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Publishing for Graduate Students: Quick Links

This is a guide that supports a workshop for graduate students on approaches to publishing their work.

Working with Your Advisor

You need to think about your values and your approach"

  • What problem do you work on?
  • How do you handle and interpret data?
  • When are you done?
  • How do you work with others?
  • How do you communicate?

Your advisor can help shape your values, but ultimately they are up to you. Consider who has what role in your research effort. Who defined the project/problem? What are the conventions of your discipline?If you take credit for the research, you also take responsibility for it.
Talk about it early and often.

If you have a dispute with your advisor:

  1. Talk to your advisor.
    If you are comfortable with others on your committee, talk to them.
  2. Your Graduate School Representative is on your committee as your advocate to make sure that the rules are followed, meetings are conducted well.  He or she can also be a sounding board. 
  3. If you cannot resolve it, talk to your department chair and then your college dean.

More on Open Access

If you are interested in learning more about Open Access, here's SPARC's site addressing how graduate students get involved.

Deciding where to publish

Who is your audience?
What are your goals?
What are your advisor’s goals?

Considerations about a journal included these:

  • High impact - do others consider it one of the best and is that important to you?
  • Accessible to industry or the public - does it have an Open Access policy so those without a subscription can get to the content?
  • Support your professional society - is it published by a society or is it a commerical venture?
  • Online presence - is it accessible online or in print only?
  • Findable - is it indexed and the online version searched by web engines?
  • Timeliness - what's the review process and timing?

Find impact factors at the Web of Science. Go to Additional Resources and select the Journal Citation Reports. You can search by title or subject.

Find Open Access journals in your field be searching the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). Use the 'browse" feature to search by subjects.

Find out about the publisher's and journal's copyright and access policies policies at SHERPA/RoMEO.

Find out more about amending the copyright transfer agreements at SPARC (Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition)

Evaluating Open Access Journals

Open access journal are freely available for all to read.  However, as an author you may pay to publish.  When evaluating an open access journal, consider whether it is addressed to and produced by a serious group of researchers from your discipline who are committed to communicating quality science.

Heather Morrison from SPARC suggests some key questions to ask.