An important part of the research process is which publishing channel you choose. How will your research results be published and disseminated? What is your target group and what factors should you take into account when selecting a channel? It is also important to clearly understand the requirements of your source of research funding. Understanding placement strategies makes your choice easier. Some factors differ within different disciplinary domains, and these may be significant, depending on where you are in your research career. The following is useful all-round advice. If you have specific questions or would like to get in contact with us, please contact Ask the Library.
The best publishing channel for you depends on many factors and may be different from one time to another. The disciplinary domain and the consensus within your subject area should be the main criteria, but other significant factors include time aspects, financial resources, requirements from research funding bodies, expected impact and maximising your publication’s visibility. In certain areas of the humanities and social sciences, monographs dominate, while articles carry more weight in medicine and the natural sciences. Contributions to conferences have a higher status in certain subject areas, especially engineering and technology and the natural sciences. Scientists also have a responsibility to extend their research beyond academia with public outreach, also known as third stream activities.
What is your target audience?
Important questions to consider are where you want to be seen and what your target group is. It’s preferable to select a channel that suits you based on your subject and that you know your research colleagues are reading. For example, is it a medical article that will be read by clinics or do you intend to communicate ideas and basic research? Or do you have an educational article to be read by colleagues in the field or mainly by teachers? If it’s an interdisciplinary subject, consider whether there is a periodical that covers the area or whether it’s better to be published in one of the scholarly fields. The language in which you have choose to write also governs the publishing channel. Do you have a national, Nordic or international audience?
Open access and research funding bodies
Your target group and publishing channel also depend on whether you will make your findings openly accessible to your readers or whether you choose a traditional subscription-based scholarly journal. The majority of research funding bodies require open access within a certain period. Give some thought to how this question will be resolved before choosing the publishing channel to avoid risking problems with meeting your funder’s requirements.
It is good to be familiar with bibliometric analyses, in which quantitative methods are used to analyse publications. Usually publications are assessed based on collaboration patterns, research impact and research productivity. Being published in respected journals is advantageous. In addition to enhancing your reputation, they can increase your readership and enable you to reach a larger target group. Both research funding bodies and higher education institutions put a premium on publication with prestigious publishers and journals.
The importance of research impact through a publication is often measured with what is known as the impact factor. This factor is designed to indicate a journal’s impact in the research community based on the number of citations of the journal’s articles during a period. Various research subjects have different citation practices, which means that it’s inappropriate to compare journals from different subject categories.
- Journal Citation Reports (JCR) is based on data from Web of Science. By ranking and comparing research journals based on how often their articles are cited during a period, a Journal Impact Factor (JIF) is calculated.
- SCImago Journal Rank indicator with an SJR indicator is available for assessment of journals based on data gathered from the Scopus database.
Citation analyses measure interdisciplinary indicator of impact. There is some criticism that the analyses do not say anything about the quality of the individual publications or that publications aimed at social impacts or adult education fall outside the scope of the analyses. Altmetric can be an alternative way of measuring your impact in social media and influence in society. Always use the publication’s Digital Object Identifier (DOI) or International Standard Book Number (ISBN) when communicating your research in social media.
More about bibliometrics and altmetric
A model for the analysis of scholarly publishing is the Norwegian list, which is used internally at several Swedish higher education institutions. The Norwegian model scores scholarly publications based on the publication’s channel, such as publishers, journals and conference series or website, and the form of publication – article, chapter, monograph. Selection and tiering occurs through a collegial process and the weighting results in the Norwegian list.
- Level 1, status as scholarly channel.
- Level 2, scholarly channel with particularly high prestige. Here you will find leading publishers that account for about 20% of the scholarly publication in their fields.
- Level 0, non-scholarly channels. Sometimes this level indicates a lack of necessary procedures, such as peer review, or a large number of authors from the same organisation.
The list may be interesting to browse before choosing a prestigious publisher, but also as a way of finding a good open access journal. You can find the full list with its criteria via Norwegian Register for Scientific Journals, Series and Publishers.
How does archiving work where you publish your texts? Will it be possible for others to read your publication and your research data in the future? DiVA, which is UU’s publishing database, has the infrastructure for both digital distribution and archiving for the future. Make a habit of always including a copy of your work in DiVA, whether you can make the publication available directly or only archive it for the future. Many research funding bodies are encouraging this form of green open access.
Is your publication channel indexed in any of the major bibliographic databases? This can be an advantage for the dissemination of your work so that it is easily found. Web of Science and Scopus are the largest scholarly databases. In the medical field, Medline is important. Via Ulrichweb you can see which journals are covered by different databases.
Data management plan
If your research contains extensive data, it might be a good idea to design a data management plan to structure the work. The Swedish National Data Service (SND) has checklists and tips on online tools.
Form of name and affiliation
When publishing, a simple but important approach to facilitate analyses and other data withdrawal is to systematically enter the same author name and address consistently with the University, faculty and department. Check what applies in your department and your research team. Do not mix together two different addresses, such as the department’s and Uppsala University Hospital’s addresses. Instead enter two addresses next to each other if the research is conducted at both units.
ORCiD – Open Researcher and Contributor iD – is an international researcher ID that gives you, as an individual researcher, the opportunity to improve your visibility and make things easier when publishing and submitting applications throughout your career. Through a non-profit organisation, you are assigned a unique and permanent ID, thereby ensuring the right to correct affiliation and analysis.
- Collaborate with research colleagues. Collaboration is often rewarded and frequently leads to more citations than when you publish as the sole author.
- Make sure that your publications have permanent identifiers for unique path and identity: DOI (Digital Object Identifier), ISBN, PubMed ID, WOS-ID (Web of Science accession number)
- Publish data sets in DiVA. This allows for links between publication and data sets.
- Gather your references into a reference management system. The library offers courses in the EndNote, Mendeley and Zotero reference management programs.
- Make your research visible through social media and get altmetric points. Tweeting, using Facebook or Wikipedia, blogging and informing colleagues through Mendeley makes you visible in news feeds. A small effort can lead to increased interest in your research and to new contacts.
JANE – a tool to find journals relevant to your subject