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Research Publishing & Impact: Getting Published

Getting published

Getting published requires a publishing strategy!

Identifying where to submit your work can be challenging; a publishing strategy will help to get your work accepted, and then read by the right audience.

Target your audience

Consider your readers and your writing style if you're thinking about publishing your research.

Choose where to publish

Identify strategically which format, publication and publisher best suits your research output and audience. This due diligence can enhance your chances of being read, cited more frequently, and your work being reused.

Questions you might ask:

  1. What is my field of research – e.g. special editions can sometimes be easier to get published in
  2. Where do key authors in my field publish?
  3. Which journals and publishers cover my research topic?
  4. Can I use articles or work from my thesis?
  5. Can I collaborate with an experienced researcher?
  6. What is the most ‘valuable’ format for my research field (or sub-field)?
  7. Can I find these on a (journal) publisher's website? e.g. aims and scope, editors, database indexing, submission guidelines, impact statement, acceptance rate, peer review process, article processing charges, and time until publication.
  8. What is the quality and reputation of the editorial/advisory board? Talk with colleagues, supervisor, mentor or peers about their publishing experiences; see COPE
  9. What are my author/creator rights and obligations? Who will be the first author?
  10. What if my publication is available on open access in an institutional repository?
  11. How accessible is the publication to others (open access, subscription)?
  12. Which publishing model is best for me?
  13. Will I have to pay to publish? e.g. Article Processing Charge (APC) or Submission Fee, colour pages/figures
  14. What about publishing offers if I am completing my thesis? See the Thesis Information guide.
  15. Which journals have a high impact or rating in my field? See: Journal Metrics
  16. Want a presence in a particular database? e.g. Scopus, then target an Elsevier journal
  17. What is my timeframe to get my research 'out there'?
  18. What metrics do I need? – is it for future promotions, PBRF submissions, CV, funding applications

Use the Think-Check-Submit checklist to make informed decisions on the quality, integrity and credibility of a journal or publisher.

Questions to ask supervisors and departmental colleagues:

  1. Will this publication look good on my research profile?
  2. Will the publication add value to my academic career?
  3. Would publication adversely affect future research publications?
  4. Would the publication be counted as a research publication by the University's Publications Office?


Explore these resource tabs above to help you identify journals and publishers in your subject area, and to get a sense of their impact in comparison to others in the field.

Your Subject Librarian can provide support with these publishing tools.

Knowing what research topics are in demand by journal publishers can give you an edge when it comes to getting your research 'out there'.

How frequently a journal, or publication, is cited is a measure of its importance within the research community. Where possible, it is best to aim to publish in a journal with a high impact or rating, unless your research is very niche or specialised.

New and emerging journals, including open access titles, may not have been ranked yet. Assess the quality of such titles by verifying editorial board quality, verifying publishing body authority, thoroughly checking the papers that are being published, impact factors, acceptance rates, and publication timeframes.

  • Elsevier Journal Finder helps find journals best suited for publishing your scientific article.
  • Master Journal List helps find the right journal for your needs (free account or login), hosted on the Web of Science platform. Click Match Manuscript to find the best potential publications for your article, searching the Web of Science journals.
    • OR, start from EndNote Online, EndNote X9 (or 20 or 21) desktop, or Word>EndNote X9 (or 20 or 21) tab>Manuscript Matcher - match your title and abstract to find the best potential publications for your article. More information here.
  • JANE (Journal/Author/Name Estimator) helps you match your article to a suitable journal for publication (Biomedical).
  • Journal is a multidisciplinary journal database that you can use to search, filter, sort and compare journals from over 46,000 titles. Choose the best journal for their research. Learn more - FAQ's
  • Open Journal Matcher -(no longer being updated as of July 2022) this tool matches a draft abstract with the best-matching open access journals.
  • Springer Journal selector provides detailed instructions for authors, information about the aims and scope and the types of papers that are published in a specific journal.  Journals are listed by subject area and then alphabetically.
  • Springer Journal suggester helps you to find the right journal for your paper. All you need is an abstract or description of your article to find matching journals.
  • The Serials Directory provides bibliographic information, and pricing strutures, for popular US and international journals and newspapers.
  • Wiley Journal Finder can suggest Wiley journals that may be relevant for your research.
  • Cabell's Directories selection policy - check the standards and criteria used to evaluate journal publishing opportunities.
  • Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) - are there good, peer reviewed, open access journals in your field? There may be an article processing fee, but your work can be freely read by any researcher in the world.
  • Learn more about Open access - publishing models, quality assurance, directories, repositories, advocacy and support
  • What to consider when choosing which journal to submit your paper to - by Patrick Dunleavy

Knowing what research topics are in demand by journal publishers and conference organisers can give you an edge when it comes to getting your research 'out there'.

Attending conferences is a useful method of keeping up to date and invaluable for networking with colleagues in your research field.

Conference Alerts Papers Invited
Wiki for CFP Call4paper Open Research
CFP List CFP from University of Pennsylvania H Net ... or search for your research topic and "Call for Papers" OR CFP


 A preprint is a scholarly manuscript posted by the author(s) in an openly accessible platform, usually before or in parallel with the peer review process. Source: COPE.

Source: National Library of Medicine Preprint Pilot


Where are these Preprint Servers/Repositories?

Many platforms archive preprints; some are subject-specific, others include preprints from multiple disciplines. Search multiple platforms to find the latest research on a specific topic. Preprints can also be found searching PubMed and Google Scholar.

arXiv is a preprint server for physics, math, computer sciences, quantitative biology and statistics.

Authorea is a platform for publishing articles, data, figures and preprints.

bioRxiv is a preprint server for biology.

ChemRxiv is a preprint repository for chemistry.

Figshare is a repository where users can make all of their research outputs available in a citable, shareable and discoverable manner.

F1000 Research is an Open Research publishing platform for scientists, scholars and clinicians offering rapid publication of articles and other research outputs without editorial bias.

Google Scholar contains preprints and each result will need to be checked to confirm the preprint status.

medRxiv is a preprint server for the health sciences.

Open Science Framework (OSF) is a free, open platform to support your research and enable collaboration. OSF contains over two million preprints from a number of preprint repositories. 

OUR Archive is the University of Otago's research repository. Add your PDF, or Author accepted manuscript, whichever your journal contract allows. is a platform dedicated to making early versions of research outputs permanently available and citable. Content on Preprints is not peer-reviewed and can receive feedback from readers.

PsyArXiv is a free preprint service for the psychological sciences.

PubMed - Use the query of: "preprint"[Publication Type] to find records for preprints in PubMed. PubMed records include a link to PubMed Central to view the full text of the preprint.

PubMed Central (PMC) - Use the query of: preprint[filter] to find preprints in PMC.

RePeC disseminates research in Economics and related sciences.

Research Square contains over 25,000 preprints and allows authors to submit preprints and make edit prior to peer review in a journal.

SciELO Preprints is a multidisciplinary international preprint server.

SSRN is a multidisciplinary preprint server, with social science strength.

Listing of Preprint Servers maintained by Martyn Rittman from

Disciplinary repositories - includes preprint and postprint repositories.


  • Faster dissemination of your work
  • Provide access to work that might not always be published
  • Free to post
  • Gain early scholarly feedback before submitting for peer review in a journal
  • Showcase your work for grants and in your CV
  • Get credit and gain visibility
  • Prove research originality through timestamps and preprint DOI
  • Find potential collaborators


What is scooping? 

When research is published by a researcher/s before a rival team can publish theirs on the    same topic, or where an idea or results are published without proper attribution to those who came up with the idea or had results first.

It's low risk because preprint servers will timestamp and/or add a DOI for each preprint deposited, making it clear whose research came first.

Can I trust the research that's not peer-reviewed?

One of the benefits to depositing preprints on servers or repositories is that the research community (rather than a small team of anonymised peer reviewers) can provide feedback, and help to improve preliminary research or debunk misleading information.

What if people read preprints and take the results as irrefutable evidence, not realizing that a preprint is not the final version?

Many preprint servers screen papers before accepting them. Preprints are also often marked as such, warning the reader that they are not peer-reviewed.

Will I get two DOIs if my preprint becomes a published paper in a journal? 

Yes, but the preprint DOI will be different to the journal's DOI.

Learn more about Citing Preprints, Recommendations and Responsibilities for Authors, and Other Preprint resources.

This page was adapted from resources at Bernard Becker Medical Library and Levy Library.

Types of Peer review

Peer review can take many forms. The most common types  are:

Single-blind: the reviewers know that you are the author of the article, but you don’t know who the reviewers are.

Double-blind: the reviewers don’t know that you are the author of the article, and you don’t know who the reviewers are either.

Open review: you know the names of the reviewers, and they know your name too.

Post-publication open review: after your article is published, readers can comment on it.

Source: (accessed 16 Dec 2015)


1)  A brief overview of the peer-review process, by NCSU - watch now

2) 15 steps to revising journal articles - how to respond to peer-review critique


1) The peer-review process, including acceptance, rejection, revising and responding - by Springer

A peer-review process is used to assure the quality of published research

Publishers provide information to help prospective authors understand the peer-review process for their particular journal.

For example:

The peer-review process may vary between publishers.

As with subscriber journals, the peer-review process for Open Access journals may vary between publishers. Look at the journal's website for editorial information such as peer review, editorial board membership, and aims and scope. 


Become a Peer Reviewer, as this can stimulate your ability to appraise scholarly writing... and perhaps in turn, improve your own writing.

  • become involved in reviewing colleagues' papers
  • join Publons as a reviewer or editor, or as a space to track your research impact
  • Web of Science Academy offer free online peer reviewer training

Add any peer review work you do to your CV too.

Why Open Access?

Open access publications:

  • Are more likely to be read and cited.
  • Benefit readers such as community groups, public policy makers, and educators who cannot access research behind pay walls.
  • Are free of most copyright and licensing restrictions, so authors retain more rights.

Open Access publishers:

  • Do not always charge author fees (Article Processing Charges or APCs).
  • Should meet the same quality and ethics criteria as publishers using a conventional business model.

Types of Open Access

'Gold' open access (Gold OA) means that the definitive version of your work is available immediately upon publication and is free for anyone to access. Gold OA may involve an author fee or Article Processing Charge (APC). Many high-quality OA journals do not charge a fee, and others may offer fee discounts or waivers. Talk to your head of department about payment of APCs.


'Green' open access (Green OA), also known as self-archiving, is free. Green OA means depositing a version of your work, such as an accepted manuscript, in a discipline-based or institutional repository. Green OA will meet the requirements of funding agencies that have an OA policy. 


'Hybrid' journals are subscription journals in which authors can pay an APC to make their articles OA. Green OA is a better (free) option; paying to publish in a journal the Library subscribes to means the University is paying twice.


OA monographs are becoming more common. As an alternative to going Gold, consider negotiating Green OA with your conventional publisher.

Congratulations - you're ready to submit to a target journal or publication, one at a time.

  • Have you attended a writing workshop on publishing readiness? Check the Graduate Research School workshop series
  • Get a final appraisal from a colleague, preferably one with publishing and editing experience
  • Adhere rigorously to the journal instructions for manuscript preparation and submission guidelines:
    • may include detailed checklists and forms regarding methodologies, ethics, conflict of interest, financial disclosures
    • may include plans for data archiving
    • may include suggesting referees
  • Write a good cover letter

Make the editor's job as easy as possible!

It's important to understand your rights when you sign a publishing agreement because this can affect how you can use your own work later. Apart from the initial publication of your work, you may also want to put copies on your own website, share it via social media, republish it, use it in your teaching, etc.

What order should the authors be in, if a paper is co-authored? Check the ICMJE Vancouver Protocols for criteria.

Check out the author's information on the publisher's website to see if they have information or a sample contract, e.g. an open access journal where authors retain copyright or a journal where copyright is assigned but some rights are retained by the author.

If your publication is open access then you will have the right to reuse your own work (as will others). In most cases you retain the copyright and give a licence to the publisher to use the work.

Many more traditional agreements will involve 'transfer' or 'assignment' of copyright to the publisher. If this is the case then carefully check what things you can do with your work.

  • Can you publish articles related to your thesis?
  • Can you use it in your teaching?
  • Or deposit in OUR Archive (some explicitly forbid this)?
  • Is there an embargo period that prohibits sharing until a certain time has passed?
  • Can you add it to an academic networking site like or ResearchGate, or discipline-based repositories?
  • If no mention is made of these things then raise this with the publisher. You can negotiate and amend your  agreement with any publisher. Use the Author's Addendum hosted by SPARC to negotiate the rights you need or check out more detailed advice about contracts and wording from the Authors' Alliance.

Check publishers' policies about rights in the different versions of a work, e.g. Sherpa/Romeo database.

Find out about funders' policies in the Sherpa/Juliet database.

Contact the University's Copyright Officer or your Business Development Manager or Research Advisor for assistance with interpreting publisher contracts.

Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) - identifies principles of transparency and best practice for scholarly publications. COPE provides advice to editors and publishers on all aspects of publication ethics, in particular how to handle research and publication misconduct. COPE members are expected to follow a code of conduct for journal editors. Search 'Member' page for journal or publisher.

Learn more about Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing

'Predatory publishing' is an abuse of the 'author-pays model' where deceptive publishers claim to be Open Access in order to collect payments from prospective authors. There are other deceptive publishing practices to look out for as well. Suggested reading:

Check what you should be aware of with publishing offers.


Publishing a book requires legal deposit of a copy with the National Library of NZ. You need an International Standard Book Number (ISBN or e-ISBN) if you self-publish; otherwise your publisher will organise this. The number does not indicate quality of your research output.

Apply for an ISBN online

Publishing a new journal requires legal deposit of the print copy, or access to the online copy. You will need an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN or e-ISSN).

Apply for an ISSN online

Publishing a score or piece of music requires a legal deposit of the printed score,or its parts. You will need an International Standard Music Number (ISMN) for the score or parts. 

Apply for an ISMN online

Learn more about registering your research output.

Publishing an article in an online journal will receive a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) supplied by the journal publisher. If self-publishing online note the URL.

Publish your research

Deposit your research in OUR Archive

Archiving a preprint, or an author accepted manuscript (AAM), or published version of your work, is a vital step in preserving and promoting access to your research outputs.

For staff, listing your work in MyResearch is mandatory at Otago, but does not garner citations.

OUR (Otago University Research) Archive offers the unique benefits of simultaneous preservation, access, promotion, networking and usage tracking.

Publish your work

Choose a traditional subscription publisher, an open access publisher, or publish through a researcher network.


Publish your data

Archive your research data to maintain integrity of your research output, and for potential reuse by other scholars.

See Managing your research data

Increase your visibility

There are a number of ways in which you can promote your research, to increase your discoverability and scholarly visibility. 

Track your research impact

It's important to keep a track of what you publish and how frequently your research is being cited. There are a number of tools available for doing this: