Where to publish

You should start thinking about where you aim to publish at the grant application stage, this way any funds needed for open access publishing can be incorporated into your grant application (if the funder allows for these costs). You should also consider what page or figures charges might apply to your article (these are different to article processing charges).

So how do you decide where to publish?

Key elements apply when deciding where to publish whether in an open access or subscription based journal.

Elements to consider when deciding where to publish

  • Your intended audience - for example there are different types of journals: academic, professional, trade, popular. Or perhaps another type of publication is more suitable
  • Relevance
  • Peer reviewed - see the journal's online homepage about their peer review process and who does it
  • Editorial policies - check the details of the journal's policies: the Platform for Responsible Editorial Policies (PREP) might be useful - it maintains a database of journals' current peer review formats
  • Well-indexed - which databases index this journal? The journals online homepage often provides this information
  • Is it Open Access? The University supports publishing in Open Access only journals – you can apply for funding to cover the APC – see: Application to the Article Processing Charge Fund
  • Does your funder require you to publish Open Access? See Funder requirements. Again the University may cover the APC costs - see the University APC Policy.
  • Does the publisher policy allow deposit of your Author Accepted Manuscript in our Open Access Repository: STORRE? Making your article freely available in this way makes it accessible to a wider audience
  • If an embargo in a repository is required how long is it? Note the REF 2021 policy allows authors to respect embargo periods of: up to 12 months for Panels A and B; or 24 months for Panels C and D. If the embargo period is longer there is a policy exception if the journal is the most appropriate for your article
  • Impact factors - see the IS web pages on bibliometrics and citation analysis for further information
  • Be aware of predatory journals - see our checklist 

Further resources

  • The Manuscript Matcher tool suggests potential journals to publish in based on your paper's title and abstract (and reference list if you want) - see our Manuscript Matcher Guide.
  • If you are specifically interested in publishing in a gold open access journal, the Directory of Open Access Journals (doaj.org) provides a searchable database of 8761 journal titles.
  • Vitae have released a new episode of their 15-minute podcast series on developing their research career 'Getting published for the first time'. This tackles crucial questions for first time authors, such as: How should you approach writing your first research article?  What happens once you've pressed submit?  How can you maximise the impact of your research?
  • Think.Check. Submit helps researcher identify trusted journals for their research. 
  • conpher: a site aimed at gathering and sharing academic journal publishing experiences from academics around the world. Includes Acceptance and Publications times.

Open Access Publishing in Books and Book Chapters 

  • MIT Press Open Access Monographs 
    • MIT Press publishes books in the social sciences, art, design, science and technology.
    • Under the ‘MIT Press Direct to Open‘ programme authors can publish Open Access monographs for free.
    • Costs are met partly by the institutions who are collectively supporting the initiative, with the remaining costs being met by MIT Press.
    • Stirling University Library is a supporting member.
  • Scottish Universities Open Access Press  
    • Stirling University Library is a partner in establishing a cost effective Universities press for Scotland. The press is expected to go live for book submissions during 2022. 
  • OAPEN Open Access Books Toolkit  
    • The OAPEN Foundation has created an open access (OA) books toolkit for researchers and academic book authors. The toolkit is a free-to-access, stakeholder-agnostic resource that aims to help authors better understand Open Access for books, increase trust in Open Access book publishing, provide reliable and easy-to-find answers to questions from authors, and to provide guidance on the process of publishing an Open Access book.    University of Stirling is a contributing member of the OAPEN Foundation until the end of 2023.
  • Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB)  
    • DOAB is a community-driven discovery service that indexes and provides access to scholarly, peer-reviewed open access books and helps users to find trusted open access book publishers. All DOAB services are free of charge and all data is freely available. University of Stirling is a contributing member of the DOAB Foundation until the end of 2023.