Open Researcher and Contributor ID is a unique digital identifier that will follow you throughout your research and publishing career.
Register and create an ORCID identifier free of charge. It will allow you to connect with other researchers and they will be able to connect with you in the global arena.
Full details and the link to create your ORCID identifier can be found on the ORCID web page.
There are a number of things to consider when it comes to deciding where to publish.
What type of content will you publish?
Many people choose to publish their research as one or more journal article(s), but in some subject areas or for some topics it may be appropriate to publish as a book chapter or even an entire book instead; talk to your Supervisor about where it would be best for you to start. It is worth bearing in mind that a journal article will often be published much faster than monograph content (this isn’t always true with the very best journals in humanities and arts).
Who do you hope will be reading your work?
You will know from your own experience of studying and doing research that a lot of journal content is behind paywalls, some of which you will have access to through the subscriptions paid for by the Library, and some of which is outside of our holdings. You can make your journal article more accessible to students and researchers (and indeed, the general public) by choosing a title from a publisher who allows you to make a Pre-Print and/or Pre-Publication version of your article available freely online; in the Sherpa Romeo database you can search by publisher or journal title to see details of what they permit, and where you can place your Open Access version. Ask the Academic Liaison Librarians for help with interpreting the policies for your chosen journal. Many journal publishers allow you to place a copy of your final accepted manuscript, after corrections, in an Open Access repository such as London Met's Institutional Repository. There is no fee involved in doing this and it is something that we would encourage you to do if you publish as a current London Met student or staff member.
If you go on to an academic job, you will want your research to ‘count’ for your employer to submit it to the Research Assessment Exercise (REF). The REF is a census of research output in universities and other producers of research. Make sure you know something about it, because it is highly influential in shaping strategy and recruitment in universities. By publishing your Author's Accepted Manuscript (AAM) within three months of its acceptance on our Repository (or your employer’s), your work will be eligible. Again, you can get in touch with the Academic Liaison Librarians to learn more.
If you are looking to publish a book chapter or a book, be aware that publishers have very different attitudes to making digital versions available to libraries; even if they make their books available as e-books on their webpages or on Amazon Kindle for individuals to purchase, they may not make an institutional version available for university libraries to purchase - or if they do, prices and licences can be inhibitive, going into the hundreds or even thousands of pounds for one e-book. Most libraries simply don't have the budget for that! If you want to ensure that your work will find its way into library collections for students to read, ask prospective publishers about their library e-book policies, and ask your Academic Liaison Librarian to tell you more about their experiences of different publishers.
An option which is growing in popularity amongst researchers is to publish in a journal which is based on an entirely Open Access model, or with a book press which makes digital copies available for free for anyone to read (UCL Press and Open Book Publishers are two examples). If this idea interests you, speak to your Supervisor who will know more about the options available in your subject area. Your Academic Liaison Librarian may be able to offer some advice too.
Is this a credible publisher/publication?
You want to be sure that you are publishing in a trustworthy, scholarly resource. While this can be easy to determine when your targeted publisher is well-known, in other cases it may not be so obvious. Think. Check. Submit is a useful collaborative scheme which helps researchers to identify which prospective publishers or publications are trusted. This is a really important step to take, whether you are intending to publish on a traditional or on an Open Access model - Think Check Submit covers both in its assessment prompts.
Generally speaking, University Presses are good places to consider publishing your work. They will have your manuscript peer reviewed and will require changes. They will use good copy editors who will make the final text as perfect as possible. These presses will also be well-regarded by universities and other employers looking to hire you.
How is research impact measured in your subject area?
Research impact can be measured in a multitude of different ways; citation counts, journal impact factors which can be subject-specific, Altmetrics (which measure "alternative" metrics such as social media distribution and engagement) and more. Through your studying and research you have probably encountered these already but do also ask your Supervisor to advise on which measures are most valued in your subject area, as this should also inform your decision as to where to publish.
Which journal should I choose?
Be realistic and consider your chances of acceptance. The top, top journals with amazing impact factors such as BMJ, JAMA, the Lancet and NEJM reject over 90% of papers sent to them!
Check whether the journal you are submitting to is Open Access (OA). If it is OA that does not necessarily mean it is cost-free. As an author you may still be expected to pay an Article Processing Charge (APC). You should check if there is funding to cover this. If you do not have access to APC funds, does the journal offer discretionary waivers?
Do you want to publish with a commercial publisher - these work to a business model that satisifies shareholders and they tend to be larger, or do you prefer a learned society publisher - these tend to be non-profit and the income generated from publishing goes back to scientific projects. There are also some grey areas where learned societies partner with commerical publishers!
It is a good idea to match your article content as closely as you can to the subject area that a journal publishes.
Is your chosen journal signed up to DORA, the Declaration on Research Assessment? This covers all discplines and encourges the use of a variety of metrics to evaluate reasearch beyond the use of tradtional impact factors.
Consider what journals want from you
The structure of the paper:
Keep it simple and entice the reader into wanting to learn more. Make a case for the importance of your research and provide the context.
Describe what you did and how you did it. Include the design controls and any selection criteria.
What did you find?
This is where you include figures and tables.
Discussion (So what?)
Sell the significance of your findings but be careful not to overstate them. Be careful not to speculate, be balanced and objective and use the results to support your statements.
It is healthy to consider the limitations of your research e.g. sample size.
Further key considerations for your paper:
Writing an abstract
Do not neglect this as it is the reader’s first impression. Prior to peer review, this may be what gets your paper to the peer review stage!
Keep it brief and include just a couple of sentences each on the purpose of the research, methods, key findings and implications.
Check the journal’s abstract submission guidelines
Don’t make it over-long, no more than 12 words and try to avoid acronyms which can actually serve to alienate the reader.
Check the journal’s instructions for authors.
Focus on recent papers, no more than 10 years old. This shows that you are aware of the current thinking.
Look at the number of papers contained in the references of other articles published in the journal. Don’t include 50 referenced papers if the pattern is that other papers published in the chosen journal are only including 20.
Be prepared to wait, typically the process takes 4-6 weeks. Peer review times tend to increase over the summer and at Christmas, so factor this in.
Be prepared to make changes as very few articles are accepted without revision.
Don’t be disheartened if your paper is rejected. Address the comments, improve the work, and try another journal.
The Chartered Association of Business Schools
The Chartered Association of Business Schools produce a ranking of the top business journals every year, so it is a useful place to start. In 2018 the organisation produced a methodology guide showing the various criteria for ranking the top business journals.
Social media isn't just for sharing selfies or hot political takes; Twitter, in particular, can be a highly valuable tool for communicating your research to the world. The question of whether sharing research in Twitter leads to a higher number of citations is one which is starting to be investigated, and whilst some studies suggest that there can be a positive impact on citation count, as such a new topic, it is difficult to draw firm conclusions without more long-term research. However, there is evidence to suggest that even if there is no impact on citations, papers from authors who are active on Twitter are "tweeted" (and thus shared) more frequently than papers written by those who do not use Twitter. Twitter can be an effective platform for disseminating your research and getting it read in a number of ways:
Some further tips for using Twitter effectively for this purpose:
Unfortunately, as with any social media platform, a lot of "trolling" happens on Twitter, and there is potential to receive abuse, especially if your research has the potential to upset people who hold opposing beliefs (or who simply want a fight!) - Oxford Professor Trisha Greenhalgh is just one of the scientists who has been on the receiving end of some appalling online abuse throughout the COVID pandemic due to sharing her research on the virus being airborne and her promotion of mask-wearing. Use the Report and Block buttons, and other features such as limiting who can reply to your tweets or send you direct messages, if necessary, and remember that you can step away and take a break from social media if you need to. You are under no obligation to reply to anyone. This is another good reason to build your Twitter community - they will rally around you if you find yourself in this situation.
Whilst having your research picked up by the media from Twitter is exciting, it can also attract unpleasant attention, especially if the media outlet has reported your research in such a way as to make it sound controversial. London Met staff or research students should speak to the University's Communications team (email@example.com) before responding to any media requests for comment, and if you are working elsewhere, check with your Line Manager what your organisation or institution says about speaking to the media as a researcher.
The University has a Social Media Policy, and whilst this is mostly utilised by staff running departmental social media accounts for the University, it contains good advice which all staff and students should consider when sharing their research on Twitter or other platforms.