Publishing your research

For the purposes of reporting for ERA, 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;
  • For a source to be a scholarly or academic reference, also known as peer reviewed, this means it has been reviewed by experts and can be considered appropriate for university study, such as authored, commercially published books or academic journals. If you need more help talk to a Library staff member.
  • 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.

Journal rankings

Faculty of Business and Law Journal Quality Rankings

The Faculty Research Committee has developed an agreed ranking of journal quality, to assist our authors in selecting the best quality publishing outlet for their research.

Staff preparing applications for internal funding (including the Academic Studies Program) should include the Faculty ranking details for both previous and planned publications, as part of their application.

Where Should I Publish?

In addition to the Faculty rankings listed above, Deakin University has developed an online tool to provide guidance on possible publication outlets. Where Should I Publish provides qualitative information about journals from four different ranking systems: ARWU Journal List, Thomson Reuters Impact Factor, SCImago Journal Ranking, and the ABDC Journal Quality List.

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.

Refereed journal

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 reporting for ERA, 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.

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