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Publishing Strategically

When choosing a journal to publish in, or a publisher for your book, it is first important to determine if the publication meets the current ERA requirements.

There are a number of other factors to consider, listed below, when choosing a publisher that may affect your reputation as an author, and the impact of your research:

Adapted from online materials published by the University of Sydney.

  • Books

    Books must be published with a commercial publisher to be eligible for ERA.

    There are numerous commercial publisher models available.

    The most important thing to take into consideration is that the work (and the publishing outlet) meets the ERA eligibility criteria so that you get maximum impact and exposure for your research.

    Some indicators of a publishing outlet's quality for ERA are as follows:

    • The publishing of books is the sole business activity of the publishing company;
    • The publishing company is responsible for the production and distribution of books;
    • Books released by the publisher are commercially available;
    • The publishing company's publication processes include quality control measures such as peer-review, or equivalent in-house quality control, such as expert assessment or review.

    Researchers looking to publish within South Australia may wish to consider the University of Adelaide Press.

    All University of Adelaide Press titles are double-blind peer-reviewed, and edited to a scholarly standard.

    Further Information

  • Book Chapters

    If you are contributing a chapter to a publication you might not have control over who you publish with. It is important however to consider the publication's eligibility for ERA, as well as the impact of the publication.

  • Journal Articles

    For a journal article is that it meets ERA criteria, it is essential that the work goes through an approved peer review process.

    Open Access Journals

    Some journals or journal collections are made freely available on the web by the publisher, but charge authors a fee to publish.

    Some of these journals can have broad readerships because they are of a high standard and also open access. This can result in high impact factors within their fields so are an attractive alternative to more traditional models.

    Other open access journals do not charge a fee to publish or to view. The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) Link to external website contains more than 5000 free and pay-to-publish open access journals to choose from.

    Further Information

  • Conference Papers

    As with a book chapter, a paper submitted to a conference still needs to meet certain criteria for it to be eligible for ERA, and to maximise research impact.

    Open Access

    You may wish to consider making your work available within an open access repository, if it is not already. Making your work freely accessible on the web will increase your readership and help to maximise impact.

    If you want to reserve the right to make your work available as open access, make sure your publishing contract does not contain clauses that limit your ability to do so. It is important that you consider the long-term impact of your work and your intellectual property (IP).

    Further information

    For more information on open access publishing platforms, visit the University Library website:

  • Unsolicited Offers to Publish

    Researchers are under significant pressure to publish research findings, however any unsolicited approaches by a publisher should be observed with caution. If you are deliberating over an offer to publish from an unsolicited source, it it useful to consider the following:

    • Loss of Rights: As an author you need to be careful that you do not sign your rights away with a publisher with a poor academic publishing reputation only to find the you no longer have rights to your hard work - especially if that publication is not truly show casing the quality of your research.
    • Loss of Reputation: A reputation for publishing in quality publications is as important to a researcher as any remuneration through royalties. Many of the publishers that acquire work through unsolicited means in general do not have robust academic publishing procedures in place.
    • Waste of Effort: With little or no peer-review or editing, a work may not be eligible for ERA. As such your publishing efforts may have been wasted, and with your rights taken away you may have lost control of your work; leaving you with little opportunity to republish.

    What to look out for:

    • Unsolicited emails from a publisher you have not heard of or have had contact with.
    • No peer review process or editorial work flow. Any reputable academic publisher will have in place a peer-review process and editorial workflow. This ensures that the work is of a robust academic standard, raising its potential to be eligible for ERA.
    • Publishers that do not have a good or any academic reputation. It is a good idea to contact the Research Portfolio to see if the publisher and its publication is eligible for ERA. This will be a good gauge.

Further Reading

"Are my publications any good?" by Jonathan O'Donnell.

[Source - The Research Whisperer. Article licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0]


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