How to Publish

Q1. One of the journals I have published in has an impact factor of 5. What does that mean and why does it matter?

Q2. How will I know which journals have a high Impact Factor?

Q3. I want to get an article published in a peer review journal. How do I pick the right journal?

Q4. I have submitted my article to a publisher. What happens next?

Q5. I want to find out what are the most influential journals in Business?

Q6. Where can I find the ranking (impact factor) for the journal Management Science?

Q7. What are predatory publishers and how can I avoid them?

Q8. What is Copyright?

Q9. What is a DOI (Digital Object Identifier)?

Q10. How do I increase my chances of getting my article published?

Q11. What is ORCID?

Q12. How do I write a great research paper?



A1. The Journal Impact Factor (JIF) is the average number of citations received in a year by articles published in this journal in the previous two years, so in this case that is 5 citations per article. It matters because of bibliometric analysis which looks at, among other things, citation counts. If you publish in a journal with a high impact factor, you increase your chances of having material cited. When it comes to being cited, visibility is everything so you should look to publish in journals with a high JIF.


A2. Journal Citation Reports (JCR) is part of the Web of Science. This allows you to search for individual journals or to compare groups of journals by subject category.


A3. There are some things to consider before you choose a journal:

a. How likely is the article to be accepted in a high impact, high factor journal? Sometimes it is better, initially, to aim for a lower tier journal and build up a reputation and a body of work first. The higher ranked the journal, the higher the competition. It is always best to aim as high as you can but be realistic about it.

b. How long a delay is there between submission and publication? Publishers vary a great deal in this regard. If it is important that you lay claim to the idea, you need to select a journal that has a short delay between submission and publication. If there is a long delay in one journal, do you want your article tied up in the submission process? Remember you cannot submit the same article to another publisher during this time. However, dependent on the publisher's policy, it might be possible for you to publish a draft of the article on

c. While you can check the journal's impact factor on Journal Citation Reports, please remember that you can also consult other free sources of information.

  • SCImago: This uses Google's PageRank algorithm (as an indicator of the journal's influence) to rank journals. It also provides a H index and data on the total number of citable documents and total number of cites over the past three years.
  • The Australian ERA Journal List: This was produced by the Australian Research Council based on submissions from individual researchers and major research bodies. These are all peer reviewed journals covering all disciplines. The journals have been ranked in discipline specific tiers of A*, A, B, C. Getting published in an A* or A ranked journal is considered to be an indicator of quality/impact for the Australian Research Assessment Exercise.
  • JANE (Journal, Author, Name, Estimator): JANE allows you to enter your keywords of the title of your article and it will then suggest a list of journals that are a good match for your topic.
  • European Research Index for the Humanities: This has a number of lists for subjects in the Humanities, each categorising journals as A, B, C.


A4. Some publishers will be quick to reply and some will not, so expect a delay. After that the following will happen:

Desk Rejection: your article is rejected without being sent for peer review. Do not be depressed by this as it happens more and more as journals are overwhelmed with submissions and the peer review system is under pressure. There are 3 basic ways to increase your chances of getting past desk rejection.

  • Read the journals' instructions and advice for authors. There is no room for manoeuvre here, you must do what they say to be considered for publication.
  • Ensure your writing and language follows the conventions and instructions of the journal you are submitting to. Look at previously published articles and get a feel for the language and tone used.
  • Make sure the content of your article matches the subject area of the journal. You need to choose the right journal to submit your article to.

Acceptance: Your article is sent off to referees for peer reviw. The peer review process can vary, but there are 3 possibilities.

  • Open Review: both authors and reviewers know each other.
  • Blind Review: the author does not know the reviewer(s).
  • Double Blind Review: Neither the author nor the reviewer(s) know each other.

Post Peer Review: A number of things can happen.

  • The article is accepted unconditionally...this almost never happens!
  • Accepted, if you make the changes they have asked you to make.
  • You are invited to revise the article and re-submit.
  • The article is rejected with comments. Take on board the comments, change your article and submit it to another journal.

Dealing with the post peer review process can be painful, but when responding to referees there are 3 golden rules: Respond completely, Respond politely, Respond with evidence.

When your article is finally accepted, you may be asked to pay an article processing charge and to sign an author's agreement. Charges are sometimes applied for colour illustrations, additional pages over the limit and Open Access availability. When you sign the author's agreement you are most likely handing over your copyright to the publisher. Ask the publisher for permission to put your author's final version on the institutional repository - Explain to them that DIT has an official publications policy that requires you to lodge an open access version of your publication on the institutional repository.

You will then wait for the proofs of your article. When you get these there will be a deadline date by which you must respond. If you have co-authors keep this deadline date in mind! Most proofing corrections should be fairly minor. These may be shown in the manuscript itself or in a separate document which refers to page and line numbers. You proof read not only the text but titles, figures, references etc.

Finally your article appears either on the publisher's website or in the journal and then Happy Day...someone cites your article!


A5. Journal Citation Reports allows you to produce lists of journals ranked on their impact factor. The higher the impact factor, the more influential the journal.

Go to the Library list of databases and access Journal Citation Reports.

On the left hand side of the screen select JCR Social Sciences (latest year available is the default). On the right hand side select View a Group of Journals by Subject Category and submit.

You will then see a list of subjects. Select your subject, in this case business. You could further refine your search by adding more categories from the list, for example, Business and Economics. Select additional categories by using CTRL and click.

Select View Journal Data, click on the drop down menu, and select Sort by Impact Factor.

Press submit and a list of journals in the business category will come up ranked in order of impact factor, highest to lowest.


A6. DIT Library Services subscribes to Journal Citation Reports which allows you to evaluate journals using citation data.

Since Management Science is a business journal, choose JCR Social Sciences Edition and select the Search for a Specific Journal option; then click on the Submit button.

On the next screen, enter Management Science in the search box.

A range of citation data (total cites, impact factor, immediacy factor, etc) is then displayed.

Click on the journal title to view definitions and explanations of the various types of citation data.


A7. Predatory publishers are publishers who use the Open Access Model which collects fees from authors prior to publication but who do not provide the expected publishing services and conceal their fees. They will intend to deceive and exploit authors and will have a lack of transparency in their operations. They will mostly solicit authors by email or by invitations to join editorial boards.

So before agreeing to anything do some of the following:

  • Check that the publisher's website has full contact details, especially look for addresses.
  • Look at the Editorial Board. These should be experts you recognise and their full affiliation should be listed. It may be no harm to contact one or two and ask them about the publisher.
  • Check that author's fees are displayed prominently. It is a bad sign if you have to dig deep to find them.
  • Read some of the articles that have been published and assess the quality.
  • Ask the library to confirm taht the claimed impact factor is correct.
  • Useful to check if the journal is listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals or the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association.


A8These guidelines are intended as a general introduction to the complicated area of Copyright Law in Ireland. They are not an authorative interpretation of the law.

The Act governing this area is the Copyright and Related Rights Acts, 2000.

What is Copyright?

Copyright is a legal right protecting the economic interests of people/organisations that create works of various kinds in their work. This right cannot be taken away from them nor can their works be used in any way without their permission.

Copyright is also a moral right which includes the right to be identified as the creator of a work, not to have works falsely attributed to you or have your work falsely attributed to someone else. It also means that your work cannot be changed or adapted without your permission.

This means that if you create the work, generally you own the copyright, and unless you give it away to another person such as a publisher, you retain that right for your lifetime and, depending on the format of the work involved, for a specified time afterwards. The owner of the copyright is referred to as the Copyright Holder.

Do I have to do anything to be declared the Copyright Holder?

Copyright is established automatically by the fact of creating the work and is international.

Who is normally the Copyright Holder?

The copyright holder is normally the creator of the work such as the author, editor, publisher, producer, director, photographer, artist, sculptor, database compiler and so on. If the work is created in the course of your job, your employer will normally be the copyright holder. This can vary from institution to institution so should be checked with your Research Office. Always check that any employment or research contract clearly states what the copyright policy of the employer is in this regard.

What are the exclusive rights of the Copyright Holder?

The copyright holder is the only person who has the right to use and gain economically from the use of the work. Any other use must be with the permission of the copyright holder and if required, must include a payment to them. Subject to exemptions in the Copyright Act the copyright holder has the exclusive right to undertake, or allow to undertake certain actions such as reproduction, making works available (broadcasting, lending), adaptation (translations from one language to another, conversion to electronic formats).

What kind of work is protected by Copyright?

Any expression of ideas or facts, once they are fixed in some way has copyright protection. They are "fixed" in many kinds of ways such as writing it down, filming, recording it, printing it, painting, performing, broadcasting, and inputting on a database. So for example copyright will attach to literary works, scholarly works, dramatic, musical and artistic works, computer programs, databases and websites. Within the law there is no definition of what is a work but normal common sense dictates what it is and there should also be awareness that the situation may be more complicated than it seems. For example the bringing together of a number of individual works may result in a database which will attract its own copyright. To be included in a collection without your permission is a breach of copyright.

How long does Copyright last?

Generally, copyright lasts for the creator's lifetime plus 70 years. Remember that in many formats there may be several copyright holders simultaneously, for example, an author and a publisher can have different rights in the same published edition at the same time. Remember, if a book is out of print it may still be in copyright.

Sound recordings, broadcasts and the typographical arrangements of published works are protected by copyright for a period of 50 years.

Where material is published in volumes/parts or broadcast in episodes the period of copyright protection starts from the day on which the individual part was made available.

While the content of the work may be out of copyright if the author has been dead more than 70 years, the publisher will continue to have copyright in the typographical arrangement (actual print layout of the book) in any published edition of that book for 50 years.

Sound recordings and broadcasts are protected by copyright for 50 years.

If someone makes a work available to the public for the very first time after the original copyright has expired they may acquire rights equivalent to the author's for  period of 25 years. This will only happen if it has never been available before.

What is breach of Copyright?

The Act states "Copyright is infringed by a person, who without licence of the copyright owner undertakes or authorises another person to undertake acts restricted by copyright".

Copyright can be infringed in many ways and if in doubt, always seek permission of the copyright holder.

Are there any exemptions?

The Act allows for limited use of copyright works without licence or payment. There are 3 main exemptions:- Fair Dealing, Education, Libraries and Archives.

Fair Dealing

There is no legal definition for fair dealing. It is intended to strike a reasonable balance between the economic interests of the copyright holder and the information needs of the user. So reproduction of copyright material for research and private study is allowed, although there is no exact definition of how much you can copy. It is allowed if it is as the Act states "for a purpose and to an extent that will not unreasonably prejudice the interests of the copyright holder". Under fair dealing you are not allowed to make a copy and photocopy it so that it can be made available to more than one person. This may be covered in the Educational Exemptions and in the terms of the ICLA (Irish Copyright Licencing Agency) licence.


A9. A DOI is a character string that uniquely identifies an electronic object. It is widely used for journal articles as it will always identify the article even if the journal changes.  In other words the DOI is permanent even if the location of the object (article) changes. This means that referring to an article by its DOI is more stable than using a web address or URL because even if the address changes all the publisher has to do is update the information for the DOI for it to link to the new locations.

Example of a scholarly article

Maher, M., Naha, Pratap C., Mukherjee, S., Byrne,H.: Numerical simulations of in vitro nanoparticle toxicity: the case of poly(amido amine) dendrimers. Toxicology in Vitro, vol.28, (8), 1449-1460.

DOI: 10.1016/j.tiv.2014.07.014

This DOI will always refer to this article. So if you are citing always include the DOI. If the citation is a hyperlink put to the DOI name leaving out the DOI prefix so in this case it will be will bring the reader right through to the article.

DOI names can be used to identify objects at different level of details so there can be a DOI for a journal, an individual issue of a journal, an individual article in the journal or a single table in the article. It can also be used to identify creative works (such as texts, images, audio, video items and software in both electronic and physical forms). 


A10. Don't submit too early. Make sure it reads well, has no inaccuracies in references and no obvious inconsistencies. Referencing is crucial; make sure you have the right spellings, that punctuation formatting is correct. Strange things can happen if references are copied and pasted from abstract databases. Never, never blindly rely on reference software alone!

You may be tempted to submit to the journal with the highest possible impact factor, on rejection, you then submit to the next highest and so on. This puts a burden on the peer review process and causes unnecessary delay. Make sure your submission matches the aims and scope of the target journal. A good indicator of the appropriate journal for your manuscript would be the sources of the literature cited.

Do not forget keywords. Keywords can help the strategic placement of an article but too often these are just duplicating what is in the title or abstract. Carefully choose keywords using them as an additional means of advertising your article. Then carry out a keyword search on Web of Science which will quickly tell you if your keywords are useful. The aim is to be neither too broad nor too narrow in your keywords.

If there is going to be a long delay before you can publish your work, for example there is a lot of field or lab work involved, then have a pre-review process. Ask one or more colleagues to give you critical, reviewer like feedback. It has also been suggested that multiple authors increase the chances of citation. If there are multiple institutions involved this informs the reader that your work is cross institutional or best of all, international.

If you have put your article through a rigorous, peer review process, mention it in your submission letter!


A11. ORCID is an acronym for Open Researcher and Contributor ID and it is a personal identifier for an individual researcher. ORCID is an open, non-profit, community based effort which evolved as a response to the need to eliminate name variants and to ensure that the right publications are connected to the right researcher for their whole career. Common names are a problem. How do you distinguish one John Murphy from another John Murphy for example or how do you deal with the fact that  half the population in Korea have the surnames Kim, Lee or Park? To alleviate the problem if you are John Murphy you might decide to use the initial of your middle name so you become John A. Murphy which you use for the paper you are currently writing. But this name change is not retrospectively applied so it does not gather together all the material you published as John Murphy. This will mean that in the bibliometrics databases there will be two entries for you and nobody will be clear who you are.

As an individual researcher you can register for an ORCID ID free of charge at This identifier will then be permanently attached to you and is unique to you. If you change institutions your ORCID identifier goes with you. You can add details about yourself such as employment history, link to past items you have written and manually add items also. Many funders are now requesting ORCID IDs for applicants, many publishers are including it with the author’s name and many journal publishers now look for an ORCID ID. It is also included in the Web of Science and Scopus  bibliometrics databases  but not yet for Incites.


A12. This is a great YouTube clip on how to write a research paper given by Professor Simon Peyton Jones, Microsoft Research published on May 18, 2013….this is worth taking the time to look at before you start

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