Where to Publish Your Research (And How to Get It Noticed) 

authors header image

Explore Services for Academics

You have worked hard on your research. All of your data is compiled and sorted, your thesis is solidified, and all your manuscript ducks are in a row. If you haven’t yet had your work checked for linguistic errors, get a proofreading quote now—proofreading is essential for catching those pesky typos you have overlooked and saving you a world of embarrassment. 

The next item on your agenda is finding the best place to publish your research, which can be easier said than done. There are countless academic journals out there, and it’s crucial to find the right one for your paper and to know how to submit your work so that it is likely to be accepted.

How to find the right journal

The sheer number of places to publish your academic research can be daunting. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to publishing, which means you will have to look around and do your own research to uncover the best solution. So, before you knock on the first door you see, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Where have you seen similar research published? If there is someone in your field doing work that you admire, take a look at their publication history. This is even more important if you’re currently in grad school and working with supervisors or mentors that you respect. You can also ask for their advice and assistance in locating a journal suitable for your paper—given how familiar they are with your research, they should be able to give you better suggestions than anyone else.

Ask around and keep your eyes and ears open to determine where the conversations are happening. Of course, your research is unique, but if there are places that already champion your general area of research, try submitting there first. These outlets have already demonstrated an interest in research similar to yours, so they may be willing to publish your study as well. Before you submit your paper to any journal, however, be sure to run it through a plagiarism checker to make sure you haven’t accidentally lifted an idea from someone else’s work without proper citation—this can happen more easily than you might think.

Some resources that might help answer this question are Ulrichsweb.com, Manuscript Matcher, JANE (Journal/Author Name Estimator), and JournalGuide. 

Ulrichsweb offers a great search feature that allows users to filter through hundreds of thousands of search results by peer-reviewed publications.

Manuscript Matcher provides a simple but straightforward service that extracts details from your manuscript (such as title, abstract, and keywords) to match them with an appropriate journal.

Similar to Manuscript Matcher, JANE (based on the MEDLINE database) and Journal Guide help researchers match manuscripts with journals, but users generally enter the information themselves. These services are a better option if you’re uncomfortable uploading your entire paper for a computer program to analyze.

  • What is the makeup of your ideal audience? It’s important to determine whether you are targeting people who already have a solid base knowledge of your field or people who are new to it. In some disciplines, open access might be a higher priority to get more eyes on your work, but it might not be as important for more niche research. For either type of paper, however, it is crucial that you publish in the right journal—otherwise, your work will likely fail to gain much traction. 

Take a moment to profile the audience you’re targeting to figure out the scope of your reach. As part of our academic package, you’ll get access to our PDF guide 6 Mistakes to Avoid When Contacting Publications. This can be an invaluable resource for a scholar venturing into new territory with their completed manuscript.

A resource that might help you identify your target audience is Elsevier Journal Finder, where you can filter by open access—this can give you plenty of options for sharing your work (more on that in a bit).

As soon as you have answered these two questions, you can start narrowing down your list to journals that fit your specifications. Given how vast the academic world is, however, you will still likely be left with many potential publications, and you’ll have to look into each one to decide where you should ultimately submit your paper. You are also now tasked with making sure that your work gets noticed.

Getting more eyes on your work

So, you have finally found the right journal, and your research has been accepted for publication. First of all, congratulations! Sharing your work is the most important part, allowing your research to enter the conversation and ensuring that your contribution is recognized and cited. As you cement your position in your field, your academic career will flourish.

These days, academia is more saturated with publications than ever, due in large part to online platforms and the increased accessibility of journal articles. Neither is necessarily a bad thing—they’re letting more people participate in the academic discussion, welcoming more viewpoints and opportunities for scientific breakthroughs. However, it also means there’s an extra step or two you may have to take to stand out. 

Make sure that your research really pops and use our team’s expertise with image enhancement, especially if you want to share new versions of your article online. Well-designed graphics can complement your data and help your readers make sense of your findings; plus, some readers may prefer to just skim your paper, relying on the images for their takeaways.

One incredible resource for academics is How Can I Share It?, which was set up by the International Association of Scientific, Technical, and Medical Publishers (STM). This platform simplifies the sharing process by providing users with a search tool that filters places where you can share your paper by your journal’s usage and access rights. How Can I Share It also has a database of publisher guidelines and directs users to professional sharing platforms as well as scholarly collaboration networks (SCNs), which can put you in touch with leading scholars in your field. This phenomenal resource makes it easy for academics to get their research out there while adhering to the rules and guidelines of their journal.

Elsevier is also a great tool. It helps you narrow down how you want to share your paper and with whom. For example, the suggestions will be different based on whether your goal is to share at a conference, on your blog, or with an SCN. The suggestions at Elsevier are invaluable for scholars who need a nudge in the right direction and can help you get more eyes on your paper, making it a prominent part of the discourse in your field.

Hopefully, the resources covered in this article will serve as a starting point to getting your paper published and noticed. If you’re smart about your search, you will find the right home for your work in no time. Since you want your manuscript to be absolutely perfect, don’t forget to check out our comprehensive proofreading and editing packages

Explore Services for Academics