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Publishing Plan Toolkit

Step 2. Check

Check which quality publishing source will maximise your work's scholarly impact. Your choice of publishing source can affect the details of your experiments and parts of your manuscript, e.g.,

Experimental design:

  • Number of survey or trial participants
  • What experiments you choose to highlight
  • Data availability


  • Design of your figures
  • Results and discussion sections
  • How you write for your audience

Refining your shortlist

Use the following factors to help you select a suitable high-quality publishing outlet that is likely to accept and publish your work and maximise your research impact.

E - Aim and scope
E1. Does your work align with the publishing source's aims and scope?

Each publishing source, e.g., journal, conference, publisher, will have information about its aims and scope available on the source website. These may be found in sections such as 'Instructions for authors', 'About the journal, or 'Aims and scope'.

  • Evaluate your research against the publishing source's aims and scope to ensure that your article fits the publishing source's subject area and will appeal to the readers.
  • Look at whether the source has published articles similar to yours. For journals, check indexing and subscription information on the journal website (free) or Ulrichsweb (sub).
F - Quality publishing sources

Have you assessed the quality of your publishing source?

F1. Peer review

Have you checked whether the publishing source (e.g., journal, monograph series, report) has been peer-reviewed?

  • For journals, monograph series and reports, check Ulrichsweb (institutional login required).
  • For other publishing sources, check the publisher’s website.

F2. Indexing/archiving

Has your article been indexed/archived in major databases such as Scopus, Web of Science, DOAJ, or other discipline-based lists such as PubMed?

Is it a service that your colleagues use?

  • For journals and monograph series, check Ulrichsweb.
  • For open access journals, check whether it's been indexed in DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals)
  • Check discipline-specific indexing databases such as PubMed to ensure it is widely indexed. For example, for the School of Business, a relevant discipline-based list would be the ABDC Journal Quality List

F3. Metrics and Impact

For example, where is this journal ranked in its research field? e.g., SCImago SJR or JIF impact factors

What are its journal metrics (e.g., CiteScore metrics or Journal Citation Report metrics)?

The research allocation for your research profile will have been negotiated beforehand with your supervisor.

Refer to the latest Academic Staff Work Plan Policy for your school/institute to determine the criteria you need to meet (research activity and outputs) associated with your research profile.


  • Look for high-quality publishing sources that will maximise your research impact.
  • You might also consider publishing sources such as Trade Publications if they are expected to generate high engagement.

F4. ERA submission guidelines

Have you reviewed the latest 2023 ERA Submission Guidelines for the submission criteria required for researchers and research sources?

In the 2023 ERA Submission Guidelines, see sections:

  • 4.3.1 Eligible researcher criteria (see section 4.3, ERA Submission Data: Researchers)
  • 4.3.2 Eligible researcher outputs (see section 4.4, ERA Submission Data: Research Outputs)

The Submission Guidelines classify research outputs into the following types:

Traditional Research Outputs

  • Books - authored research
  • Chapters in research books
  • Journal articles - refereed, scholarly journals as per the ERA Journal List
  • Conference publications - full paper refereed.

Non-traditional research outputs (NTROs)

  • Applicable to some FoRs (as per the ERA 2023 Discipline Matrix).
G - Publisher reputation and credibility
G1. Are you submitting your research to a trusted publisher or conference?
  • To identify trusted publishers for your research, use the Think. Check. Submit. checklist for journals, or the checklist for books and chapters.
  • To identify trusted conferences, use the Think. Check. Attend. checklist.
Leonard, M., Stapleton, S., Collins, P., Selfe, T. K., & Cataldo, T. (2021). Ten simple rules for avoiding predatory publishing scams. PLOS Computational Biology, 17(9). doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1009377 Xia, Jingfeng. Predatory Publishing. Milton: Taylor and Francis, 2021
G2. Is the publisher a member of a recognised body?

Is the publisher a member of:

G3. Is the journal/publisher well-regarded in your field of research?

What evidence do you have to trust the publishing outlet?

G4. Is it a reputable journal/conference?

Contact your School Librarian for assistance.

H - Information for authors
H1. Are the publishing outlet's terms and conditions aligned with your publishing needs?

If you select an open access journal from the Library Read & Publish Agreements, do the journal publisher's terms and conditions in the CAUL Read & Publish Agreement LibGuide align with your publishing needs?

In particular, check the publishing outlet's Terms and Conditions for:

  • Eligible article types
  • Acceptance date
  • Other charges
  • Whether Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be used
  • Information for authors, including:
    • Author rights: Can you retain author rights? Can you choose a Creative Commons (CC) licence?
    • How to submit your article for open access publishing
    • Author identification: Authors will be identified as eligible for open access publishing by using Institutional email address, institutional affiliation, and IP address range. It’s highly recommended that you also provide your ORCID iD.
H2. Does the publishing frequency and acceptance rate suit your timeframe for submission? It's important to know how often journal issues are run (e.g., four intakes per year - quarterly). You can get that information from the publisher's website, 'information for authors', or Ulrichsweb.
H3. How long will the journal/publisher take to peer-review and publish your research?

Review the 'information for authors' on the publisher's website, which explains the submission guidelines.

Use this information to find suitable sources that meet your publishing timeframe.

Does the publishing outlet meet your timeframe for submission? Note: The journal acceptance rate is a useful signal to prospective authors of the probability of acceptance of their manuscript.

H4. Is it clear what fees will be charged? Are there additional fees or charges, e.g., submission fees, page or reprint charges?

This information should be freely available on the journal/publisher's website. Look for the ‘information for authors’.

For journals, look for Article Processing Charges (APC) and information about APC and operating costs which may apply to open access journals.

H5. Does the journal/publisher have policies on open access and self-archiving?

Does the publisher allow a particular version of your work to be made open access, e.g., postprint (AAM - Author Accepted Manuscript) or publisher version (VoR - Version of Record)? This information about sharing versions of journal articles provides a good introduction to 'Gold' and 'Green' open access, copyright, and what you can share.

If yes, this can mean more citations for your paper.

Note: Tools such as Sherpa Romeo allow you to find publisher open access policies, publisher copyright and open access archiving policies on a journal-by-journal basis. However, it is always best to check the journal/publisher sites for accurate, up-to-date information.

H6. Does the publisher provide accessibility support for your work? The publisher's 'information for authors' page should provide information on accessibility support for your work.
H7. Does the publisher allow a particular version(s) of your work to be made open access? Check the publisher agreement for details. This information may also be available from the publisher's website under 'information for authors'.
H8. Can you retain author rights to your work? Check the publisher agreement for details. This information may also be available from the publisher's website under 'information for authors'.
H9. Can you submit a manuscript that includes preprint content? Check the publisher's 'information for authors' or contact the publisher, who can advise whether you can submit a manuscript that includes preprint content.
H10. Can you submit your research data for publishing in ResearchDirect? Check this against your completed Research Data Management Plan (RDMP) - in particular, the sections on Data, Data storage, Data retention, Ethics and sensitivities, and Ownership, licensing and IP.
I - Promotion and availability of your research
I1. How will the publisher promote your work and make it discoverable?

The exposure of your research will depend on the outlet being easy to discover and access. Choose a publisher with a good track record of author support with regard to providing opportunities and resources to ensure dissemination of your work.

Consider these questions to determine how the publisher will provide support for the accessibility and visibility of your article:

  • Does this publisher offer an option to make your work open access, and which models do they support?
  • Does this option include a charge for publication, e.g., Article Processing Charges (APCs)?
  • What is the expected turnaround time for publication? Is timeliness to publish important for your research?
  • Will you receive an electronic link to share your published work with colleagues upon publication? (limited number of downloads permitted)
  • Does the publisher offer alternatives to publish in languages other than English - if this is important?
  • To what extent will the publisher provide promotional support for your work - if at all?
  • Is there support for optimising the visibility of your work through recognised persistent identifiers (ISSN, DOI, ORCID iD)?

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