Getting Published


Choosing a journal | Advice from publishers | Finding a book publisher | Getting an ISBN | Managing your copyright Writing Advice

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Choosing a journal

 You need to consider:

  • Impact factor and other journal metrics if these are relevant for your subject.
  • Your own knowledge of journals in your area and suggestions from experienced colleagues.
  • Check the journal scope and requirements to make sure they match what you are writing about.
  • Which journals does your research cite.
  • Is the journal indexed in major indexing services such as Web of Science, Scopus and subject specific databases - these will only index quality journals. You might also like to look at SUNCAT, a union catalogue which will show which, if any, universities subscribe to a particular journal - again this can be a clue to quality.
  • There are some online services designed to help you choose a journal - for example, Elsevier Journal Finder, Journal Selector
  • Whether the journal will allow you to comply with requirements for the next REF.

 Advice from publishers

 Finding a book publisher

There are various options from learned societies and open access publishers to commercial publishers. Some things to consider:

  • Who publishes the books you use most often.
  • Do they offer peer review and/or have a good reputation. Colleagues can be a good source of information about publishers.
  • Consider who your book will be aimed at and whether there is a market for it. Does the publisher have an international reach?
  • Study the publisher's web site to find out their procedures and any advice they offer to authors. This can easily be found using an internet search.  If you need a contact address to approach a publisher many publishers can be found in the Academic Publishing Directory.
  • Be aware that some publishers will only accept a manuscript if they are the only one being considered. 
  • If there are book series in your subject area consider approaching the editor to see if they would be interested in your work - these often have a ready made audience.
  • If you are going to a conference where publishers are exhibiting take a summary of your book and a CV so that you are ready to discuss it.

 Getting an ISBN

If you are not using a conventional publisher and need an ISBN for your publication the library can supply one. This might happen for example if you are publishing conference proceedings or a report.

An ISBN is an advantage if you are keen to publicise your work as it will be nationally registered and details available to booksellers. It is a unique product number which identifies your publication. You can find an application form on our ISBN page.

Managing your Copyright

Usually, when you publish a book or journal article you hand over copyright to the publisher. Some allow you to retain some rights so it is worth considering this. This can sometimes be negotiable. You can find more information on the copyright library guide.

 Writing Advice