Publishing

Publishing means “to make public”.
Factors can influence the reach of a manuscript into its intended audiences depending on the how, when, and where the manuscript is published. For example, guidelines on what constitutes first publication vary by academic discipline, and that first publication may be the only public record of a manuscript allowed without violating ethical guidelines.

Factors affecting publication may include:

  • Disciplinary guidelines on language, symbols, format, citation style, and more. Disciplines typically publish handbooks or manuals on their disciplinary guidelines. An extensive list of these tools organized by discipline is available through your membership portal.
  • Rules of the publisher, i.e., the “outlet guidelines” for accepted content and format. Check with the journal or a publisher to obtain the specific outlet guides as well as request the disciplinary handbook and dictionary officially referenced by that publisher.
  • Appropriateness of the content for both the discipline and the publisher. What the journal or publisher will accept by topic is typically described in their guidelines.
  • Prior publication of content text or visual displays. Called “duplicate publication”, trying to republish research results in more than one outlet is considered unethical. Even submitting to more than one journal or publisher at the same time is considered duplicate submission, an unethical practice in scholarly communication.
  • Copyright of the original author(s) or the outlet. Many outlets require authors to sign over their copyright before a manuscript is published. Copyright may or may not be negotiable with the publisher. If copyright is transferred, authors need to be aware that they will typically need to request permission to reproduce their material from that publication.
  • Proprietary information from one’s employer. In a conventional outlet employees publication may be prohibited without employer permission to publish. Employers have been known to discharge employees who publish trade secrets.
  • Unethical textual content that has been plagiarized (because it violates copyright and honesty), falsified (because it is dishonest), or fabricated (because it is dishonest). Publishers use software that compares submissions to all available papers through the Internet. Once a researcher (or a team) is found guilty of such research misconduct in their scholarly writing, they may be barred from publication, have their professional reputation ruined, and cause the loss of substantial government research funding for the individuals and their institutions.
  • Altered imagery (photographs, graphs, electron micrographs, and so on). Changing an image is considered unethical falsification unless the alterations are explained then submitted or archived with the original imagery.

In summary, to be published you must have something worthwhile to contribute as content then:

Be honest.

Follow your disciplinary guidelines and those handbooks or guides of the outlet or publisher.

Understand copyright and be mindful of proper attribution (check the guidelines!).

Obtain and save signed agreements to transfer copyright (or not) and employer permissions to publish.