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Research impact guide: Strategic publishing

Develop a holistic publishing strategy

Making your research visible is really about making smart, strategic publishing choices. You should ensure that:

  • you are publishing in outlets your target audiences are already reading
  • your work can be found as easily as possible. This includes choosing outlets that are well indexed, preferably with online access to help your research appear in as many places as possible

There are a wide range of approaches to publishing strategically. However, you can develop a more holistic strategy if you have a systematic approach to developing and reviewing your strategy.

What are your strategic objectives?

Your first step is to identify the strategic objectives of the piece you are seeking to publish. This will help you select a particular outlet or format to publish in.  To help you decide on your strategic objectives, consider the following questions:

  • Who is the target audience for this publication?
  • How many people make up that audience and where are they located?
  • What are the target audience already reading and how are they finding it?
  • How quickly does the publication need to reach the audience?
  • How important is the prestige of the publication outlet?
  • Are there any requirements made by your organisation or funding body?
  • Do you want or need the publication to be available through Open Access?

Your next steps:


Invisible research is, by definition, low-impact.”(1) The core purpose of strategic publishing is to make your research more visible and better able to reach the people who need to read it.

(1) Martyn Lawrence of Emerald Group Publishing from his presentation at the Investigating Academic Impact Conference 2011.

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