Scholarly Publishing Toolkit

Helpful Links for those Writing & Publishing Scholarly Information

Guide to Ethical Writing

The Office of Research Integrity (part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) maintains a learning module and publication by Miguel Roig, Avoiding Plagiarism, Self-Plagiarism, and Other Questionable Writing Practices: A Guide to Ethical Writing. Roig presents 28 guidelines for ethical writing, including:

  • Guideline 10: Authors who submit a manuscript for publication containing previously disseminated data, reviews, conclusions, etc., must clearly indicate to the editors and readers the nature of the previous dissemination. The provenance of data must never be in doubt.
  • Guideline 12: In the domain of conferences and similar audio-visual presentations of their work, authors should practice the same principles of transparency with their audiences.

Please review Roig's guide and remind others to do the same.

Additional Resources

  • COPE: The Committee on Publication Ethics provides guidelines on responsible authorship and case studies of research publishing questions.
  • ICMJE: The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors provides resources and recommendations for research conduct, reporting, and editing.

Securing Copyright Permissions When Writing

Securing permission to use copyrighted materials in teaching can be quite different from seeking permission for use of others' copyrighted materials while writing and publishing. This section focuses on permissions from a researcher's or author's perspective.

Basic information about copyright is available at

Responsible Publishing

All UB students and faculty should be familiar with responsible and ethical publishing practices. This includes knowing answers to:

Many federal agencies, and an increasing number of private funders, require researchers to do things such as:

If this is the case, below you will find helpful links to relevant information.

Data Management Plans

A Data Management Plan (DMP)...

  • ...describes the data you expect to acquire or generate during the course of a research project
  • ...tells how you will manage, describe, analyze, and store those data
  • ...documents what mechanisms you will use at the end of your project to share and preserve your data
  • an integral part of the research process

Read more about DMPs here.

Open Access Repositories

UB ScholarWorks is UB's digital repository, in which digital scholarship materials produced by the University of Bridgeport community are collected, preserved, and distributed. Read about how to add materials to UB ScholarWorks here.

You may want to deposit a copy of your work in a disciplinary repository. These can be found via sites such as:

Open Access Publishing

Open access means: "digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions" (Suber, 2012).

See the Open Access Publishing tab in this toolkit for more information.

New scholars today who are about to publish have more options than ever before:

  • Traditional subscription: Individuals and institutions 'subscribe' to the journal issues, paying to access.
  • Open Access: Follows a different funding model that allows individuals and institutions to access without paying. May (legitimately) involve the 'author-pays' model.
  • Hybrid: The journal includes a mixture of both subscription and open-access articles
  • Monograph: A number of articles on a related topic are gathered together but published in a one-off 'book' volume.

It's important to remember that not all publishers are the same. For example, while open access publishing provides exciting new options for getting published, some scholars have fallen victim to predatory publishers. Predatory publishing occurs when a publisher of a journal follows the author-pays model of open access publishing, but exploits the authors by failing to actually provide peer review/editing services. Such journals tend to be mostly unknown and tend to end up with a bad reputation, and so are best avoided. For this reason, it's important to evaluate a publisher before agreeing to publish anything with them.

How to Evaluate a Publisher

Use the Think-Check-Submit checklist. Review it before submitting work or agreeing to serve as a reviewer.

Questions to be asked about journal publishers:

  • Who is on the editorial board? Are the editors clearly identified? Are their email addresses and/or phone numbers provided directly on the publisher's site?
  • Can you confirm that the editors really are serving in that role? Do the editors have this position listed on their online CV? Can you confirm with the editor-in-chief via email?
  • What is the acceptance rate of the journal? (Note: Some legitimate megajournals, such as PLOS ONE, accept any methodologically sound study that passes the scrutiny of peer-reviewers. This is a new model that attempts to share good research regardless of trends in popularity or research interests, but megajournals should be closely evaluated for quality leadership, editors, reviewers, etc. Not all megajournals are of the same quality.)
  • What is the impact factor of the journal? (Keep in mind that impact factors can be manipulated and are increasingly seen as an inaccurate measure of quality that help large publishers and hurt small, but legitimate, operations. Furthermore, new journals are likely to have a lower impact factor than more established titles.)  Some scholars are now making use of altmetrics, considered by some to offer a more accurate, wholistic view of the influence of an author's work.
  • Who founded the journal? Who owns it/runs it now? Do they have an academic background?
  • Can you retain your copyright, or any subset of copyrights you want to keep, to your work? For example, can you use the publication in presentations, in course readers, in future publications if revised and expanded? Can you add it to your own site, or archive a copy in an online archive/repository?
  • Are there clear guidelines for authors, including when and if fees to authors may be assessed? Legitimate publishers will be upfront with their publication practices. For authors, there should be no surprises or uncertainty about a publisher's procedures.

Questions to be asked about monograph publishers:

  • Who is on the editorial board? Are the editors clearly identified? Are their email addresses and/or phone numbers provided directly on the publisher's site?
  • Is there an editor for your specific subject area? A good example for comparative purposes is the University of Chicago Press and their list of editorial staff.
  • Can you confirm that the editor really is serving in that role? Does the editor have this position listed on their online CV? Can you confirm with the editor via email?
  • Who founded the publishing house? Who owns it/runs it now? Do they have an academic background?
  • Are there clear guidelines for authors? Legitimate publishers will be upfront with their publication practices. For authors, there should be no surprises or uncertainty about a publisher's procedures.

The questions above are all important to consider during your evaluation of a publisher/publication. No single consideration is more important than the others. Publishing is a complex business, and these questions are designed to work in conjunction with each other to give you an overall picture of a publishing organization.

All authors, editors, and reviewers should be familiar with guidelines from the Committee on Publication Ethics: Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing. Being an informed author is important for your own publication record, and for the records of those you mentor or influence.

Places to Publish

  • DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals): "The Directory of Open Access Journals is a service that indexes high quality, peer reviewed Open Access research journals.... The Directory aims to be comprehensive and cover all open access academic journals that use an appropriate quality control system ... and is not limited to particular languages or subject areas."
  • International Association of Scientific, Technical & Medical Publishers: "STM is the leading global trade association for academic and professional publishers. It has over 120 members in 21 countries who each year collectively publish nearly 66% of all journal articles and tens of thousands of monographs and reference works. STM members include learned societies, university presses, private companies, new starts and established players."
  • Society for Scholarly Publishing: "The Society for Scholarly Publishing ... is a nonprofit organization formed to promote and advance communication among all sectors of the scholarly publication community through networking, information dissemination, and facilitation of new developments in the field."
  • OASPA (Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association): OASPA's mission "is to represent the interests of Open Access (OA) journal and book publishers globally in all scientific, technical and scholarly disciplines. This mission will be carried out through exchanging information, setting standards, advancing models, advocacy, education, and the promotion of innovation."
  • WAME (World Association of Medical Editors): WAME is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit voluntary association of editors of peer-reviewed medical journals from countries throughout the world who seek to foster international cooperation among and education of medical journal editors. Membership in WAME is free and all decision-making editors of peer-reviewed medical journals are eligible to join. Membership is also available to selected scholars in journal editorial policy and peer review."

About Publishing Agreements*

*NOTE: The information offered here is not intended to serve as legal advice, but merely as a general introduction to the topic.

Any work in a fixed, tangible form of expression belongs to the creator (except for a few limited cases, such as works made for hire) and is automatically protected by copyright. This means that, early on, as you prepare to publish your work, you own the copyright to your articles, chapters, etc.

However, when you sign a publishing agreement, you may be transferring your copyright to another person or entity. It's important to know that:

  • Transferring copyright means that you lose some, or all, of your rights because you give them to someone else. This can adversely impact your ability to use your own work as you wish in the future, such as teaching with it or sharing it.
  • If you sign away all of your copyright, that may affect your ability to:

...make the work accessible in a digital repository
...use part of the work as a basis for a future publication
...send copies of the work to colleagues
...share copies of the work with students
...comply with the NIH Public Access Policy or other funding agency policies
...present the work at conference or meeting and give copies of the work to attendees
...use a different or extended version of the work for a future publication
...make copies of the work for personal use and educational use
...use graphs, charts, and statistical data for a future publication
...use the work for educational use such as lecture notes or study guides
...comply with public access mandates
...deposit supplemental data from the work in an institutional or subject repository a copy of the work on electronic reserves or use for student course-packs
...include the work in future derivative works
...make an oral presentation of the work
...include the work in a dissertation or thesis
...use the work in a compilation of works or collected works
...expand the work into a book form or book chapter
...retain patent and trademark rights of processes or procedures contained in the work

  • -Adapted from this list.
  • Since publishing agreements are legal contracts, don't forget that you can negotiate with the publisher before signing.
  • Publishers do not automatically have to become the holder of the copyright in order for your work to be published by them. In other words, it is entirely possible for you to retain some or all of the rights to your own work.

How do I negotiate with a publisher?

After approaching a publisher, authors are presented with a publishing agreement. If they wish to negotiate the terms of such an agreement, authors will attach an addendum (their desired changes) to the contract. The publisher will then respond to that, with any negotiations proceeding from there.

The following site offers useful links to ways in which authors typically seek to amend publishing agreements, including suggested author addendums. Or you might find the Scholars Copyright Addendum Engine (which will generate an addendum for you which preserves the rights considered most important to authors) useful.

What is Open-Access Publishing?

Open access means: “digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions” (Suber, 2012).

Open access is a model of publishing that has a number of potential benefits to authors, to researchers, and to the general public. Open access can mean increased citation counts, improved retention of author rights so you can use your publications as you wish in the future, and better access to information for researchers at other institutions and in other parts of the world.

Peter Suber’s 2012 book, Open Access, is an excellent introduction to open access and is available open access — free and online — from the MIT Press and at the Internet Archive.

Types of Open Access

Sharing your research openly can be achieved in a number of ways. Any of these options support open access.

Green OA - Self-Archiving in Open Access Repositories
  • Review your publication agreement before signing it.
  • Check the terms related to archiving on an institutional repository, and tell your publisher you want to retain the right to deposit a copy of your work in your institution’s online archive/repository.
  • At UB, this is UB ScholarWorks. (Some journals will allow you to archive a copy of your article in UB ScholarWorks after an embargo period.) You can submit your article now and set up an embargo period in UB ScholarWorks, which will release a copy of your work after the embargo period is up.*
  • *Make sure you upload the version you are allowed to add to UB ScholarWorks (a post-print or final manuscript is different from the publisher’s version).
  • Alternatively, you may want to deposit a copy of your work in a disciplinary repository. Search for open access repositories using The Directory of Open Access Repositories, OpenDOAR.
Gold OA - An Article Processing Charge has been paid for the article to remain open-access
  • This fee can be paid for by an individual, a department, an institution or even by grant monies
  • Publish in an Open Access journal that is recognized by and listed in both DOAJ and OASPA.
  • Find out how to work with publishers to retain your rights by using the Publishing Agreements area of this toolkit.

Pay To Publish?

Some publishers ask for fees, or article processing charges (APCs), to make your publication openly accessible. Is this okay?

If the journal makes all of their publications available open access immediately, then there are no subscription fees. In this case, APCs are the publisher’s only revenue stream for the journal title. In this case, charging APCs is reasonable.

If the journal makes only some of their publications OA, then the publisher receives revenue from both subscriptions to the journal and APCs. In general, this is not considered a good practice.

Other considerations: How committed is the publisher to Open Access? Is OA their main publishing model, or one of several? And, what do they do with their revenue?

Free to Reuse with Credit