Why publish in journals?

What is a journal? And why is important to publish your work in one? Finding the right journal for your work can make a big difference to the way it is received, so the process of selecting a journal can be an important one.

There are several key benefits to publishing research in journals:

Discoverability

  • Publishing in journals can give your work visibility among other researchers in your field, outside of your immediate circle of contacts and colleagues.
  • Journals can makes your work more discoverable, as they are already being read by circles of interested readers.
  • Journals often have sophisticated distribution networks, placing work into libraries, organisations and institutes, and through letterboxes of readers around the world.

Contributing to the records of research in the field

  • Journal publication helps to preserve your work in the permanent records of research in the field.
  • Adding your work to this record involves you in the active research community for a topic, helping to expand your professional network, increasing potential for collaboration and interaction with peers.
  • Publishing your work through visible sources helps others to learn. By adding your experiences to the literature of the field, it helps to build the corpus of knowledge in your subject area.

The benefits of peer review

  • The peer review process helps improve the presentation and communication of research. The feedback can help you to frame your arguments in the most effective ways, and may even present valuable new insights into your own work. In addition, the peer review process can also help you reach peers and senior members of the research community by having journal editors, editorial boards and reviewers read your work.

Dissemination and impact

  • Selecting the appropriate journals can help add information to the public discussion of contemporary topics, beyond academic circles.
  • You may be required by funding agencies to publish your work in certain journals, as open access, or meeting other criteria stipulated in your grant award.
  • As well as the publication itself, particular journals may help you to engage with audiences, and meet requirements to achieve or provide certain impact metrics, evidence of engagement and interaction with your work.

Career advancement

  • Publishing in particular journals can be an essential component to advance your career, by meeting necessary assessment criteria and output performance targets.

Preventing duplication of effort

  • And last but by no means least, publishing your work can prevent waste and increase efficiencies, by enabling others to build on your achievements or avoid unnecessary duplication of efforts.

As you can see, your choice of journal can make a significant difference to the impact your paper may have. With much to consider, choosing the right journal for your research is both important and difficult.

The different modules will dig further into the ideas presented here, helping you identify the journals that will maximise the potential in your paper, reach the most appropriate audiences, and enhance your career.

 

Go to next module - How to identify potential journals >

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