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Publishing Intro

Academic Journal Publishing

The academic publishing process can be intimidating and confusing, especially if you have not published before. This portion of the Dell Medical School Libguide is meant to help you navigate the process with more confidence and efficiency.

Some useful definitions:

Open Access: Open Access is a publishing model. With Open Access publishing, the publication is free to a reader, making it more widely accessible. There are three different types of Open Access journals, "Green Open Access", "Gold Open Access" and "Diamond/Platinum Open Access"; each of these types earns revenue in different ways. The author may have to pay an article processing charge (APC) to publish in an Open Access journal.
Subscription Access: Also called "Toll Access", Subscription Access journals charge the reader a fee in order to access their articles. 
Hybrid Journal: Hybrid journals use a combination of Open Access and Subscription Access publishing models. An author can choose to pay an APC to make their article Open Access, or they can choose to restrict access to those with subscriptions to the journal.
Peer Review: Peer review is an integral  part of the publishing process. After an editor has decided that they are interested in publishing your manuscript, they send it to other experts in the field. These experts review it and send it back to the editor with notes for improvement. The editor may then pass those notes along to you for editing. 
Index: An index is basically just a list of articles, journals or other publications. Different indexes may have different inclusion criteria, such as journal field, membership in an ethical association, or publication model used. These can be a powerful tool for helping you decide in which journal to publish. Examples include PubMed, Web of Science, Directory of Open Access Journals, etc. 
Institutional Repository: An institutional repository collects and stores copies of the works produced by the students, staff, and faculty of their managing institution(s). They do not do this automatically, which means, if you want your works in the repository, you do have to submit them yourself. UT has two main repositories: Texas ScholarWorks and Texas Data Repository; the Texas Digital Library, a consortium of academic libraries from across Texas, supports and provides the infrastructure for these open access repositories. 
ORCID: Published materials have unique identifiers associated with them. These include identifiers like DOIs, ISBNs, or OCLCs. Why not have a unique identifier for researchers too? ORCID stands for "Open Researcher and Contributor IDentifier". It is a website which can give you, as a researcher, a unique identifier that will always distinguish you and your credentials and research history from any other researcher. This helps authenticate your research, makes sure no one else can impersonate you, and keeps you from being confused with other researchers who may have similar names. 

Broader Concepts: 

Copyright can be a very confusing topic to navigate. Basically, copyright is the agreement that you, the author, have with the journal that is publishing your article. It includes details like, who now owns the article, how this article can be distributed in the future, which versions of the article can be distributed outside of the journal (usually the pre-prints), how long you have to wait before you can add a copy of your article to a repository (known as the embargo period). Since it can be difficult to understand the different types of copyright, here are two excellent tools for helping you understand copyright better:
  • Sherpa Romeo- a database for quick details about different journals' copyright policies. 
  • UT Librarian Colleen Lyon’s “Copyright Crash Course” guide- a more in depth look into how copyright works.
Submission Expectations
Unfortunately, there is no universal checklist to follow before you submit. You will need to check out the individual journal’s submission guidelines to know what they want and expect from you. This could include file formats they prefer for your submission, types of formatting [and citation style], or additions like a cover letter. For examples of two large publishers’ different submission guidelines, check out these two videos below - the first video from Elsevier and the second video from Sage. 

Useful Resources


The Publishing Intro section of this guide was created and developed by the UT iSchool graduate student Diandra Douglis, in Spring 2023, as part of her Capstone Project.

"Getting Your Work Published" Presentation

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 Generic License.