Publication Strategy v.17

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Publication strategy: Which journal should I publish in?

There’s no straightforward answer to this question! Nonetheless, it’s an important question to ask, as selecting the right journal enables your research to reach its target audience, increasing the likelihood of it making a tangible impact on both the research community and society. Here’s a list of what you should consider (or download the 1 page printable version)...

Talk to colleagues: Senior colleagues and professional academic contacts in your field can give expert advice.

Peer-reviewed: Except for in a few rare cases, the journal should be peer-reviewed.

Editors: Are the editors and board members credible people with a good professional reputation in your field?

Rankings and metrics: How does the journal rank compared to other journals in your field [1]? Publishing in a highly ranked journal indicates that your research has met a certain standard, as it has been reviewed by a panel of experts. However, be aware that publishing in these journals is highly competitive.

Appropriateness: Consider the appropriateness of the journal for your research. Think about where the articles that you've found most valuable and influential were published. A specialist journal can be a good place to publish IF they are publishing high quality work. However, due to their more focused readership, be aware that specialist journals may not be as highly ranked.

Cost and open access (OA): Many publishers let you make your research OA for free by uploading a copy to Pure, where it’s made OA after an embargo period. This is the University's preferred route. However, if you have a strong case for immediate OA (e.g. to meet funder requirements) then you can apply for funding [2].

'Predatory' journals: These journals provide little or no peer-review and editorial services, and so their quality is low and reputation poor [3]. Just avoid them.

Promote your research after publication: Publishing is just the start! Does the journal promote your work further after publication? You should also promote your article via the Press Office (, on social media and on online academic communities (e.g. twitter, blogs,, etc), and Pure. Plus, discuss its real world impact by contacting the Impact Officer ( and monitor its global reach using Scopus citation alerts and Altmetrics [4][5].

For further help, contact Plus, don’t forget to sign up for a personal ORCID publishing identification number [6] and use the "University of Portsmouth" as your affiliation.


References and links

[1] - Journal rankings -

Science, technology and some social science subjects: Scopus/WoS rankings.  
Business and law subjects: Use the ABS list.  (You’ll need to register).
Journal metrics and rankings are not widely used in arts and humanities. Instead other factors, such as publisher reputation, are more important.

[2] - Apply for gold open access funding before submitting your article.

[3] - How to identify predatory journals.

[4] - Set up Scopus citation alerts.

[5]- Altmetrics

[6] - ORCIDs 




Image credit: Checklist image above reproduced with permission from FlatIcon.