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Scholarly Publishing

Provides information about journals, books, and open access for authors looking to publish scholarly works.

Your Publication Goals

Be sure that your publication venue meets your goals whether you are publishing a book or article, preregistering a study, or sharing research data. Consider:

  • Publishing with a reputable publisher or journal to meet needs for promotion and tenure
  • Making it easy for others to discover, access, and reuse your research
  • Fulfilling the requirements of your research sponsor
  • Enhancing the ability for others to replicate or reproduce your research
  • Increasing the chances of your work being cited by others
  • Ensuring the long-term preservation of your work
  • Publishing your work affordably
  • Supporting an open and equitable research ecosystem

The following strategies may be helpful when considering where to publish:

  • Allocate time to think about venues for publishing and sharing your research (consider this as part of your research process)
  • Talk to others who are publishing in your area and share your goals. Where are they publishing and why?
  • Mine the material you have cited to see where they were published
  • Consult with faculty mentors and subject librarians
  • Research venues to see if they align with your values and goals; make a list of several publications or share options to explore
  • Be realistic, but don't let fear of rejection guide your choice. Rejections and revisions are a normal part of the publishing process that do not necessarily reflect the quality or significance of one's work. Rejections or requests for revision can be important opportunities to improve work before it is published.
  • If you have questions or concerns related to copyright or open access, please contact us. We are always glad to help.

Depending on your goals, there are opportunities to publish in a variety of ways.

Journals may have a column or an associated publication with broader or more accommodating submission standards than those expected for formal articles that provide publication opportunities for early-career scholars. There are excellent journals with varied levels of review that provide a range of publication opportunities. For example, KinoKultura features content by leading scholars -- with a single peer review that simplifies submission and acceptance. Depending on your goals, multiple publication options may be available to you.


Who is the author?

Authorship for the purpose of credit differs from authorship for the purpose of copyright. If multiple people create a work, only those who contribute copyrightable elements are considered authors for the purpose of copyright law. See our guide on Who Holds Copyright for information about authorship for copyright.

Decisions about who deserves authorship for a journal article vary -- depending on journals/publishers, disciplines, and even individual research groups. Authors should make a substantial intellectual contribution to the article. Some journals require the contributions of each author to be explicitly stated. In 2013, NISO created the CRediT Taxonomy to capture the variety of authors' contributions. Consult individual journals to see if these criteria are in use. For instance, see Holcombe, A. (2021, September). Authorship: Giving credit where it’s due. American Psychological Association.

Who is the first or last author?

The first and last author positions are often considered the most important, but this differs depending on discipline. For example, in many scientific disciplines, the principal investigator is the last author while the graduate student or postdoc who did most of the work is the first author. 

Who is the corresponding author?

The corresponding author is the point of contact for the journal editor and readers who have questions about the manuscript. Usually, but not always, the last author is also the corresponding author.

Further reading


"Preregistration" is the practice of making research questions, hypotheses, methods, and analyses publicly available in a fixed and persistent way before conducting a study. Preregistration is appropriate for all kinds of research: qualitative or quantitative, confirmatory or exploratory, observational or experimental. One of the places you can preregister your work is with the Center for Open Science. They describe some of the benefits of preregistration as:

  • Making your science better by increasing the credibility of your results
  • Allowing you to stake your claim to your ideas earlier
  • Easily plan for better research

For guidance on how to preregister, see Center for Open Science. (n.d.). Preregistration.

For an overview of preregistration, see: 

Data Management Plans

You may be required to submit a "data management plan" to the funder as part of your grant proposal. It describes the data you expect to collect and generate in your research and how it will be cared for and made available to others. Whether required by a funder or not, a data management plan can help you plan how your data will be preserved and shared.

A data management plan can also help to meet University of Michigan requirements for appropriate management of research data. Visit the University of Michigan Research Data Stewardship Policy (released in 2023) and Research Data Stewardship FAQs (part of the U-M Research Data Stewardship Initiative) for more information.

Visit our website on data management plans or one of the guides below for more information:

For more information on sharing your research outputs, see the sections in this guide for Depositing Your Work Open Access and Sharing Your Data

Our guide on Open Research and Scholarship includes links to additional resources and services to support sharing results of research. 

Posting a Preprint

If you are writing an article, depending on the circumstances (and the policies of journals where you seek to publish), you may consider posting a preprint of your work. A preprint is a manuscript version of an article that is shared on a public server before it has been peer reviewed or accepted by a journal for publication (this qualifies as Green Open Access; for definitions and more information, see our guide on Open Access). Some of the benefits of preprints include:

  • making research available much faster than a formal journal publication;
  • demonstrating productivity for purposes of grants or hiring and promotion;
  • establishing the priority of your research;
  • obtaining feedback from others;
  • connecting with other researchers to develop collaborations.

If you are considering posting a preprint, ASAPBio offers an extensive FAQ on preprints and a directory of preprint servers.

Manuscript and Citation Style

Style guides

Publishers and journals have their own requirements for manuscript and citation style. Typically, you can find these requirements on the journal's Instructions to Authors page, and you can follow examples of articles published in the journal. However, the required manuscript style may be different from the style of the published article in a journal. Some general style guides/manuals are referenced below:

Citation management

To help you format your manuscript and bibliography quickly and easily, you can use citation management software. For information, visit this Manage Citations with Zotero, Mendeley, and EndNote guide.