The Library is able to help researchers disseminate their research findings and improve their research impact.
Publishing in scholarly journals is the most common route to disseminating your research and is important for career progression, Research Excellence Framework assessments and bibliometric analyses. Of course, many research funders now ask grant holders to make their research outputs available on open access. However, scholarly journals are by no means the only dissemination route. More and more academics are using social media to promote their work. For more information on these publication channels, follow the links below.
For information on over 300,000 journals world-wide, including, where appropriate, their impact factor, use Ulrichs Global Serials Directory. This is a great place to start when looking for relevant journals in your field.
Impact factors & Journal rankings
To find out which journals have the highest ‘impact’ in your field, there are a number of tools you can use.
- Thomson Reuters Journal Citation Reports provides impact factors for about 10,000 scholarly journals. An impact factor is the number of times a journal has been cited in the last two years, divided by the number of articles it published during that period.
- Elsevier’s SCOPUS (and freely available Scimago Journal & Country Rank) provide similar rankings for about 17,000 scholarly journals. Their principle measure is the Scimago Journal Rank (SJR). This is similar to the impact factor, but with greater weight being assigned to citations from journals that are themselves more highly cited.
- Ann Wil-Harzing’s Publish or Perish is a freely available tool that provides citation data for all journals based on Google Scholar citation information. If the journal you are interested in is not covered by the Journal Citation Reports or SCOPUS, this database is for you.
What is Open Access?
The Open Access movement is based upon the key principle that publicly funded research should be made publicly available and as widely accessible as possible. Open Access material is free at point of access, without barriers of subscription or registration.
Why should I bother?
Research has shown that when comparing open access articles and non-open access articles in the same journal/year open access articles have substancially better citation rates. To view this research in detail please see The effect of open access and downloads ('hits') on citation impact: a bibliography of studies.
What do research funders say?
Research Councils and other funding bodies have responded to the Government’s steer by updating their own OA policies. As a condition of funding, grant holders may now be required to make resulting publications OA.
- Research Councils
Research Councils UK’s OA policy states that from 1 April 2013 peer reviewed research papers which result from research that is wholly or partially funded by the Research Councils:
- must be published in journals which are compliant with Research Council policy on Open Access.
- must include details of the funding that supported the research, and a statement on how the underlying research materials - such as data, samples or models - can be accessed.
Advice on acknowledging funders with suggested text is available from the Research Information Network website. The Research Councils support a range of approaches to OA, however, journals will be deemed compliant with policy if they offer a “pay to publish” option or allow deposit of the accepted manuscript (with peer review changes but not necessarily publisher’s formatting) in a subject or institutional repository after a mandated maximum embargo period.
- European Commission
The European Commission has announced that research funded from 2014 will have to be made OA.
- Other funders
Other research funders’ open access policies are available direct or may be listed on the SHERPA/JULIET website. If you receive a grant from a funder with an OA policy, it is very important that you read their policy carefully. Some require authors to publish with journals offering a Gold OA option. If this is the case arrangements to cover potential charges will have to be made in advance of submitting an article. Not complying with funding conditions could potentially affect future grants and many research funders have begun to monitor this issue more closely.
What are the options?
There are two main routes for authors to publish OA. Follow our Open Access Decision Tree to decide which is best for you.
- Gold OA: publishers levy an Article Processing Charge (APC) to publish your research papers in their peer-reviewed academic journals or conference proceedings (Open Access or a hybrid journals). The Directory of Open Access Journals will reveal titles in your field. Once accepted for publication, the publisher places the final version of your research paper on their website and makes it freely available under a licence. The licence preferred by RCUK is a Creative Commons ‘Attribution’ (CC-BY) Licence which allows for modification, re-use, and re-selling with proper attribution. You should be permitted to deposit the publisher final version in other repositories without restrictions on re-use.
- Green OA: authors publish a copy in a journal or elsewhere in the traditional way, and then self-archive in an open access repository, such as the University’s Institutional Repository. The University’s Institutional Repository Policy requires staff to submit a copy of all academic journal articles, conference papers and book chapters to the Institutional Repository. Most publishers will permit the author-created final version to be deposited (but not the publisher PDF).
From 1st April 2013, the final published version of all RCUK funded outputs are required to be available on Open Access. In addition, research papers should include details of funding that supported the research and how supporting materials (such as data, samples or models) can be accessed. To assist with this the University will receive financial support for APCs through a block grant to the University and will, therefore, not be available through research grant applications. The Library, Research Office and IT Services are currently working together to deliver support and systems to manage this fund. Further announcements will be made as a system is developed. In the meantime if you are considering paying for Gold Open Access in a journal published by Sage, the Royal Society of Chemistry, BioMed Central or SpringerOpen please note that discounts are available for members of the University with these publishers. For further information or if you have any questions, need help or advice, please contact Jeff Brown, Head of Collection Management, 01509 222400, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don't under-estimate the power of social media as a 'publication' channel. There are many scholarly versions of popular social networking sites. These can help you:
- Seek opportunities for collaboration
- Solve a problem
- Improve your visibility and therefore your career prospects
Which social media networking tools should I consider?
The tool(s) you use will depend on your workflow and to some extent your discipline. Find out where other researchers in your field hang out and join the appropriate network. Start by looking in the following networks:
Bibliometrics for choosing where to publish
To help you decide where to publish your research findings, you may wish to use bibliometric tools. There are various measures that can help assess which are the best journals to publish in including citation counts (how often a journal is cited), Journal Impact Factors (average cites per paper), and Immediacy Index (how quickly a journal is cited). There are also a number of tools that can provide these calculations including Journal Citation Reports, SCOPUS, Scimago Journal and Country Rank and Publish or Perish.
We offer workshops for both staff and research students to enable you to decide which are the best measures for you and to learn more. You can also make an appointment with your Academic Librarian to discuss bibliometrics individually.Workshops for StaffWorkshops for PGR students
Bibliometrics for assessing your own research impact
You can use citation analysis tools to help you demonstrate the impact your research has made. Web of Science, SCOPUS and Publish or Perish all show the number of times individual papers have been cited.
The same three tools can be used to evaluate the impact of an individual author's work. An increasingly common measure in this regard is the h-index. Your h-index is the number of papers you have published (h) that have at least h citations.
Thus, you have an h-index of 10 if you have 10 papers that have been cited at least 10 times, but not yet 11 papers that have been cited 11 times.
For more information about bibliometrics, see the online tutorial provided by MYRi or follow the easy step-by-step instructions below for calculating your h-index.
All research-active Loughborough University staff are now asked to generate themselves a Google Scholar Citation Profile.Steps for Calculating Your H-IndexInstructions for setting up your Google Scholar Citation Profile
Loughborough’s Institutional Repository is an online collection of its research output. It includes over 10,000 full-text journal papers, book chapters, conference papers, theses and even audiovisual material.View our Institional Repository
Copyright advice for researchers
All researchers are both users and creators of copyright works.
As users, you will need to ensure you have the right to reproduce copyright material in the publications you produce. For more information see the University Copyright pages.
As creators, you should think carefully about the rights you need to retain (for example to make your paper available on the Institutional Repository) and those you can either licence or transfer away. For more information, see the Institutional Repository's Copyright Advice.
The Library offers a Copyright and your thesis course for Postgraduate researchers.
Whilst plagiarism is often seen as a student issue, researchers at all levels have to guard against accusations of plagiarising another's work. We offer workshops to develop greater understanding of the issue of plagiarism, as well as how to develop strategies to avoid accidentally passing off another's work as your own. You can also discuss the matter with you Academic Librarian.
Describing your work for greater visibility
One way of increasing your citation counts for research outputs, such as journal articles, is by describing them with the most appropriate keywords. Library staff are used to choosing subject headings for books, as well as advising users on the best keywords to use to find articles in databases. If you would like us to help you to assign keywords to your research outputs to raise their ranking in search engines and databases, please contact your Academic Librarian.