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Publish Your Research, Measure Its Impact

Choose the best journals and publishers for your research and learn how to measure its impact after publication (research metrics).

Consider your options

Use your contacts

If you are a new or commencing researcher your should be using your contacts to get advice on appropriate places to publish. These include:

  • Your supervisor
  • Your discipline leader
  • Your Liaison Librarian
  • Authors of good papers in your field

Scopus and Web of Science databases have search options that can identify potentially useful new contacts in your field.

What are your priorities?

  • Speed of publication - enquire about turn-around times from journal editor

  • Quality/standing of journal (Impact Factor) -use tools on this page
  • Audience you are targeting- is reaching a specific audience more important than journal impact
  • Consider journals that you cite frequently in your work.

If you are early-career or trying to quickly advance your career, it is important to publish in high-impact journals.

Can you retarget to a better journal?

  • If your topic is narrow, can you rewrite, rename or retarget your article so that is is suitable for a wider audience and a higher impact journal?

  • Papers in high impact journals will get more citations

  • More citations will give you a higher H-index
  • Higher H-index increases your chances of promotion and makes you more attractive as a collaboration partner with high profile researchers

What is the nature of your work?

  • Does your chosen journal publish papers like yours? (Look at recent issues and editorial guidelines)

  • Length of paper...some journals have length limits
  • It is OK to contribute chapters to edited books if that type of literature is widely used in your discipline
  • ... but only peer-reviewed book and chapters will qualify for ERA or RPDC reporting
  • Presenting at a conference is also OK, but only if peer-reviewed papers are produced. (Abstracts and posters do not count for ERA or RPDC reporting).

Consider Open Access publishing

USC encourages Open Access publishing, which offers many advantages to both the institution and the researcher.

(For further information on Open Access Publishing, see our Open Access guide).

Publishing options for research outputs

Choosing the right journal to publish your research in can be pivotal to the success of your output.  

Unfortunately, there are some journals that are what are termed as "predatory", and as such should be avoided.  

The good news is that there are resources available to help you make a good decision about which journal to publish in.  Think. Check. Submit is one such tool aiming to help researchers identify trusted journals.  

Books and book chapters can count as valid research output, but the guidelines are quite strict and very prescriptive.



For further information on the criteria, see the Research Output Reporting guide


Where should you publish?

If you want to gain maximum credibility and research impact you should choose a major scholarly publisher in your field.

Major publishers like Elsevier, Springer, Taylor & Francis, Oxford University Press, LWW, SAGE, ACS, Cambridge University Press and Wiley cover most academic disciplines but there are many others. A good guide is to find some very reputable recent books in your own field and see who the publishers are. The Library catalogue can be a useful tool in this search.


If you are asked to contribute a chapter to an edited monograph, it is best if it's a peer-reviewed volume.  In many disciplines, peer-reviewed monographs or collections are as important as journals.

Conference papers can count as valid research outputs, but the guidelines are quite strict and very prescriptive.

In general only full peer-reviewed papers count (not posters, abstracts etc.).

For further information on the criteria, see the Research Output Reporting guide

Conference posters are another way that researchers can connect with their community.

Note that conference posters are not eligible for RPDC or ERA reporting (see the Research Output Reporting guide).

Some good resources for preparing conference posters are:


Questions to help you plan your Conference Poster

  1. How will you present your ideas into a visual presentation?
  2. Have you planned your content and layout prior to designing?  If not - it's good to work with blank piece of paper and pen...
  3. Who is your audience?
  4. Have you read the instructions from the Conference organisers so you use the correct orientation (landscape/portrait) font size etc?
  5. Is your poster engaging? Will someone see your poster from a few metres away and be drawn into reading in more detail?
  6. What size will your poster be printed on? Design your poster in the size you will print on
  7. Are you using high resolution images to reduce blurring of images when printed?
  8. What colours are you using?  Are these complimentary and enable easy reading? 
  9. Are your full contact details included on poster for further information or discussion?
  10. Have you sent your poster to others for feedback and review?
  11. Have you looked at your poster on another computer?
  12. Have you looked at below resources to gain further tips on presenting your research to maximise impact of your work?
  13. Have you acknowledged help and copyright?
  • Allows greater dissemination of research publications to a wider audience.

  • Increase 'impact' by reaching more readers resulting in more citations.  There is evidence that, for articles of citeable quality, reaching more readers will result in more citations (Gargouri, 2010).  For journals, Open Access makes the journal more visible and any increase in citations will translate into a higher impact factor (making the journal more attractive to readers and authors).

  • Accelerates the rate of discovery and the translation into research benefits for the public. 

  • Removes 'price barriers' to access by making research available to many groups which would otherwise not have access, such as practitioners, school students, industry and the general public. 

  • Scales the expansion of the literature - library budgets do not.  Even if all journal prices were reasonable, the rapid rise in the number of journals in recent years means that no library can offer comprehensive access to all the relevant literature. 

  • Provides a means for researchers and research institutions to showcase their research.

 Open Access map

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Style manuals

Journal and book publishers usually have very strict style guidelines, so you must take your target publisher into account when preparing your publication. Failure to do this may result in  a lot of tedious reformatting. Aways consult the Guide to Authors that is usually available from the publishers website.

Some major publishers provide comprehensive guides that apply to all their own publications, but in some cases are also adopted by other publishers. The Library holds many of these style guides (See below). If you are writing a thesis, you should remember that there is a good chance that you will want to produce "spin-off" journal articles during writing or after the thesis is finished. You should take this into account  when choosing the style of referencing for your thesis. In general it is best to choose a widely used style such as APA if you want an Author-Date style, or AMA style if you want  numbered (Vancouver) style. The manuals for these styles are excellent and will guide you in all aspects of manuscript preparation. You will also probably want to use Endnote to make your referencing manageable and consistent. The styles in the manuals below all work well with Endnote.

Major Style Manuals

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