When you have completed your project it is important to circulate your results and gain recognition for your work. This generally means publishing your research either in a journal, at a conference and in its proceedings, or in news articles.
The most common forum for publication is in discipline-specific international journals. When choosing which journal to submit your research paper to, you should consider the impact factor, the cost, and the accessibility of the journal.
The impact factor of a journal is a measure of how frequently the 'average article' is cited; it is calculated by comparing the number of publications in a year to the number of times those papers were cited the following year. Science Watch provides ranking and impact factor for selective journals divided into disciplines so you can see which journals in your field are most commonly cited.
Your grant will include a budget for publication cost whether it's from a research council, a university or from a commercial body so you should balance impact with cost of publication. Some journals charge per page, others charge for coloured images/plots, and some journals are free as they make their money from subscriptions to the journal instead of charges for publication. Once you have selected a few journals, consider how much it will cost if your article is accepted, and whether you can save money by including materials available online only.
If the journal that you have chosen only allows open access to the abstract of your article, this may damage your citation rate and the audience of your research. Consider whether you are prevented from submitting a manuscript of your accepted paper to an open access publication archive such as arxiv.org. Some journals only limit access for a few months, others limit access indefinitely. Researchers are encouraged to make their publications open access; this may be a condition of your research grant.
If you present your research at a conference then you may be asked to submit an article for the conference proceedings. These articles are not peer-reviewed so are often considered less reliable than journal publications, and they are generally short - only a few pages long - so they contain very few details. It is therefore good practice to submit a journal article that contains the full details of your research in addition to a conference proceedings article.
If your research is truly ground breaking and of interest to the public, you should consider releasing details of your work in a press release. We have a team at the University of Hertfordshire committed to helping you communicate with the media, who you can contact through the Press Office.