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Scholarly Publishing

A guide to publishing strategically

When approached by publishers

Consider asking some of these questions:

  • What is the publisher's selection process?
  • Is there a peer-review process? Will my submission be sent out to reviewers?
  • Will my work be professionally edited?  If so, what standing do the editors have in the discipline?
  • How will the publisher market or promote my publication?
  • What is the reach of the publisher? Do they have "standing orders" from university libraries? 
  • Will I receive royalties from sales of my publication and how?
  • Do authors have to pay to publish? (NB: this is a legitimate model for some 'gold' open access publishing but is only of value if the publication is refereed)
  • What are the copyright implications for me?
  • What if my publication is available on open access in an institutional repository?
  • Have I consulted with my Faculty/School's research office to inform my decision making?
  • Will the publication add value to my academic career?
  • Would publication adversely affect future publication, in particular my ability to get my research published in journals?
  • Would the publication be counted towards a research publication for reporting purposes, or for research assessment? e.g.  Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) 2018 Submission Guidelines.

Scholarly publishers


When choosing a publisher, determine their reputation and academic standing. It is important to publish with reputable, known publishers in your field of research.


  • Consult Ulrich's Periodicals Directory and Journal Citation Reports. These are essential resources that provide information about journals (e.g. is a journal peer reviewed, if it is indexed in key subject databases and is it an open access journal).
  • Go to Journal Selection to view a list of publisher directories to help you select and evaluate.
  • Academic publishers have webpages providing advice and guidelines for prospective authors, as well as catalogues of their current publications. Find some of these in Publisher resources.
  • Read the fine print of any contracts you sign. The University of Melbourne Copyright Office provides information on the steps you need to take to protect your work.
  • Other helpful tools include SCImago Journal Ranking

Predatory or deceptive publishers

Predatory publishers are exploitative publishers charging sometimes excessive publication fees to authors without offering the usual editorial and publishing support associated with legitimate journals. There isn't a definitive list of predatory publishers available. 

Authors, consider consulting some of these tools and resources:


Berger, M., & Cirasella, J. (2015). Beyond Beall's list: Better understanding predatory publishers, College & Research Libraries News. Retrieved from

Pleffer, A., & Shrubb, S. (2017, March 27). Not the Beall and end-all*: Assessing quality publications from multiple perspectives [Blog post].  Retrieved from

Vanity publishers

Vanity publishers are publishing houses which charge authors to have their works published without the selection criteria usually used in hybrid publishing models. Protect your future academic credibility and ensure maximum prospects for future publishing of your work in credible journals by carefully evaluating the credibility of these publishers BEFORE accepting any offers. Refer to our Choosing publishers section in this guide.

Torres, M.R. (2012, June 24). Advice: Dissertation for sale: A cautionary tale [Blog post].  Retrieved from

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