This is the final in a four-part series. Use the links below to view the rest of the series:
Writing a research manuscript for publication can be a challenging and rewarding task. Many new investigators benefit from getting their written manuscripts published in peer-reviewed, respected journals where they will enjoy the recognition many researchers work hard towards, sometimes for their entire lives.
Why Publishing Matters
As researchers, it is our responsibility to make sure our work is discoverable to our peers and the world. To publish one’s work is a perk of being at the highest academic level; it is also the primary way investigators can make their interests available for the next generation of researchers.
When Should You Start the Selection Process?
It is never too early to begin thinking about which journal you are interested in publishing your manuscript, although you may find that your search is more focused after you’ve conducted your data analysis and written your results and discussion portions of your paper.
Waiting until your investigation is beginning to matriculate can help you better determine the type of journal best suited for you and your work.
How to Pick the Right Journal for Your Research
Consider the group of people that you want to ready your observations and reporting whether it is the larger scientific community or a narrower subgroup specific to your discipline. Make sure to check the journal’s guidelines to ensure your paper’s within scope of that journal’s focus. There are a range of journals to choose from, depending on the nature of your research and other factors mentioned above.
See also: "How to Find Journals for Publishing Your Research"
Avoiding Predatory Journals
As mentioned in our previous article, make sure to check that you’re not publishing in a predatory journal by visiting websites like scholarlyoa.com. Predatory journals often exploit researchers willing to publish their works at any cost, including large sums of money and at a loss of rights to their own manuscript and work.
Consider the Impact Factor
Another consideration when choosing a journal is the “impact factor” of that publication. The impact factor is the measure reflecting the average number of citations to recent articles published in that journal. Impact factor measures the relative importance of a particular journal in its field of research (i.e.; education, business, health care, etc.). Having your manuscript affect your discipline so much that your work is cited in other manuscripts is a sign that your investigations are important to the research community.
Journals with higher impact factors are considered more impactful to their discipline than those with a lower impact factor, thus the name. Impact factors are calculated yearly and can be found at websites like scijournal.org. You can also check out this list from the University of Michigan. Publishing in journals with high impact factors can positively impact your research in many ways, and is a worthy goal for any researcher, but it’s not necessary to the success of your research.
For additional criteria on evaluating and selecting the right journal, click here.
Other Important Considerations
If in doubt, remember to ask questions of your respected peers, mentors, and Research Center Chair’s on “how they did it” when thinking about getting your manuscript published.
Whether you are just starting on your research topic or agenda or are a seasoned investigator, staying in close contact with your Research Center’s Chair, as well as your peers and the Office of Scholarship and Support, will assist and guide you towards a successful manuscript creation and pathway towards publication.