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Research Publications: Deciding Where to Publish

Where to Publish

Deciding where you publish your research or research-related outputs is very much dependent on your field of study and the content that you are hoping to publish. A highly technical academic publication is not the same as a short blog post or blurb for a specialist trade magazine or a conference paper, and it will need to be submitted to an appropriate venue for publication to happen. Outlined below are some things you may want to consider when looking for a journal, publisher or website to submit your work to.

Journals

There are a lot of academic journals out there, not just in terms of academic discipline, but also in terms of publishing models. The primary consideration is journal credibility; have you or your colleagues heard of the journal before and/or read anything it has published?

 

Things to think about:

  • What topics does the journal cover?
  • What types of articles does it publish?
  • What are its peer review practices?
  • Does it offer open access? If yes, on what basis? 
  • Are there costs associated with publishing in this journal, whether open access or not?

 

Several publishers have tools available to help you select an appropriate journal to submit your article to. 

 

One very useful tool to consult is Think. Check. Submit.  which helps you work through some of these questions. For further information on open access publishing and avoiding predatory publishers, please consult the Open Access LibGuide or email openaccess@aston.ac.uk.

Online Venues

Preprint servers: These are typically discipline specific, though arXiv does include a wide range of research areas in its collection. 

 

Online News platforms: The Conversation is a well-respected digital publication with a focus on contemporary events and topics. You must be employed at (or supervised by if a PhD student) a university or research institute in order to become an author.

 

Blogs and Podcasts: One possible digital venue to consider is a blog. These are great ways to communicate your research or participation in a research project with a wide audience. There are multiple blog platforms available (free or paid). An example of an academic-run blog is by Martin Paul Eve and an example of an academic podcast is In Depth Out Loud

Books

Deciding which publisher to submit your book proposal to will be driven by the type of book being proposed (edited volume, conference proceeding, sole-authored monograph, creative writing collection, etc.) as some publishers are discipline and content-specific. Authors generally choose which publisher to approach with their book proposals rather than the other way around (though there may be open calls for chapter contributions); be wary of soliciting emails from publishers with offers that sound too good to be true.  

 

Things to think about:

  • Who publishes the academic books that you read/use for your research?
  • Who have your colleagues published with, and what were their experiences?
  • What does the publisher offer its authors in terms of editing, copyright help, copyediting, marketing, etc.?
  • What does their standard contract look like? Does it meet your expectations?
  • Does the publisher offer open access? If yes, is it green/free or gold/paid?

You should also be very wary of using a publisher who requires an upfront payment from you in order to publish with them as they likely operate a vanity or predatory press.  

Conferences

Each discipline and sub-discipline has its own series of conferences and opportunities to present your current research to peers. Some events can have hundreds of attendees while others may only have a handful. When deciding where to present your research you should consider the target audience, cost and overall benefits of attendance. If you're an ECR, look for conferences and events targeted specifically to you as these will be more beneficial in terms of presenting work in progress and meeting peers who are at the same career stage as you; they'll also be more relaxed and often run career development sessions and other useful workshops. 

Calls for papers are typically circulated to topical mailing lists and posted in journals. Long-running conferences will have dedicated websites and a permanent team that organises these events, and they will email past attendees with details on upcoming events. However, be wary of unsolicited approaches from conferences that you (or your colleagues) have never heard of before. Do a thorough check of the conference before agreeing to pay registration or travel fees as these are almost always non-refundable. There are also predatory conference organisers (like predatory publishers) who make money from much-hyped events that do not deliver. The most infamous of these companies is OMICS Group (iMedPub LLC, Conference Series LLC) who have been subject to multiple lawsuits in the United States for their misconduct in academic publishing and conference organising.