Monday, 16 June 2014

Publishing in Emerald Journals @ Library NUIM 9/6/2014

Eileen Breen, subject editor for library and information science  (LIS) at Emerald Publishing spoke about how to get published in an Emerald LIS Journal. She reminded us that Emerald is a sister publishing arm of ASLIB.

Eileen began with an overview of Emerald Publishing (Founded by Academics, +21 million etc. )
All of the world's top 10 business schools have a subscription to Emerald.

Impact factor

40% of Emerald's LIS journals are listed by / in ISI under: 
  • LIS
  • Information Society
  • Information Retrieval 
  • Informatics 

Permanent record

Publishing with Emerald generates a permanent record of your work as that subscribe to LOCKSS / CLOCKSS

Peer review process

Benefits of submitting to peer review include: 
  • Work improved 
  • Work verified 
  • Sharing of ideas 

Why publish? 
  • Career development / progression
  • Altruism
  • Subject interest
  • Recognition  
Publishing process
  • Initial submission, for editorial review (c. 1 week)
  • Assigned to 2 peer reviewers (c. 5-6 weeks) 
  • Assessment to editor
  • Recommendation > publication etc. 
    • Recommend acceptance
    • Minor revision > acceptance
    • Major revision > acceptance 
  • Editior's decision
On average 10 weeks for LIS publications. (Industry average (20-24 weeks)

Reasons for rejection
Did not follow author guidelines 
Did not follow instructions
Inappropriate methodology 
Inappropriate subject matter
Adds nothing new 

Strategies to minimize the chance of rejection
  • Identify a few titles in the subject area and familiarize yourself with the style and content of the journals 
  • Be realistic
  • Look at the author guidelines for the publication
  • Reference and cite in your work 
    • Use the correct referencing and citation styles
  • Use the correct submission process
    • Direct to the editor
    • Online submission platform 
  • It is recommended that you submit an abstract or outline in advance to the editor, who may ask you to then focus on an aspect of your work for their publication 
    • Include a cover letter if you do this, as it is an opportunity to talk to the editor directly

Post submission

Remember everyone has been rejected at least once. Use the editorial feedback to improve your writing, as they synthesize the comments of the peer reviewers who have examined  your work. 

Work on the feedback you have received and re-submit your work. 

A rejection for revision if good news. Acknowledge it, and set a revision submission date with the editor. This is also you opportunity to explain to the editor if you do not agree with the peer reviewers' comments. 

Sometimes you just have to accept that your work does not say anything new and accept the rejection. 

How to select the right journal for your work

  • Look at the readership details 
  • Establish if it will enhance your reputation 
  • Read recent articles, identify their subject matter
  • How international is it? 
  • These will tell you the likelihood of acceptance for your topic for a particular journal and the type of paper you should submit
  • Be political: think about what you want to achieve 
    • Question: are you writing about practice, or bridging the gap between theory and practice? etc. 
  • Is there an Open Access mandate at your home institution, at your funding body etc. 
    • This is more of an issue in the Sciences at the moment
      • Possible issue for Computing Science Writers
    • Look at the journal's policy
    • Emerald support the voluntary deposit in local repositories, but not the exact published copy. 
      • Pre-print / post-print copies. 
      • To be sure as to when (Immediate or 24 month embargo) you can deposit in your local repository, check with Emerald
  • Consider the perceived quality of the journal 
  • Consider discover-ability
  • Consider whether the journal is associated with the correct community of interest
  • Identify special interest editions 

Rejection spectrum 

The Journal of Documentation has a high level of rejection > Library Hi Tech News & Reference Reviews which have a very low level.

Differences between an article and a dissertation / thesis

  • If you are  looking to publish from a dissertation, choose just one aspect of your thesis to include
  • An article is much more concise
  • Decide who you want to reach
    • Emerald is published globally
  • What type of thesis/dissertation/project is suitable?
    • Successful project
    • Opinion/observation
    • Content from a presentation or conference paper 
What editors consider
  • Originality
  • Relevance
  • Extension of known
  • Research methodology
  • Clarity, structure and quality of writing 
  • Sound logical progression of argument 
  • Theory and practical implications
    • Even if it is just a recommendation to carry out further research


  • Have a good title 
    • Use as few words as possible
  • Use keywords
  • Have a well written abstract
    • 250 words, no more than 100 words in any one section
    • Explicitly state the purpose, design, findings and research limitations or implications, outline the originality value
    • Use Emerald's structured abstract as a start point
    • Write for discover-ability
    • Establish the purpose of  your article in a logical way
    • Explain the research  
    • Write in an easy to read way
  • Think: Title, Abstract, Introduction, and Conclusions when framing your work. Then think, method, results, discussion, figures/data/tables. 
  •  Repeat key phrases
  • Avoid jargon
  • Avoid generalizations (unless quantifiable), idioms, analogies
  • Use the active voice. It should be direct and clear
  • Don't self plagiarize
  • Case studies need permissions to publish, show this. 
  • The first named author is considered the lead author, and should be the corresponding author. 
  • Make sure to attribute other's work. 
  • Polish your work before submitting: 
    • Lots of different sets of eyes
    • Grammar
    • Spelling
    • Slow transition sense
    • Typos
    • Accuracy of data 
    • Show the draft to someone else 
    • Do not rely on built in spell checkers 
    • Cite correctly (Harvard or APA for Emerald)
EVERYTHING that Emerald publishes is checked for plagiarism (ithenticate system). as originality is increasingly an issue. Do not have two article too similar. Make sure there is enough difference in the content to not trigger a report from the system.

Emerald work with the Gold Open Access model, which provides you with protection as the author if you pay to publish this way. The copyright is yours, you have the right to be identified as the author. 

Sample structure

  1. Introduction: What is the problem, and it's relevance
  2. Literature review: show context
    1. Only self cite where relevant 
    2. Cite correctly (Quote marks etc.) 
    3. If you are using diagrams from a book, you need the author's permission, 
      1. Different from including it in a student thesis
  3. Method: why it was used, demonstrate it's robustness, and identify a good reason for this approach. 
    1. Stick to the main story 
    2. Explain why the sample was selected. 
    3. Give more detail in an appendix
  4. Discussion: Don't give every statistic
    1. Concentrate on the main points 
    2. Identify whether all the results are consistent with other research 
    3. Show applications, global and specific, uses and extensions

Dissemination and promotion

  • Mostly online by Emerald  
  • Journals are still physically printed by Emerald
    • Short descriptive title = VIP for this 
  • Authors should self promote, pre and post publication, and build a community around their written work
  • Build a contact base, via social networks, blogs, leverage your connections
  • Register for an ORCID id
  • Volunteer as a reviewer
  • Once you are published - spread the word, and contact those you have cited
  • Is your research newsworthy?
    • If so let your marketing people know
  • See for an example
  • Don't rely on just the publisher
  • Measure your impact
    • How often cited
    • How often downloaded
    • How often mentioned in social media
    • Ask for download statistics over time 

The powerpoint presentation for this is available at

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