Publish your research

Finding the right place to publish your article, book, or book chapter is crucial to maximising the impact of your research.

Journal publishing

The information below will help you select the right journal to approach to publish your article.

  • Journal selection strategies

    Use the following to help you decide on the right journal:

    • View the Think! Check! Submit! website which helps researchers identify trusted journals for publication. The website helps you to understand the key features of trusted journals, and you can assess if the journal you are considering is compliant with these characteristics.
    • Look at well-known scholars and colleagues in your field and see where they are publishing. Publishing in these journals will help the scope and impact of your research. 
    • Look at your bibliography. Which journals and publishers are listed there? If the area is suitable, you could consider publishing in these journals.
    • To get a publishing record, co-author a paper with a recognised researcher in the subject area. A publishing record will help build your researcher profile and can be useful in subsequent grant or funding applications. Collaborating with recognised researchers in your field will provide useful networking and a higher impact for initial publication. 
    • Set up journal contents alerts for journals you are considering submitting a paper. This will help you stay current with publications in particular journals and help you decide if the journals you are considering for publication are suitable for your research. A guide to setting up journal alerts is also available.
  • Things to consider when selecting a journal

    Use these ‘Top 10’ considerations when deciding on a journal. They will help you determine the reach, applicability, and relevance of journals you are considering for publication.

    1. Is this journal genuinely peer-reviewed? Assess the peer-review process of the journal and ensure their reviewers are respected professionals in your field.
    1. Is this journal read by your target audience? Check the reference lists of publications in your discipline and see if articles from the journal are included.
    1. Does the journal include your subject area? Assess the publication history of the journal to determine the subject area and if it aligns with your research.
    1. Does it publish the appropriate type of article? Some journals publish different types of articles depending on their audience and scope. View the submission and format guidelines of the journal to assess if your article is an appropriate match for publication.
    1. Does the journal have high impact? Journals with high impact factors are publications with a high number of citations for their articles. High impact factors commonly mean the journal is respected and significant in its field. Aim for journals with high impact factors to increase the reach of your research. 
    1. Is the journal searchable in databases? Use the database most relevant to your discipline to ensure the journal you are considering is widely available in your research area. This will ensure appropriate publication as well as your work reaching its target audience quickly and consistently.
    1. What are the word limit and structural requirements? Consult the submission guidelines of the journal to ensure your work meets their structural and length requirements. Doing this before submission will often lessen the revisions needed should your article be accepted for publication.
    1. What is the turnaround time for acceptance? Turnaround times will impact how quickly your work is assessed and published. Some journals will provide timeframes for this process or can be contacted for further details.
    1. Are there publication charges? Most credible journals do not charge processing fees for publications unless they operate under gold open access conditions. Refer to the library’s information about predatory publishers to ensure the journal is trustworthy.
    1. Have you considered open access journal publication? Open access publication can increase the accessibility of your work. This is type of publication is also necessary for some grant and research funding projects. Consult the library’s information about open access requirements and open access publishers for further details.  

    Note: Predatory publishers

    Be careful to avoid predatory publishers and vanity publishers when choosing a journal publisher. Make sure to read any publishing contract carefully, checking what services the publisher offers, the copyright agreement, and arrangements for royalties.

    It is your responsibility as a researcher to ensure your work is published ethically and legally. Consult the following University policies to confirm your work is protected and adherent to proper procedures during the publishing process:

    Learn more about predatory publishing.

  • Journal metrics

    Journal metrics measure the performance of research and scholarly publications. You can use journal metrics to compare and rank journals in order to make strategic decisions about the best journal in which to publish your research for maximum impact.  

    You can source journal metrics from a number of ranking tools. Each of these tools has their own strengths and limitations, and measure different elements of journal metrics. The comparison table below will help you use these tools with discretion to judge the most appropriate publications for your research.  

    Journal metric 

    Description 

    Source of data 

    How to access 

    Journal impact factor (JIF) 

    • Identifies the frequency with which an average article from a journal is cited in a particular year. 

    • Use this number to evaluate or compare a journal’s relative importance to others in the same field. 

    • Cannot be used to compare journals across different subject categories.

    Web of Science database 

    In Web of Science 

     

    • From search results page, click on a journal name in a citation.  

    JIF, Journal Rank in subject category and Journal quartile (Q1, Q2, etc.) are displayed. 

     

    OR 

    • In an article citation, click on View Journal Impact. 

     

    In Journal Citation Reports 

     

    • Search for your journal to see a detailed report, including JIF, ranking and quartile. 

     

    Scimago journal rank (SJR) 

    • A journal ranking based on the concept that all citations are not created equal, and some are worth more than others on the basis of the "prestige" of the journal. 

    • The calculation for SJR is The average number of weighted citations received in the selected year by the documents published in the selected journal in the three previous years. 

    • Normalises for differences in citation behaviour between subject fields.  

    • Weighted by the prestige of a journal 

    • Subject field, quality and reputation of the journal have a direct effect on the value of a citation. 

     

    Scopus database 

    In Scimago 

     

    • Search for a journal by title to see its SJR indicator. 

     

    In Scopus 

     

    • From the Document details page for an article, click the journal name. Information includes SJR, SNIP (Source Normalized Impact per Paper), CiteScore and subject category ranking/percentiles. 

     

    CiteScore 

    • A journal ranking measure reflecting the yearly average number of citations to recent articles published in that journal 

    • Calculated as the number of times documents published in the previous 4 years have been cited in the year of reporting, divided by the number of documents 

    • Cannot be used to compare journals across different subject categories 

    Scopus database 

    In Scopus 

     

    • Select Sources. 

    • Search by publication title or subject area. 

    • Source details displays CiteScore, SNIP and SJR. 

     

    SNIP (Source Normalised Impact Per Article) 

    • SNIP measures contextual citation impact by weighting citations based on the total number of citations in a subject field. 

    • Accounts for discipline-specific differences in citation practices. 

    • Enables you make a direct comparison of sources in different subject fields. 

    Scopus database 

    In Scopus 

     

    • Select Sources. 

    • Search by publication title or subject area. 

    • Source details displays SNIP, CiteScore and SJR. 

     

     

    Eigenfactor 

    • The Eigenfactor score is a rating of the total importance of a scientific journal 

    • The Eigenfactor Score calculation is based on the number of times articles from the journal published in the past five years have been cited in the Journal Citation Reports year 

    • It also considers which journals have contributed these citations so that highly cited journals influence the network more than lesser cited journals.   

    Web of Science database 

    In Journal Citation Reports 

     

    • Search by publication title. 

     

    In Eigenfactor.org 

     

    • Search by publication title. 

     

    Alternative metrics  

    Identify journals with the most reach and the journals which are read by your target audience. 

    Altmetric Explorer 

    In Altmetric Explorer 

    • Select the Full Altmetric database. 

    • Enter topic keywords, e.g. plant biology. 

    • Click on Journals tab to see ‘mentions’ aggregated by journal title. 

     

     

  • Acceptance rates and turnaround times

    Publish your work in a discipline-related journal with a good reputation to maximise the reach and influence of your research.

    Journals with a high impact factor are popular publication choices. The status of these journals commonly results in a large volume of submissions and a high rejection rate. Create a list of journals to submit to in case of this. Most journals don't publish their acceptance and rejection rates but some do. Try searching the journal's website to see if they publish such data. This can include data from publishers such as:

    Turnaround time is defined as the date from when a manuscript is first received by the journal to the date the author of the manuscript is provided with a first decision. Turnaround time will vary from journal to journal. It will depend on the volume of submissions received by the journal, the type(s) of articles the journal accepts, the policies of the journal, and their resources.

    Information about timeframes may be available on the journal's website, or on individual journal articles. Contact the journal you are interested in publishing in for further information.

  • How many journals can I submit my manuscript to?

    Professional practice for manuscript submission typically involves submitting your manuscript to one journal at a time.

    Some journals do not accept submissions for manuscripts currently being considered for publication elsewhere. Multiple submissions can lead to a waste of journal staffing and resources because of the time spent evaluating your submission. This can also present an issue for intellectual property rights. If similarity checks are performed on your submitted manuscript and it appears in multiple repositories this could lead to the automatic rejection of your work.

    If you are considering multiple journals for publication you can send pre-submission enquiries to these journals. This can help to refine your selection and avoid issues of misconduct. This can also aid in providing a list of backup journals in case your first choice rejects your manuscript.

    Consult the University’s Intellectual Property Policy and the submission guidelines of the journal you are considering for further information.

 

Book publishing

Selecting the right book publisher is essential to the reach and impact of your research.

  • Selecting the right publisher

    There are important factors that dictate your selection of publisher. Consider the following questions when submitting work for book publication:

    1. Is the publisher reputable within your discipline? Check other books published in your discipline and verify the publisher you are considering has produced work of this nature before.
    1. Is selection peer-reviewed? Most publishers will detail their review process via their submission guidelines. The selection process should be peer-reviewed for integrity and quality. If the publisher does not peer-review publications they could be a predatory publisher.
    1. Are there fees associated with publication? Most publishers will not charge fees for publishing your work. Refer to the Library’s information about predatory publishers to ensure the publisher is trustworthy.
    1. What is the review and editing process of the publisher? The editing process of your manuscript should be conducted by professionals via the policies of the publisher. This process should be clearly conveyed to you upon acceptance of your manuscript and will generally involve you working with the editor/s to refine your work for publication. Consult the publisher for further information on their editorial practices.
    1. What are the copyright policies of the publisher? Publishers will have copyright policies affecting the sharing and reuse of your work. This means your work might be bound to the publisher and limited in its sharing, or unable to be published elsewhere as a journal article or in other formats. Carefully consider the publisher’s copyright policies and how this will affect your future work before committing to publication.

         Consult the University’s Copyright Advice page for further information.

    1. Will you receive royalties for your publication? You should receive royalties from the publisher for your work unless you are publishing under full Open Access conditions. The royalties you receive will be clearly stated in your publishing agreement. Carefully evaluate the information in your publishing agreement and seek further legal advice as necessary.
    1. Is the publisher committed to Open Access initiatives? Open access publication can increase the accessibility of your work. This is type of publication is also necessary for some grant and research funding projects. Consult the library’s information about open access requirements and open access publishers for further details. 
    1. Is the publisher ERA compliant? Your book must meet certain standards to comply with Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) publishing requirements. This means your work must be published by a commercial publisher or be peer-reviewed prior to publication. Consult the University’s ERA publications page and the 2018 ERA Submission Guidelines document to ensure compliance with these requirements.  

    Note: Predatory publishers

    Be careful to avoid predatory publishers and vanity publishers when choosing a book publisher. Print-on-demand companies are not considered trustworthy commercial publishers. Make sure to read any publishing contract carefully, checking what services the publisher offers, the copyright agreement, and arrangements for royalties.

    It is your responsibility as a researcher to ensure your work is published ethically and legally. Consult the following University policies to confirm your work is protected and adherent to proper procedures during the publishing process:

    Learn more about predatory publishing.

  • Book chapter publishing

    Publishing your work as a chapter in a book is a great opportunity to collaboratively share your research. Before considering this publication format, consult with professionals in your field to ensure this type of publication meets the conventions of your discipline.

    Chapter publication also involves different copyright and ownership rights. This will affect the royalties you receive and should be carefully considered before committing to a publication contract.

    Work that has previously been published in journals or other formats may be bound by the copyright and distribution policies of your publisher. This work is not always eligible for chapter publication as a result.  

    Consult with your editor and fellow academics to mediate the protection of your authorship rights ensure compliance with copyright standards.

    Book-chapters must also meet specific ERA Requirements to be considered as part of your research output. The book your work appears in must:

    • Contribute new material to a formally edited publication
    • Be offered for sale in hard copy, e-book format or on a subscription basis
    • Have an ISBN
    • Be published by a commercial publisher
  • Textbook publishing

    Textbook publishing contributes learning resources to teach individuals in your discipline. This type of publishing is a great way of sharing expertise to benefit other learners.

    This format is substantially different to journal or book publishing and must meet certain structural and format requirements.

    If you are interested in publishing a textbook you will first need to create a proposal to submit to prospective publishers. The length and scope of this will vary depending on the publisher. Consult the proposal and textbook formatting requirements of these publishers for further details.

  • Publishing your thesis as a book

    Publishing your thesis as a book is an opportunity to share the research you have undertaken in your studies and contribute to a community of scholarship. Publication will, however, vary considerably depending on your discipline and research.

    Your work may require substantial changes to comply with audience and commercial publishing needs. This process should be considered in consultation with appropriate sources to manage expectations. Refer to your publishing contract and work with your editor for these purposes.

  • How to get an ISBN

    International Standard Book Numbers (ISBN) are unique numeric identifiers assigned to your published book. They detail all information about your work, including its format and publisher. Each edition of your work will be assigned a unique ISBN.

    ISBNs are linked to essential information allowing booksellers, and readers, to know what book they are buying, what the book is about, and who the author is. This improves the findability and distribution of your work.

    Usually publishers will provide authors with an ISBN. If you are self-publishing, you can purchase ISBNs from Thorpe-Bowker.

 

Resources & tools

Resources from the library and wider research community are available to help you in publishing your work.

  • BMJ case reports

    BMJ Case Reports  publishes cases in all disciplines, enabling healthcare professionals, researchers, and students to find up-to-date and clinically important information on common and rare conditions. All BMJ Case Reports articles are peer reviewed and copy edited before publication.

    BMJ Case Reports has a unique business model whereby users (whether authors and/or readers) pay for a Fellow membership in order to become Fellows. The University of Adelaide Library holds an institutional fellowship which enables our library users to submit manuscripts at no cost. Contact the Health and Medical Sciences liaison librarians for information about how to take advantage of this arrangement to publish your case.

  • Professional advice

    Publishing with Impact – Professor Mark Hutchinson

    This short video is about the most important things to consider when deciding where to submit an article manuscript. The video is particularly useful for those in STEM disciplines but also applies to other areas.

    Professor Mark Hutchinson is from the School of Medicine at the University of Adelaide and is the Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics.

    Where to Publish – Professor Rachel Ankeny

    This short video is about how higher degree research students in the arts should find quality journals for submitting article manuscripts. Professor Ankeny's video is also useful for those in other subject areas.

    Professor Rachel Ankeny is from the School of Humanities in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Adelaide.