Selecting an avenue for publishing your research may be a daunting task. It is not always easy to know where to start. Some typical questions that one may ask include:
- Where should I publish my research?
- Which publication will be interested in my research?
- How do I check the reputation of the journal?
- Does the publication provide submission guidelines for authors?
- What is the review process for the publication?
- Will I have to pay to publish in the selected journal?
Here is some advice you can use when choosing where to publish your research:
- Check which journals are available for your research area. The Department of Library Services' Information Specialists will be able to assist you in this regard. Make sure to book an appointment with your subject specialist.
- Decide whether you want to publish in a South African or international journal. Research that addresses South African (local) problems, will most likely do well in a South African journal as it will benefit local users more.
- Accredited journals are peer-reviewed academic journals that publish original research and new developments within a specific research area or scope. The accredited journals list would be a good place for you to start in terms of checking if a journal is peer-reviewed. In South Africa, and especially at the University of Pretoria, it is important that you publish your article in an accredited journal.
- Check the type of journal (is it traditional, Open Access, or hybrid?). Publishing in a traditional, subscription-based (user pays model) means that you as an author do not pay to publish your manuscript in the journal. It may take some time for your article to appear in the journal, depending on the frequency (issues in a year) of publication in a given year. If you choose to publish open access and the journal is not part of the current read and publish agreements that allow UP authors to publish open access free of charge, the journal may require you to pay an article processing charge (APC) for the article to be published in the journal. The upside to this is that your article will be made available immediately after it has been approved for publication. Some open access journals are free to publish in, and you can check your journal's requirements at the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)
- Check the scope and coverage of the journal to see if it covers the topic of your research.
- Author submission guidelines are important in guiding authors in terms of the submission requirements of a manuscript. These guidelines usually outline the structure of the manuscript, referencing style, and copyright.
- Check the reputation of the journal. You should take some time to check the review process of the journal. This information should be easy to find on the journal website. There are several processes available ranging from double-blind review, blind review, and open review. The double-blind review means that you will not know who your reviewers are and they will also not know who you are as all document properties are removed upon submission. The open review means that both the reviewers and authors will know who the other is in terms of the identifying features of the manuscript.
- If you would like to check the ranking/reputation of the journal, you can check the impact factor (Web of Science) or Citescore (Scopus) of the journal.
Here are some tools that you can use to match your manuscript to a journal:
Remember that the Information Specialist for your department is available to assist you by advising and assisting you with identifying the best place to publish your research. The Research Guide contains useful information on publishing.
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