific criteria set by a government, professional group or body. Lists are generally based on different criteria

    Check within key subject databases for publication lists:

    • Check how your preferred journal compares to others within the same or similar disciplines, and look for other citation-based journal metrics comparisons
    • New and emerging journals, including open access titles, may not have had time to appear on ranking or other lists. Assess the quality of such titles by verifying editorial board quality, verifying publishing body authority and thoroughly checking the papers that are being published
    • Check Global books in print for academic book publishers. Search by subject area and sort by publisher to produce a list of potential publishers of interest.
    • Consult the Book Citation Index Master book list for a list of scholarly publishers.

    Determine your publication priorities and timelines

    • Is publishing in a journal with a quick turnaround from submission to review to publication critical? This will influence your choice of journal. For example a high ranking journal may have a low acceptance rate, or take many months to consider and review a large number of submissions received
    • Investigate the acceptance and rejection rates for submitted publications. This is an important piece of information to help you assess the likelihood that your paper will be accepted for publication. Not all journal publishers openly display this information and you may have to dig deep within their websites
      • Check Cabell's Directories of publishing opportunities for information on publication guidelines, type of review, number of external reviews, acceptance rates, submission process, for selected subject areas
    • Look for important additional publication details
    • Are there submission fees, page charges, or reprint charges? This information should be available on a journal website
    • Check copyright restrictions.