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Publishing strategies

How you decide to publish is an important consideration. This page is designed to assist you to develop a publishing strategy that will help guide your decision making. For assistance with any of these tasks, don’t hesitate to ask your librarian.

There are four key questions to answer in choosing where to publish.

  1. What are the key publications in my field?
  2. How accessible are these journals to my audience?
  3. Are these journals "quality" publications?
  4. What do I know about this journal’s editorial policies?

Talk to mentors, supervisors, colleagues and research networks for advice on key publications in your field.

Consider your intended audience or readership

USQ researchers are encouraged to publish in open access journals, and where relevant, to incorporate open access publishing fees into funding proposals.

  • Is the journal relevant? Is your work more suited to an audience of specialists, such as those working in your field, or to a wider audience? Some journals publish on a wide range of topics and others focus on more specialised areas.
  • Do you need to ensure that your research is widely available, want to be able to share your article using Social Media, or distribute copies? See Copyright for researchers for your options.
  • Does the editorial policy and content of a journal match your ideas? Many include an editorial policy which is generally available on a journal's website (for an example, see PLOS Editorial and Publishing Policies)
  • Look for information about authors, journal history and scope, submission guidelines, review process and possible author fees.
  • Scan through issues to get an overview of the content and the types of articles that are published to determine how your content fits with the stated aims, objectives and coverage.

Check the quality of a journal or publisher

USQ researchers should aim for journals that are in the top quartile of Web of Science publications in their discipline, and have a SNIP over 2. These measures apply most particularly to the sciences, but increasingly to social sciences and humanities disciplines.

  • Is the journal peer reviewed? This is critical information and can be found through Ulrich's Periodicals Directory or on a journal website.
  • Consider the credentials and publication output of the editorial board. Do you know of them and their work?
  • Look at journal rankings. Try the Australian Business Dean’s journal quality list, the ERIH PLUS list for humanities and social sciences, or others relevant to your discipline.
  • Check through Ulrich's Periodicals Directory to see if a journal is listed within key subject databases.
  • Check how your preferred journal compares to others within the same or similar disciplines, and look for other citation-based journal metrics comparisons.
  • New and emerging journals, including open access titles, may not have had time to appear on ranking or other lists. Assess the quality of such titles by verifying editorial board quality, verifying publishing body authority and thoroughly checking the papers that are being published. See Publisher Ethics for more information.
  • Consult the Book Citation Index Master Book List for a list of scholarly publishers.

Determine your publication priorities and timelines

  • Is publishing in a journal with a quick turnaround from submission to review to publication critical? This will influence your choice of journal.
  • Investigate the acceptance and rejection rates for submitted publications to help you assess the likelihood that your paper will be accepted for publication. The American Psychological Association (APA) publishes statistics for Psychology journals. Don’t let a high rejection rate put you off if the publication otherwise meets your needs!

Look for important additional publication details

  • Are there submission fees, page charges, or reprint charges? This information should be available on a journal website.
  • Check copyright restrictions of a journal on a journal website and/or check Sherpa/ROMEO for copyright, repository, and archiving policies

Publication Excellence Awards

The Publication Excellence Awards are designed to encourage USQ researchers to make strategic decisions about the journals in which they seek to publish, enabling them to achieve the best return on their research efforts as well as forming a crucial step in improving the overall research performance of USQ. Awards are open to USQ employees and Higher Degree by Research students and further information can be found online. For assistance contact

For assistance with any of these tasks, don’t hesitate to ask your librarian.