Publication strategies

Tomorrow (3/25), Beth Potier from UNH Communications will be joining us to talk about #scicomm and the media. As last year, this will be a treat. For next week (4/2) we’ll consider how and why we strive for the benchmarks in #scicomm, publication in the primary scientific literature.

Introduction: The goal here is to stimulate your thinking about issues and decisions surrounding publication, raise some important questions, and create an opportunity to initiate what should be an ongoing conversation with your advisors and mentors about what to publish, when, and where. The answers to those questions will almost certainly evolve throughout your career, and it’s useful to get other people’s advice and perspectives – especially people who have more experience

Ask yourself:

• If you’ve already published stuff: where, why, and what was your role in deciding?

• What journals do you aspire to publish in, and why? Consider the following variables:

  • Who reads them/audience? You may wish to consult subscription analytic resources such as Journal Citation Reports Online and Ulrichsweb, and free resources such as those discussed here.
  • Prestige/impact? This is contentious. Please see prior commentary on this topic from last year and also here (tbd).
  • Format?
  • Access? See discussion on this topic here.
  • Publication costs/how will you pay or beg off?
  • Chances of acceptance?
  • Any other factor?


• What’s your favorite paper: the one you secretly wish you’d written, or dream about writing one like it some day? Why? How did you find it, where is it published, why is it published there, who’s it for?

What about this paper, and its location, can serve as a model for your own work?

Ask your advisor or another mentor (OK to ask more than one person):

• Where do they publish, and why?

• Where do they think YOU should publish, and why?

• Where do they aspire to publish, and why?

• Is there a paper they’ve published in the past that, in retrospect, they now wish they’d published in a different place?  (what’s the story?)

I encourage you to blog on this experience. We hope it will be rewarding and enduring.



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