Publishing your research
Publishing research is becoming increasingly competitive, and requires a strategic approach to find the most appropriate place of publication that also ensures your work reaches the widest possible audience.
Where to publish?
When identifying the best place to publish you will need to consider the following:
- Who is your target audience?
- Where will they look for research outputs?
- What publications do you read as part of your research?
- Where do authors you admire publish?
Useful tools to support your decision-making process
- Ulrichs ascertains the peer review status of a journal, how long the title has been established, level of readership, and where the journal is indexed;
- ThinkCheckSubmit is a useful checklist to help confirm that your journal is a trusted source;
- Use the analysis function in Scopus and Web of Science after performing a literature search to identify the top publication sources in your research field;
- Searching Library Hub Discover can help identify recently published books, so you can draw up a list of target publishers in your area of research field.
- Don’t underestimate the value of peer recommendations, networking and discussions with publishers at conferences.
If your publication is a journal article you will need to ensure it has an open access policy which meets the compliance requirements for REF2021 and any external funder policies.
Impact and ranking factors of journals are one of the many indicators of journal quality, which is an additional consideration when deciding where to publish. Check the SNIP (source-normalised impact per paper) of your target journal in Scopus to find the citation potential.
Consult the guide on journal metric indicators for additional guidance.
Developing a dissemination strategy
Effective dissemination relies on the use of varied channels to engage with an audience and to facilitate impact. Increasingly, funders will expect you to produce a dissemination plan as part of your application but it is good practice to create one for any research activity.
In creating a dissemination strategy, researchers should consider several key questions:
- Goal: What are the goals and objectives of the dissemination effort? What impact do you hope to have?
- Audience: Who is likely to be most affected by your research? Who would be interested in learning about the study findings? Is this of interest to a broader community than fellow researchers?
- Medium: What is the most effective way to reach each audience? What resources does each group typically access?
- Execution: When should each aspect of the dissemination plan occur (make sure you do not compromise published outputs)? Who will be responsible for dissemination activities if you are in a research group or centre?
Looking for ideas and not sure where to start? The Dissemination GAME plan contains suggestions for supporting activities and links to downloadable templates that will help you identify relevant stakeholders, articulate your plans and track your progress.
The Publication Good Practice Guidelines contain more advice and suggestions on how to prepare and disseminate research outputs in a way that helps increase the visibility of your research.
The following guidelines are available: