Get published and promote your research
Information on how to get published and measure the impact of research.
Where to publish
Developing a publication strategy is an important part of research. This includes selecting the most suitable journal for your field of study, choosing the most appropriate route for publication and then promoting your research to increase visibility and attract citations.
When deciding where to publish it is important to consider a range of factors including:
The authenticity of the journal
- Predatory journals are journals that charge a fee for publishing material without providing the publication services an author would expect, such as peer review and editing.
- Be aware of spam emails inviting you to submit to their journal.
- Make use of the Think, Check, Submit checklist to ensure your research is published in a reputable journal.
- Use the Directory of Open Access Journals - this indexes and provides access to high quality, open-access, peer-reviewed journals.
- Journalysis.org is a journal review website which highlights authors experiences with journals.
Scope of the journal
Assessing the scope of a journal will also help you to decide where to publish, and whether or not a journal is authentic. Look at the following:
- Age - is it well established?
- Publication history - is there a consistent schedule of publication?
- Publisher affiliation - who publishes the journal? Is it linked to a scholarly society or professional body?
- Specialist or General? - Would your research attract more attention in a more specialist publication or is it cross-disciplinary?
- Size - how big is its circulation?
- Audience - are the readers likely to be interested in your field of research? Does it have a practitioner audience? Is there likely to be public engagement?
- Composition of editorial board - have you heard of them? Are they still publishing?
- How international is the journal?
- JANE is a journal/author name estimator which aims to match article titles/abstracts with potential journals. Journal Guide provides a similar service but also includes information on rejection rates, scope and cost. These resources both currently focus on the biomedical sciences.
There are many issues to consider, including:
- Is the journal peer-reviewed and what is the model?
- Time from submission to decision.
- Rejection rate - are you aiming high enough or too high?
Dissemination and impact
When choosing a journal it is important to consider its target audience as well as its potential for the widest possible dissemination and impact of your research. Things to look at include:
- The H-index (PDF) of a journal is the largest number h such that at least h articles in that publication have been cited at least h times each. The H-index can also be used to calculate the citation rate of individual authors.
- Journal impact factor – use with caution as there are pros and cons to this measurement. Advice from Research England states that it is not the impact factor of the journal that it is important but the quality of the article you produce and that of the underlying research.
- There is now a full range of journal metrics to give multi-dimensional insights into journal performance.
- SCImago Journal & Country Rank (SJR) portal includes the journals and country scientific indicators developed from the information contained in the Scopus database, allowing users to compare rankings by subject area. The service also provides information about the openness of journals.
- Altmetric scores give an indication of the attention research is getting outside the traditional publication sphere within social media and news outlets:
- Download data gives an idea of how much attention articles within the publication are getting.
- Links to other outputs (eg data statements and files).
- Citation scores of authors publishing in that journal. How well known are they?
- Language of the journal and that of your potential audience.
How should I publish?
Firstly, you need to consider whether you can publish open access. This will depend on whether you have funding for Gold open access and whether you need to meet any funder requirements. Remember any journal articles or conference proceedings that are being considered for the next REF must be added to the UWE Bristol Research Repository within three months of acceptance.
- Does the subscription journal offer an open access option? How much is the article processing charge?
- Do I have funding for Gold open access? Can I make use of a publisher deal to get free or discounted gold open access?
- Can I make my work open access via the green route if I can't afford the APC?
- What are my funder requirements? Is this journal compliant? Seek advice from the Library Research support team.
Raising the profile of your research once published
Think about how visible your research is, including:
How often your work is cited, and by who.
For some research fields, open access publishing may give extra citations. The Open Access Spectrum (OAS) Evaluation Tool conducts an analysis of journals using various parameters including reuse rights, automatic posting and machine readability.
There are a number of external resources available which advise on the best way to attract citations and increase the impact of your research. These include:
Promote your research
- Get an ORCiD to distinguish your research from others.
- Use the Altmetric guide to promoting your research online. Altmetrics/social media enables you to find out more about who is using your research, for example, if it is affecting policy, by following the leads Altmetrics provide.
- Fast track impact provides training for researchers including templates on planning impact strategy and Top Twitter Tips for Research Impact.
- Attending conferences in your field can help to promote yourself and your research. Talk to colleagues about useful conferences they have attended, or think about papers you have read from conference proceedings.
- Use https://thinkcheckattend.org/ to find appropriate conferences.
Predatory conferences are set up to appear legitimate but are not genuine academic conferences. They will not involve prominent academics as advertised, do not provide proper editorial control over presentations, and have researchers presenting to a small number of people with no interest in the subject.
Many of the things you can do to learn more about conferences are also good ways to spot predatory conferences, for example:
- Do some background research - is there a history of the conference? Ask colleagues if they know about the conference.
- Do a Google search - does the conference website look strange? Clues to look for include the URL used, the language used, the imagery (are photos of the right city?), and whether or not links work.
- Look at the subject matter - if it is extremely broad, it might not be genuine.
- Who is organising the event? Are they familiar? Is there a way to contact them?
- Where is the conference being held? Is the venue appropriate for the size of the anticipated audience?
- Are there similar events in other locations? Predatory conferences often take place every couple of months.
- If you have received an email inviting you to a conference, think about the use of language (they are often not written in good, clear English), and what you are being asked to do. Genuine conferences don't tend to need additional organisers for example.