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Publishing your work is important for disseminating new research for better health care, and to gain recognition as a scholar. The guide provides information about scholarly publishing to help you:
Considerations before publishing
Find a journal to publish your research
By manuscript matching or title/abstract
By looking up journal name, author, topic etc
By reading reviews of researchers' experiences with journals
By searching the ERA 2023 List
There are a number of tools to help determine the standing and influence of an academic journal. These tools can be used when selecting who to publish with, or for references in your research project.
Journal Ranking Tools
The term "predatory publishing" was first used by a librarian named Jeffrey Beall to describe open access journals which provide a poor or non-existent peer review service (a rigorous peer review process is a key feature of reputable publishers). Predatory publishers may look like legitimate publishers but are exploitative producers of content. They may or may not charge article submission fees or excessive publication fees to authors. They may also accept most or all papers submitted to them.
Publishing research in a predatory publication is damaging to the reputations of authors, affiliated institutions, research reliability and the publishing industry. After publishing in a predatory journal, authors may find it difficult to publish the same paper in a legitimate journal.
Predatory publishing’s relationship with open access
While the surge in predatory journals is related to an increase in open access (OA) publishing, there are a number of high quality OA journals and publishers who put great effort into offering quality peer-review services, editing and checks throughout the publishing process. Furthermore, predatory journals can also occasionally be found in well-known publishing houses. It is important to focus on the context of the publications and their policies and peer review services when determining if a journal is legitimate or not.
Predatory meetings, conferences and awards
Beware of predatory meetings, conferences and awards which operate using a similar business model to predatory publishing. This includes a poor or non-existent peer review service, high paper submission fees, and acceptance of most or all papers submitted to them. Predatory meetings, conferences and awards may also claim to be related to legitimate publications and involve researchers without their consent.
Tools & Resources:
Peer review is the process of evaluating research results in academic journal articles prior to formal publication, to determine the quality of the article and whether the study design is sound. This takes place after a researcher has submitted their paper to the journal for publishing.
Typically, a journal’s editorial board organises the peer review process by inviting reviewers with relevant expertise to check the paper. Structure, review criteria and critique guidelines are provided by the publishers and editorial boards to ensure that the validity, significance and originality of the study are carefully reviewed. To ensure fairness in the process and to minimise bias, feedback and comments by the reviewers (so called "referee reports") to authors are anonymous. Authors will usually receive reviewer feedback and the editorial decision of either "acceptance", "conditional acceptance" (accepted after major revisions based on reviewers' comments) or "rejection". The number of times a researcher can re-submit the modified paper depends on the journal/publisher's policies.
Benefits of Peer Review
✔ Ensures the validity of research and prevents the publication of misleading or falsified works.
✔ Provides valuable feedback so that researchers can revise and improve their work based on analysis by experts in the field.
✔ Serves as an independent check, as an second eye apart from the editor group, to minimise bias or misconduct.
Predatory Publishers & Peer Review
Predatory publishers skip peer review, or only provide rudimentary checks. Therefore, it is very important to check if a publisher's peer review policy is available online, well-explained and clear before you submit your work. For examples, see Elsevier and Springer Nature policies. As the primary aim of predatory publishers is financial gain from authors' work, their peer review turnaround time will be very short and they will not provide a quality referee report. Although it is easier to get articles published through predatory publishing, it is risky as authors may suffer irreparable reputation damage.
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