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getting published

Publishing & Dealing with Rejection - James Arvanitakis

Stages of Rejection:

1. Disbelief - 'but I am brilliant'

2. They don't understand me

3. Tantrum

4. The eye (of the emotional storm)

5. The reflection/contemplation: I am an imposter


1. Publishing is about joining a conversation: are you joining the right conversation

2. Mistakability: learn from this

3. Find a mentor: co-publish

4. Keep a list of your rjections

5. Never give up

If  you feel comofortable, you are not learning


Perils & pitfalls for early career researchers

Predatory publishing continues to be a trap for young players with more and more early  career researchers falling victim.  When this happens, not only do they effectively lose ownership and copyright of their hard work (with that the ability to publish it elsewhere), they often lose confidence, they can lose standing in their field, and they most certainly lose the potential for their research to be cited and shared with other researchers and future collaborators.

Looking for a publisher for your research should be a more of an experience like buying a new laptop or a car.  Hopefully you don’t buy the first shiny thing you see.  Hopefully you rely on people whose opinion you respect.  Hopefully you check out the product reviews and comparison websites to see what your options are.   Hopefully you don’t send a cash deposit after receiving a spam email from a car dealer.

Your diligence when looking for a potential publisher should likewise be seen as an investment in your future.  Look to the journals the experts in your field are publishing in.  Look to the journals your peers are publishing in.  As an early career researcher, reputable journals will not send you email invitations to publish with them so don’t be tempted by vanity publishers.  Don’t let your desperation for publication override your common sense.

Follow the Think Check Submit protocols.  If you are still not certain, ask your faculty or liaison librarian to help you.

Predatory conferences, like predatory journals can also be difficult to spot, and without due diligence you can end up at a dodgy hotel, in a scary part of town, signing your authorship rights away and delivering a paper to six people, who will likely be the only people who ever hear about your research.  You can check the Pivot database on the QUT Library’s databases page for legitimate calls for submissions for conference papers.

Think Check Submit

How press campaigns help maximize the impact of your research

What makes an article newsworthy?
You know your article has potential when it:
  • Involves major discoveries
  • Has an impact on society
  • Features recommendations for change in practice
  • Ties to a timely topic or event
The article needs to have a clear message, which can be communicated easily to journalists and understood by a wide audience. If you struggle to explain your article to someone outside of your discipline, it’s likely it will be too complex for a press campaign.
Image and video content directly related to, or collected during, your research is highly desirable. They can significantly increase the impact of a press campaign, so always include these if you have them.

Book publisher evaluation

If you are not sure of the publisher's credentials I would check before you agree to publish with them - there are many so-called predatory publishers out there. We recommend ThinkCheckSubmit which is a website that helps you to choose trusted publishers for your research.

At Imperial College London we recommend our researchers also check the following, particularly if it is an open access publisher.

  • If it publishes a journal - it has an entry in the Directory of Open Access Journals(DOAJ) – which provides access to high quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals – inclusion has a strict criteria. Some journal websites state that the journal is in DOAJ when it is not. Often, the home page carries the DOAJ logo along with logos from other indexing services. ALWAYS check at that a journal is indexed.
  • Publisher’s membership of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association(OASPA). Members of OASPA are expected to adhere to the OASPA Membership Criteria of transparency and best practice.
  • Publisher’s membership of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) – membership demonstrates commitment to widely accepted publishing practices.
  • Publisher’s membership of the International Association of Scientific, Technical & Medical Publishers (STM) – membership demonstrates commitment to widely accepted publishing practices.
  • Named editor and editorial board – recognised experts in their field who include their editorial commitment on their own research profiles. But be aware that some predatory publishers list editors on their board without their knowledge.
  • Look at the editor’s profile on their university website, links to their online profiles (for example, on ResearchGate, Google Scholar or LinkedIn) for evidence that they are actual editors. Further indicators are membership of organisations such as the Council of Science Editors (CSE), European Association of Science Editors (EASE) and World Association of Medical Editors (WAME).

Announcing the 2019 Journal Citation Reports

Does Tweeting Improve Citations? One-Year Results from the TSSMN Prospective Randomized Trial

Requesting a thesis embargo in QUT eprints

Your Masters & PhD theses will be made available via QUT eprints and requesting an embargo is possible.

Here are a few things to consider from our Scholarly Communications librarian: 

We have also noticed an increase in the number of embargoed theses and the number of completed students requesting an extension to the 2 year embargo that was approved at the time of submission.

In some cases, the embargoes are being requested because the thesis includes one or more already published articles.   However, we now know that most journal publishers have no problem with authors including their published articles in their thesis and then making that thesis available online via their university’s open access repository.  CalTech have put together a list of links to publisher policies on this:   As a result, we have stopped worrying about theses that contain published articles.

In other cases, an embargo is requested because the student wants to publish articles (or a book) based on their thesis and worries that the article may get rejected if the journal’s plagiarism detector software finds text matches between the manuscript and the thesis.  The appropriate way to avoid this problem is to make sure you cite and reference your thesis if you ‘quote’ chunks of text from the thesis.  

When pitching a book proposal that is based on a thesis, the download stats for the thesis can actually be useful as ‘demonstrated demand’ for a book on that topic.  The finished book is likely to be a ‘re-write’ so the publishers generally don’t worry about the thesis being available.  This is a quote from Harvard University Press “when we at HUP take on a young scholar’s first book, whether in history or other disciplines, we expect that the final product will be so broadened, deepened, reconsidered, and restructured that the availability of the dissertation is irrelevant.”  However, some smaller presses are more restrictive (see list).

However, the ePrints Team is happy to apply or extend an embargo if it allays the thesis author’s concerns. 

The vast majority of thesis authors are happy that people are able to read their thesis – after all the effort they put into writing it. Many of our ‘most downloaded’ documents are HDR theses. For example: 

New eJournal hosting

A new journal called Law, Technology and Human has just been added to the suite of refereed, open access eJournals supported via the Library's eJournal Hosting Service.

Thanks to the 'in-kind' support provided by QUT, the journal is free to authors as well as readers (no APCs to pay).

The Editor in Chief is QUT Faculty of Law academic, Professor Kieran Tranter.  The Journal Manager is Tracy Creagh.  Tracy is also managing the International Journal of Crime, Justice & Social Democracy (IJCJSD) plus the journal Student Success, which has just been accepted by Scopus.  This means we now have two Scopus-indexed journals.  Some commercial journal publishers cannot match this. 

Publishing Tips videos featuring QUT Researchers

Six videos in the Publishing Tips series are now available via the carousel on the Getting Published page. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to view the videos. The series captures a several researchers from the Faculties of Science and Engineering sharing their tips on getting published.  Some of the topics include ”Targeting a journal and suggestions for submitting” and “Dealing with rejection and responding to peer review”.

Create an open textbook via QUT eBooks

QUT eBooks is a publishing platform that gives you the ability to adapt or create your own Open Educational Resources. 

Open Textbooks are a positive step to addressing the digital divide, with students indicating there are cost and learning benefits of open educational resources. In 2020, QUT is piloting the use of  Pressbooks to facilitate the adaptation and development of Open Textbooks by QUT academics for QUT students as well as broader audiences.

If you are QUT staff and would like to Create an Open Textbook, please visit the SharePoint site and submit an expression of interest.

Publishing tips for new researchers - video series

Have you recently been approached by Research Features? Research Outreach? Or Science Animated ?

Have you recently been approached by Research Features?  Research Outreach? Or Science Animated perhaps?  These are just some of the latest author services which are cold-calling researchers, offering to “craft a message for the world” or “bring your science to life” - often for a substantial fee.  

This is an example of one of the growing list of ‘author services’ that have sprung up to help authors improve their chances of getting published (by proofreading manuscripts or polishing the expression in the text) or help with magnifying impact of a published paper by scaffolding the drafting of a plain language summary

Research Futures and Research Outreach, although purporting to be separate entities, have virtually the same address [next door to each other] and their websites and service catalogues appear to be clones.

That aside, these two do appear to offer bonafide services, however they are expensive.  For example Research Futures will charge between £792 - £1716 to create promotional materials for your research and while you could post to their “Researcher Blog” for free, it is questionable who will see it.

Check to see if these particular services are worth the time (free option) or the money (fee-based options) for your project. 

QUT already offers support to researchers to enhance their profile and disseminate their research, and partners with respected platforms such as The Conversation which offers free editor services and author support, a detailed analytics dashboard, and has a global reach. And as their tagline says, “Academic rigour, journalistic flair.”

QUT Library is currently investigating an artificial intelligence-based tool designed to extract a plain language summary from a research article.