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Increase Your Scholarly Impact

A self-service guide to help you increase your scholarly impact, provided by the Libraries' Scholarly Impact Service (SIS).

Considerations for scholarly publication

When looking at options for publication, there are a variety of factors that may affect scholarly impact beyond the bibliometrics defined in the previous sections. Sometimes, "impact" is a matter of targeting your publications to reach a specific audience or to achieve particular results in disseminating, providing access, allowing for re-use, or preserving your work over the long term so that it continues to be read and used. You may want to research some of these factors before choosing a venue for your work.

Note: You should familiarize yourself with the Tenure & Promotion Policies in your department before making any decisions regarding publication. If there are particular types of publications, quality measures, or bibliometric information required in order to receive credit for your work, make sure you can find this information for potential publications, or talk to a member of the Scholarly Impact Consulting team for help in locating those.

See also: "Emerging Trends in the Academic Publishing Lifecycle" (Scholarly Kitchen, 2019)

Things to consider:

  • Audience: Who do you want to read your work? A scholarly or general audience? Scholars in a particular discipline or across disciplines? International scholars? Students? Multi-lingual audiences? Policy-makers or professionals in a particular field?
     

  • Accessibility: Who can access the work?  Only those with subscriptions or institutional affiliations? Only those in a particular region or country? Those with disabilities? How can you make your work more accessible?
     

  • Format: Does print or electronic publication work better for your audience(s)? Does the work itself require visual or audio components not available in print? Does the format affect the accessibility of your work? Is it an easily preservable format?
     

  • Indexing: Is the journal or other publication widely indexed in the major indexing & abstracting databases (EBSCOhost, Scopus, Gale, OCLC, ProQuest, Thomson Reuters, etc.)? Is it indexed in specific disciplinary databases relevant to your work? Is it available in full-text or abstract-only databases?
     

  • Acceptance rates: What percentage of submitted articles/book proposals are accepted? Do you need a highly selective journal or publisher for the current work? Would a less selective journal that reaches your target audience(s) be a better choice?
     

  • Turnaround time: What is the average turnaround times between submission & decision or between decision & publication? How many reviewers or review stages are there? How long are you able/willing to wait for publication?
     

  • Publication fees: Are you prepared to pay a reasonable publication fee (sometimes called an “article processing charge” or APC) for publication or broader access?  Is this common in your discipline? Can it be subsidized by your institution or funding agency?
     

  • Publication agreements & Authors' rights: Who controls access and copyright to your published work? Can you distribute or re-use it independently of your publisher? Can other scholars do the same? Will it be preserved by your publisher, your institutional repository, or some other disciplinary repository?
     

  • Level of risk: Given your current career stage and goals, how much risk are you willing to assume? Are traditional metrics necessary for your promotion or review process? Can you afford a longer turnaround time, an innovative format, a newer or more-focused niche journal, or an open access publication? Are you willing to try a different peer review model (open, community, or formative review)? How open is your discipline or department to innovative forms of scholarship and publication? 
     

The sub-sections of this tab (to the left) will point you to a few  resources to help answer some of these and other questions as you look for publication options that suit your needs.

If you’re need more help finding or using any of this information, it may be helpful to consult with one of our Scholarly Communication librarians.

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