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Your publishing plan

Your publishing plan



Your goals

Before making a publishing decision, it is crucial to be clear what your publishing goals are. Consider the following questions:

  • Why are you publishing? 
  • Who is your prospective audience?
  • Which types of publishing outlets (e.g., journals, books, conferences) you prefer or are required to publish?
  • What are the scholarly quality/impact standards (e.g., national, university, faculty or school level) that you’re required to meet?
  • What are your publishing timelines?
  • Does your funding agency have any open access policies/mandates (if applicable)?

Be sure to talk to mentors, supervisors, colleagues and research networks for advice on key publications in your field.

Your audience

Who do you want to reach with your research?

  • Key individuals/groups in your field (e.g. practitioners/researchers)?
  • Specific disciplines or broader communities?

Where do these individuals/groups publish?  

Where is a particular journal indexed - will these individuals/groups have access to it?
Does the scope of the journal fit your research?

  • Check indexing and subscription information on journal website (free) or Ulrich’s (sub)

Do you need to make your research open access to reach this audience?

  • Check DOAJ (free) for information about open access journals
  • SherpaRomeo for publisher copyright policies & self archiving (free)
  • Check Open Access LibGuide to get more information about Open Access

Your timeline

What is YOUR publishing timeline?

  • How many papers, or how quickly, do you need to publish?
    • This year?
    • During your HDR candidature?

What is the journal or publisher’s publishing timeline and acceptance rate?

  • How long will it take the journal/publisher to peer-review and publish your research?
  • Not all journals/publishers openly display this information, you may need to dig deep within their website

Are there submission fees, page charges, or reprint charges?

  • This information should be available on a journal website
  • Check the Open Access: Publishing Agreements guide to see if Deakin has an open access agreement with the journal publisher that would cover the cost of Article Processing Charges (APCs).

Note: Generally very high-ranking journals tend to have very low acceptance rates and take many months or years to process the large number of submissions they receive.  

Evaluating quality

A range of indicators can be considered when evaluating the quality and impact of a publication.

See the next page in this guide, Evaluating Quality, for a comprehensive listing of resources and measures that can be used to evaluate the quality of a journal.


Another crucial issue you need to consider when making publishing decision is managing your rights as an author. As the creator of your research, you should regard your copyrights as valuable intellectual property and deal with it seriously. Deakin University and the Library have developed a range of resources to assist you to take control of your copyright as an author: 

  • The Copyright website offers in-depth information on managing your rights, including, understanding your author rights, publishers' agreements, managing the rights to your thesis, managing the rights to your research data, and more
  • Publishing contracts, on Library research webpages, lists key information about publishers' permissions and copyright issues to consider when deciding to publish your work