“What is the secret of great comedy?” …..
Subtitle: “When and where to publish your research”.
The ultimate goal for most research projects is to be published in a well-respected, peer-reviewed journal. Yet, with over 30,000 scholarly journals available to researchers, you are entitled to feel lost when it comes to selecting the one you want to submit your work to.
Everybody in the world knows Rowan Atkinson. Mr Bean. Funny, funny guy! And most people have seen the film Four Weddings and a Funeral, written by Richard Curtis. Richard and Rowan were university friends at Oxford where they started writing and performing comedy. One of their earliest recorded jokes on stage was the following:
Rowan asks Richard: What is the secret to great comedy?
However, before Richard can finish his reply,
Rowan interrupts, “timing.”
We cannot recreate their comic genius here, but timing can be everything when selecting a journal. Has anyone ever advised you to select the journal you wish to submit to before concluding your research, organizing your data and thoughts, and starting to write? Sounds back to front, doesn’t it? But think for a minute, journals have their own rules about length, format, style, layout, and more. This means it’s helpful to abide by their structure from the start. You’ll save yourself time rewriting, reconstructing, and restarting if you examine the author guidelines before you even start.
Another reason to start early is to give yourself time to make a decision. Especially if you’re working with colleagues and co-workers, it can take months to come to a consensus. This isn’t something you want to consider on a rushed deadline. If career level or budget are considerations as well, you also have time to evaluate the best course of action.
The conpher team have drawn up their checklist to help you navigate the criteria and timing for choosing the optimal journal.
7 tips on how to select the journal for you
- Who do you want to discover your work? Select a journal that aligns with the story that you want to tell and appeals to the people who regularly read it.
- Match your article to the journal. Try and determine prior to submission whether the journal has published content similar to your article. Look at past issues of that journal and think about whether your research would fit well alongside what they selected.
- Building your CV. Some of us consider what the journal will do for our CV. Others don’t. You do what is best for you!
- Cost. Publishing can cost money. It could be an open access publication fee, but also be aware of colour charges or page fees!
- Accessibility. Consider whether the journal is open-access (free online) or subscription-based. Can your colleagues access the journal? If the journal is behind a paywall, will this reduce your target audience?
- Speed. It is possibly more important for some subjects than others, but fundamentally, why should you wait for months, even years to see your work in publication?
- Be aware of fake or predatory journals. An unfortunate and unnecessary by-product of open access publishing has been the appearance of unscrupulous journals that take your money and do nothing for your research. They do not care about you or your work – you should not care to publish with them. They can be hard to spot, but if you are in any doubt, ask a colleague, or ask us here at conpher!
- …..and one for free…..use conpher 🙂
Sounds complicated, frustrating and stressful. It can be all of these and more, but if you get it right…… and remember – conpher is here to help you succeed. We are collecting all the success stories (and the nightmares!) from your colleagues, to help show you the best solutions!