Where to publish: journal selection for ACU authors
Published: Monday 15th May 2017
Choosing a journal in which to publish is one the most important decisions you will make in disseminating your research. For early career researchers, your publication record is the fundamental assessment measure for career advancement. All authors are obliged to meet the publication requirements of their institution, funding body and publisher. When selecting publication outlets, you should identify the most appropriate journals in your field: publishing in high-quality peer-reviewed journals can enhance your profile and positively affect your citation rates. The choice of where to publish is a decision that should be based a number of factors:
Scope. Consider the journal’s research focus and whether it is multidisciplinary or specialty publication.
Access and discoverability. Does the publisher permit authors to deposit the author’s accepted manuscript in an institutional repository and make it available open access? You can discover the archiving policies of journals in the SherpaRomeo database.
Journal quality/prestige. Consider what will happen if a journal accepts your article. How likely is it that your article will reach a wide readership and generate citations?
Review process. Consider the method of peer review used and the time taken from submission to a decision to accept for publication.
In conjunction with these factors, you should evaluate whether the publisher behaviour and practice is ethical. Whilst publishers who exhibit unethical practice are not new, the changing publication environment has led to an increase in their numbers.
Disreputable publishers see an author-pays publishing model as an opportunity to make money without necessarily delivering the services they advertise. Their behaviours may lack transparency, be deceptive in nature and may not adhere to publishing industry standards.
Many reputable publishers host their own journal selection tools to assist authors with submission decisions. Think Check Submit is an initiative that provides a checklist of quality indicators to help authors identify if a journal is a trustworthy publication. It has been produced with the support of, among others, the Committee on Publication Ethics, Springer Nature, International Association of STM Publishers and BioMed Central.