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Write & Publish: Where should I publish?

A student with two stacks of books.A vital part of successful research work is publication. As well as helping you to share the results of your research with others and encourage debate, this may have an impact on your future career or gaining funding in the future.

When it comes to considering where to publish, nothing compares to a knowledge of the field. Try talking to a senior researcher in your field about appropriate journals or publishers. Find journals by searching LibrarySearch and check their mission statement, editorial board, submission guidelines and previously published articles.

Five Top Tips

  1. Open Access: Keep up to date on all things Open Access by checking the Edinburgh Napier University Open Access Blog.
  2. Legitimacy: Is the journal indexed? Do you know any of the researchers on the editorial board? Is it easy to find?
  3. Copyright: What exactly are you signing up to? See Sherpa/RoMEO to check copyright and open access policies of a journal.
  4. Impact: Check the journal's impact factor to see whether  is high impact or highly cited (being aware that more prestigious titles are more difficult to get published in) – see Journal Impact Factors.

WARNING: 'Predatory' publishers

A question mark.

A ‘predatory’ journal or publisher is one that that aggressively targets academics and researchers to publish their work in its journal, but does not actually undertake peer review. How can you tell if you’ve been approached by a predatory journal? Warning signs include:

  • Sending spam requests for peer reviews and article submissions;
  • Hiding information about author fees, for example offering to publish an author’s paper and then later sending a previously-undisclosed invoice;
  • Providing no contact details or falsifying their location; and
  • Falsely claiming to have an impact factor, or using a made-up measure.

The Directory of Open Access Journals is a great resource for identifying open access journals of a high quality. It only includes journals that meet a rigorous selection criteria, and you can be sure that these are legitimate journals.

If in doubt, use the Think. Check. Submit. website for guidance (published by ALPSP, DOAJ, INASP, ISSN, LIBER, OASPA, STM, UKSG, and individual publishers).

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