Should I agree to co-author an article with my supervisor/RHD student?
It is often an excellent idea for supervisors and their RHD students to co-author articles and in many disciplines it is standard practice. It can be of benefit to both student and supervisor, as it adds to the research output of both while providing valuable professional experience for the student. Make sure you are aware of your rights and responsibilities according to the University's Research Publication, Authorship and Peer Review Policy .
Does my research have to be complete before I publish?
No. You may be able to publish preliminary results, literature reviews, systematic reviews, and papers on methodology, for example. Consult with your colleagues or supervisor and scan a range of publications to establish acceptable practice in your field.
Should I write a book or concentrate on journal articles?
In most fields, peer-reviewed journal articles are the most important type of scholarly publishing, while in some disciplines (e.g. in the humanities) it can be useful to publish a scholarly monograph early in your career. Consult the associate dean for research in your field and ask your colleagues for their advice.
Should I publish my PhD or Masters thesis as a book?
If it is important in your field to publish a scholarly monograph early in your career, it is possible to base a book on your thesis. However, most theses need to be thoroughly rewritten before they can be accepted for publication, and in many cases it would be preferable to write up a few journal articles from your thesis instead. It is advisable to avoid publishers who make unsolicited approaches offering to publish your thesis.
How do I find the best journal for my article?
You should know the journals in your field from your own bibliography. Make a list of journals which publish the kind of research that you want to publish. Then visit their websites and consult their instructions to authors or submission guidelines to see which journals are most suitable for your specific project.
Note that you can only submit a particular article to one journal at a time so you should also check factors like the publication frequency and the probable timeline for publication if you hope to publish within a specific time. You should also check whether there are any costs involved in publishing and where the journal is indexed so you research is discoverable. If necessary, email the journal to enquire.
You may like to think about whether your research will be available on open access, and if not what your options are for making it freely available. See our Open Access libguide for more information.
If you are not sure whether a journal is genuine, consult our information on Predatory publishing.
There are a range of ways of measuring a journal's 'quality' and impact, which differ across disciplines. You can check each journal's impact and other metrics using the various tools provided in the Bibliometrics libguide.
You might also be interested in Liz Walkley-Hall and Yasmine Shaheem's Research Higher Degree presentation from September 2016 on Identifying journals
How do I submit an article for publication?
It is essential that you follow the guidelines for authors which can usually be found on the journal's website or (for a print journal) in each issue of the journal. There is often an online submission form to complete. In other cases, an email address is provided. If you are submitting via email, ensure that you include a short, courteous covering message with your article attached, with some details of your article and your institutional affiliation. An editor may reject an article sent as an attachment to a very brief or empty message.
You will often be asked to include an abstract of your article when you submit. Here is some advice for writing an effective abstract.
How do I go about finding the right publisher for my book?
Scan the publishers who feature in your own bibliography and search their websites for information about their scope and policies. Consult with colleagues about the reputation of various publishers and their experiences of working with them. Be wary of publishers who make unsolicited approaches to you directly - if necessary check their credentials using our information on Predatory publishing.
It is often advisable to send an email enquiry to the publishers before making a formal proposal to gauge their likely interest as it is not acceptable practice to submit concurrent proposals to different publishers.
Most disciplines have both formal and informal means of communication. Calls for papers are often distributed via an international network set up by a university (e.g. UPenn for English) or by a publisher or a large journal in your field. They are also often posted on social media, and sent via email to academic networks. Ask your supervisor or colleagues about the most useful channels for information in your field.
What does it mean when a journal editor writes to me with a ‘revise and resubmit’ response after I have submitted my article?
It usually means just that - the journal is interested in your article but is not able or willing to publish it until some changes have been made. The changes requested will be mainly based on the recommendations of peer reviewers, whose identity is usually unknown to you and to whom you are also unknown.
This will vary between journals, but you are not always required to make all the suggested changes to get the article published. Sometimes peer reviewers will have misunderstood your article, or have asked for changes which you are not prepared to make. You may not wish to change your article in a way that you disagree with merely to please the editor or peer reviewer. Usually the important thing is that you engage with the reviews. Sometimes the criticisms they make allow you to identify a problem with your article that the reviewers have not seen. Make the changes which will improve your article, and reply courteously to the editor explaining what you have done and why.
If you are unsure about the changes you need to make to your article to get it published, consult your supervisor, mentor or a more experienced colleague.
If the article is still not accepted and the editor requires you to make further changes which you cannot accept, it may be time to withdraw from that journal and appproach another one.
- Set up a Google Scholar profile
- Create an account with a scholarly sharing site such as Academia.edu or ResearchGate
- Investigate services like Kudos or Impactstory for broadening the reach of your publications.
- Post on social media
- If your research is topical or has broader appeal, you could consult the Office of Communication and Engagement to discuss the media potential of your work.
How can I increase the discoverability of my publications?
In addition to the points above , you should register for an ORCID via Reportal in the Research Management Information System - this is a way of identifying you as the author of your publications across a range of platforms and is becoming an increasingly important feature of the academic research landscape. See the Bibliometrics libguide for further information.
Why should I agree to be a peer reviewer?
Peer reviewing the work of other scholars is an essential contribution to the research community without which academic publishing could not continue.
In addition, benefits to the peer reviewer include:
- the opportunity to read the work of other scholars in your field, and to correct errors and give advice
- enhancing your critical skills, which can then be applied to your own work
- building relationships with editors
- peer reviewing can be included on your CV in general terms
The American Association of University Presses' Best Practices for Peer Review - may be of interest. It is a document aimed at Acquisitions Editors for book publishing, but it canvasses several issues common to all types of academic peer review. The Scholarly Kitchen blog often discusses peer review, e.g. here is a post from 2014 Your Question for the Day - What is Peer Review?
Should I attend conferences?
Conferences can be a valuable way of meeting colleagues, building networks, sharing your research and gaining feedback. They can be extremely enjoyable and stimulating.
Conference information is usually shared via the same kinds of channels as calls for papers for special issues etc. Attendance at conferences can be expensive. Grants are sometimes available through your School or Faculty or via student bursaries from the conferences but often this will only cover part of the cost of registration, travel and accommodation and often is it necessary to make up the difference from your own resources.
Where should I publish my conference paper?
Conference proceedings are acceptable venues for publication in some disciplines, but in most fields it is more likely that you will publish your conference research as a journal article or in some other form. A conference paper is rarely publishable in the form in which it is presented: it would be published in an expanded and more polished form. However, the discussion after your conference presentation is a valuable opportunity for you to gain ideas for revising and enriching your research.
Does the library provide publishing support?
Yes. See Publishing your Research for more details.