Publish your research

Learning outcomes

  • To make your research findings known, contributing to society’s body of knowledge
  • To increase the visibility of your research and raise your research profile
  • To contribute to the research cycle, where others test and build on your findings
  • A strong publication record increases your chance of successfully applying for research funding and building new collaborations
  • To meet the expectations of the supporters of your research e.g. SCU, other affiliated institutions, funding bodies

As a researcher, publishing strategically is an important skill that you need to develop. Each of your publishing decisions should contribute to the success of your career.


It is imperative that you maximise your research efforts by making good publishing decisions.

Choosing the right journal for your paper increases your chance of getting published and reaching the most relevant audience for your research.

The SCU Office of Research explains important information about choosing a reputable publisher.

There is no single indicator that can confirm the quality of a journal. It is essential that you use multiple criteria when evaluating the quality of a journal, and choosing where to publish. Criteria include:

• What is the scope of the journal?
• Does the journal have a genuine, independent peer review process?
• Does the journal have an international editorial board and author base? Do you recognise the names of any of the journal editors or authors of articles?
• How do the citation and other metrics compare with other journals?
• What is the coverage by discipline-focused databases e.g. PubMed and citation database e.g. Web of Science or Scopus?

When publishing your work, you do not have to assign copyright to the publisher. You can use the SPARC publisher agreement to negotiate your publisher copyright agreement, to make your work open access. For more information check SPARC’s Author Rights.

Open access publishing of your research means that it can be freely accessed by anyone in the world using an Internet connection. Open Access makes publicly funded research available to all, increasing the chance of research findings being used and cited.

There are different options for making your publication open access:

  • Green Open Access by publishing your work in a journal of your choice, and then sharing a version in a repository e.g. Southern Cross Research Portal. Use Sherpa/RoMEO to check which journal publishers support green open access.
  • Gold Open Access by publishing your work in an Open Access journal that allows immediate open access, including a Creative Commons licence.

Read more about Open Access on the SCU Library website.

Journal ranking metrics help you compare the performance of journals. The rankings are calculated from the number of times the articles in the journal are cited in the literature, giving a statistical measure of a journal’s influence on the global research community.  

Web of Science

Journal Impact Factor is the average frequency of citations of published articles in a specific journal.

Video © Clarivate Analytics
  • The impact factor is calculated by dividing the number of current year citations to the source items published in that journal during the previous two years.
  • Citations are unweighted meaning that each citation has equal influence on the calculation. Note that the ranking can vary for different subject categories.
  • To find the journal impact factor, search by ‘Publication name’ and click on the title of the journal in one of the search results OR click on the Journal Citation Reports within Web of Science.


The ‘Compare sources’ function enables graphical comparisons of journal metrics for up to ten journals.

Video © Elsevier
  • CiteScore is an alternative to journal impact factor, showing how often the average article is cited in a given journal, during the previous three years. As for the calculation of the Web of Science Journal Impact Factor, citations are not weighted.
  • SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) is calculated by weighting citations according to the reputation of the source journal so that citations from a highly ranked journal have more influence than citations from a lower ranked journal.
  • Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) is calculated by weighting citations according to the total number of citations in a subject field so that disciplines which accumulate lots of citations will have less influence than disciplines with fewer citations.


SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) is calculated from data in the Scopus database.

Search for a specific journal or search by subject category to compare how the SJR quartile has changed over the life of the journal. Note that, as with the Journal Impact Factor, the ranking can vary for different subject categories.


Getting published