Choose a publication venue

The scholarly publishing landscape is complex. Where you publish impacts the reach, reach, and potential publication costs of your research.

Contact your subject librarian or to learn more about publication venues for your research.

You can also check out Think. Check. Submit. for criteria you can use to evaluate a publication outlet.

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The ease of access can determine how broadly an article is read, cited, and discussed. The broader the access to a scholarly work, the greater its potential readership.

Access to subscription-based publications is limited because of the fees charged to subscribe and read. Open access publications are available to anyone with an internet connection, in any part of the world, not just at well-funded universities.

The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) is a database of fully open access journals that meet criteria for quality. Articles in journals indexed in DOAJ are more easily discoverable.

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Publications cost money to produce, regardless of their model. How these costs are covered varies widely from one publication to another. A publication may

  • charge low subscription rates simply to cover the production costs and nothing more, charge very high subscription rates to maximize their profits, charge authors additional fees for images, figures, or formatting, be made open access by substitution subscription costs with an "author fee" or "article processing charge" (APC), or cover all publication costs by charging an institution, rather than author, a fee.

Fees associated with publishing may be going to more than just the costs of publishing. That revenue may

  • support other activities of scholarly societies,
  • offset costs of open access publications for authors from developing nations, or
  • support the profit margins of for-profit publishers.

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Author rights

A standard publication agreement often requires an author to transfer all copyrights to the publisher. Authors may then be unable to

  • post their own article on their own website,
  • deposit their article in an institutional repository, or
  • freely distribute a copy to students for course reading.

The good news is that authors can retain some or all of these rights by

  • choosing a publisher with a non-exclusive agreement (this is more common in open access publishing), or using easy tools to manage their rights.

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Publication profile and impact factor

Perceived quality of scholarship matters when it comes to getting hired and promoted, but is also highly subjective. The prestige of the publisher may be used as a proxy for the quality of a monograph or journal. A journal’s overall Impact Factor may also be used as a proxy for the quality of an individual article. Both methods typically advantage long-standing, well-known publication venues.

Other quantitative measures that are based on traditional citation statistics also favor established, familiar publications. Various innovative altmetrics may help overcome these limits.

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