Finding opportunities to publish an article

We are sometimes asked by students about the possibility of publishing an article based on their dissertation or thesis for example.

One way of seeking out opportunities is to subscribe to JISCMail  mailing lists for your area of interest and look out for invitations such as a Call for papers or book chapters or content for crowdsourced books. In Library and Information Science there are quite a few mailing lists depending on your interests such as LIS-LINK, LIS-INFOLITERACY, LIS-RESEARCHSUPPORT.

In some cases, there might be a special edition of a journal being published and edited by guest editors which correlates with your area of interest. If this is a close match then it might be worth submitting an abstract to see if the guest editors will commission you to write an article for the special edition.  Similarly, it is worth following academics, researchers, peers and publishers on Twitter to see if there are similar opportunities. I would also say that you have nothing to lose by seeking out an opportunity and submitting an abstract and being resilient as feedback you obtain might help you be successful next time.

You might wish to ask your supervisor or lecturers where they have published before and which journals match your particular discipline(s). Journal homepages usually provide information about the scope of the journal and the types of articles it accepts (eg. research articles, review articles…).  It might also indicate the members of the editorial board and provide submission guidelines.

It is also possible to research journals in terms of their impact and how highly cited they are, see information in our Research impact guide.  This might also help you to choose some journal titles that match your research discipline. Also if you read articles from certain journals and cite them in your work, this might indicate that the journal is a good match for your content.

Publishers often provide information on choosing a suitable journal, for example Taylor and Francis

Some publishers also have a journal finder or selector, for example SAGE

It is also worth checking if it is free to publish in a certain journal or if fees are payable (these may be paid by your institution) as this may influence your decision.

Another consideration is the length of time it may take to be published in a peer-reviewed journal and to allow for this and also the fact that you can only submit an article to one journal at a time until a decision on whether to publish it or not has been taken.

I think it is very positive for LIS practitioners to experience being a researcher and to publish their research as this allows them to better understand the processes involved and to share their knowledge first hand with other researchers.

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