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RWT Library & Knowledge Services: Guide to Publishing

Guide for Library and Knowledge Services

Publishers and Open Access

Not for profit organisations .

PLoS (The Public Library of Science) is a not-for-profit open access publisher that includes titles in the fields of Medicine, Biology, Genetic, Tropical Diseases and Pathogens. Article Processing Charges between £650 and £1,900.

There are a number of commercial publishers, examples include:

Note, the APC prices are correct as of 24.3.2021.

You may also wish to browse/search the following Open Access Journal collections.

Funding Routes for Open Access Publishing

There may be opportunities to secure funding to pay for the full or partial cost of the Article Processing Charges (APC).  Springer Nature have produced a list of Funders and Institutions that may support your request.  If you are studying or have an honorary/associate contract with one of the Universities listed, it may be worth checking this out.  UK Funders and Institutions can be found here (

Open Access Book Publishing

Here are a number of book publishers that now offer Open Access Publishing, including:


There are a number of organisations that publish pre-prints prior to the final published article in a journal. These are:

Caution: Preprints are preliminary reports of work that have not been certified by peer review.  They should not be relied on to guide clinical practice or health-related behaviour and should not be reported in news media as established information.

ORCID for Researchers

ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) is similar to your UK National Insurance Number, in that it will follow you when you change employers, name and address. It will also follow you if you move abroad to work. It is a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes you from other researchers. It links all your outputs, ensuring that all your work is recognised to the research community. You may find this short video of interest.

It will also link various formats of your name, for example Christina Samantha Smith, known as Tina Smith or Christina S Smith or C. S. Smith, who then marries and becomes Christina Ann Cartwright or Tina Cartwright or C.S. Cartwright.

Some publishers require that you register for an ORCID account before you publish with them. Registration is free, click here to register.

If you have an ORCID account, please include it when you submit your publication(s) to the RWT Staff Publications Repository.

Further Reading about Open Access Publishing

Matt Holland from the North West Ambulance Service Library and Knowledge Services has written a guide on Open Access Publishing. This is very comprehensive and includes a short history of open access, why it is important and a glossary of publishing terms.

Publishers Embargos

In academic publishing, an embargo is a period during which access to academic journals is not allowed to users who have not paid for access (or have access through their institution). The purpose of this is to ensure publishers have revenue to support their activities.  Embargo periods vary, generally between 6 and 12 months, however, some publishers enforce a 48 month embargo.

For delayed open access journals and those articles included in full text databases such as EBSCO or ProQuest collections, the embargo period separates the most recent published titles for which subscriptions are paid from the older published materials that anyone can access.

Within self-archiving, the embargo period is set by the publisher in the copyright transfer agreement where access to the archived version of the article in a digital repository is restricted until the embargo period expires.



The library can help you with getting your work published by:

  • Providing books on writing for publication
  • Adding your publications to the RWT Staff Publications Repository, giving your work the greatest exposure to other researchers.

Where Can I Publish My Research?

There are a number of tools that can help you decide where to publish.

The Think, Check, Submit organisation provides a checklist for researchers who are wishing to submit their article for publication. For more information about Think, Check Submit, you may want to watch this short video.    

You may also want to have a look at the following checklists:

1. books and chapters

2.  journals

JANE (Journal/Author Name Estimator) is a piece of software that will help you find suitable journals for the topic of your research.  By entering the title of your article and abstract, or keywords JANE will scan your document with those indexed in PubMed, finding you the best matching articles, journals or authors. JANE is free and accessible here (

Publishers automatically upload there journal contents to PubMed to be indexed either in PubMed, Medline etc, this may include articles from Predatory Journals, therefore these journals may appear in JANE’s results. To minimise this risk JANE tags journals that are currently indexed in Medline and open access journals approved by the Directory of Open Access Journals.   

For more about JANE, there is a comprehensive Questions and Answer page.

Individual publishing houses may also have their own tools to help select appropriate titles for your publication, for example:

Elsevier Journal Finder uses smart technology and field-research specific vocabularies to match your paper to scientific journals published by Elsevier. Simply add your article title, abstract and keywords, then select the appropriate field of research and the Journal Finder will do the selection. Click here for their journal finder. (

Springer Nature Journal Suggester offers a similar service. With over 2,500 titles listed for the Springer and BMC Journal titles. Click here to access the service. (

Wiley Journal Finder currently a Beta testing site. Click here to access the service. (


DOAJ - Directory of Open Access Journals  provides a comprehensive list of open access peer-reviewed journal titles in 80 languages, from 125 countries, 16,058 journal titles, with 11,582 titles listed as having no APC's (Article Processing  Charges).  The directory also lists some 5,800,00 open access articles, that are freely accessible.   Click here to search the titles. ( 

Although this is not 100% full proof, if the title of the journal does not appear in this directory, then be                                             cautious of paying any APC for publishing Gold open access fees.

What is the Publishing Process?

Pre-print (pre-refereeing) - Sometimes known as a manuscript. You are allowed to post this version as non-typeset, usually as a word document on your personal or organisation’s website and post as a pre-print in an online repository.

Post-print (final draft post-refereeing) - Also called “accepted author manuscripts (AAM)”, “author’s accepted version” or “final author version”, this is the peer-reviewed and corrected article that has been accepted for publication. It may be shared on a Green open access repository, but may have an embargo. Links to the final published article using the DOI can be made, but the final full text cannot be uploaded unless the article follows the  Gold open access route.

Published Version – This is the final published article, also known as “Final Published Version” or “Version on Record”. These cannot be uploaded into a repository unless published following the Gold route.

Why Publish in Peer-Reviewed Journals?

Peer review is part of the scientific publishing process that gives validity, originality and significance to your manuscript prior to its publication. It filters out invalid or poor quality manuscripts. Peer reviewers are experts in their field who volunteer to help improve the manuscript.

On submission to a journal, your manuscript will be assessed by an editor or editorial team to see if meets the publications submission criteria.  If it does it will then be forwarded to peer reviewers. The reviewers may accept the publication without further amendments or they may aks for revisions. In some cases they may reject the paper.

Peer review ensures that your manuscript is robust, the reviews may point out gaps in the paper that need more explanation. If the paper is difficult to understand, they may suggest changes to improve its readability. They will also consider the importance of your paper to others within that particular field.

Different periodicals/publishers have different types of peer review.  The main ones are:

Single-blind – reviewers know the names of the authors, but the authors do not know the reviewer(s) unless the sign their report.

Double-blind –the reviewers do not know the names of the authors and the authors do not know who has reviewed their manuscript.

Open peer – author know who the reviewer(s) are and the reviewers know the authors. If published the  named reviews reports are published alongside the authors response to them.

Transparent peer – the reviewers know the names of the authors, but the authors do not now the manuscript reviewers names. If published the anonymous reviewer reports are published alongside the authors’ response.

Internal peer review – is the process through which the manuscript is assessed by reviewers connected to the particular periodical.

External peer review – the manuscript is critically assessed by independent relevant individuals unconnected to the publication or the individual who submitted the manuscript.


Not all types of publication are peer reviewed.  Comments and letters to the editor are often excluded from the peer review process.

What is Open Access Publishing

Open Access is a way that research outputs can be made freely available online for everyone to read, use and re-use. It is an alternative to traditional paid for subscription publishing, where the user picks up the bill.

With Open Access publishing, the publishers charge a fee known as the Article Processing Charge (APC), this may be paid by the author, author’s institution or research funder.  The charges may vary, between £600-£2,500 depending on the prestige of the journal.  Should the article be rejected for publication, the payment is refunded.

There are also Hybrid journals, these offer a mix of paid for subscriptions and open access publishing, with the researcher or associates paying for the open access rights. Open Access articles are usually marked somewhere to say they are open access, this may be as simply displaying the Open Access or the Creative Communications logo.

There are two routes to open publishing known as the Gold or Green Route, see below.

Gold Route to Open Access Publishing

This route allows the authors work to be published on the journals website immediately upon publishing after peer review and payment of the Article Processing Charge. The publisher will also deposit the final published copy of the article into PubMed Central, they may also be uploaded into institutional repositories without embargo.  All Open Access articles are published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (CC-BY-NC). 

Following the recommendations by the Finch Group report, many of the UK research funders and publicly funded bodies require that your research is published as Open Access via the Gold route, for example the NIHR policy. You will need to include these costs in any funding or grant application you make, unless you are willing to pick up the costs yourself.

Green Route to Open Access Publishing

Also known as self-archiving, is the “free” option for publishing your research as Open Access and possibly the most popular route authors take. Publishers allow the pre-publication or post-print versions of your article to be uploaded onto a personal webpage or into an institutional repository. However, there may be publishers embargos in place. In this model, the publisher recovers the cost via paid for subscription, typically via an Athens account or on a pay to view basis by the user.

For more information about publishers copyright and polices around Gold and Green Open Access visit the SHERPARRoMEO  (Securing a Hybrid Environment for Research Preservation and Access) website. The SHERPA site shows authors whether the journal can allow pre-print or post-print archiving within their Agreements and any embargos that might apply.

SHERPAJuliet provides a list of research funder’s Open Access policies, whilst the

SHERPFact site provides guidance to researchers on whether a journal complies  with a funder’s open access policy.

Caution About the Use of ResearchGate

ResearchGate is a useful platform for sharing and collaborating with others about your publications.  However, you need to be aware of copyright issues in relation to uploading full-text articles onto the platform.  A ResearchGate section on copyright compliance, see Copyright and Research Gate  clearly states that it is the author’s responsibility to check whether they have the rights to upload or share content before actually uploading/sharing full-texts with others.  In 2018, ResearchGate were asked to remove 1.7million items that infringed copyright laws by a number of key publishers.  Read more

Even though a publication suggests an item is “Open Access”, this does not always mean that it may be uploaded to a site such as ResearchGate or freely shared.  This will be dependent on whether an article processing fee has been paid to the publisher (Gold Route) or via the Green Route (also known as self-archiving). The Green Route is the most common form of publishing.

To ensure that you do not infringe any copyright laws, it is essential that you first check whether you have the rights to upload or share your publications.  If you signed an agreement with a publisher, this will probably define your rights. In addition, or alternatively you could check the publisher’s website, check with the publisher via email or search for the article on the SherpaRomeo site. The SherpaRomeo site provides details relating to the Creative Commons agreements for most periodical titles. If you are still unsure, contact the RWT library team who will be able to help.

A method of archiving available to you is the recently launched RWT Staff Publications Repository  Whilst the same principles of author compliance with copyright apply, this user-friendly platform has on-site support and checks by the library team to help mitigate infringement. We therefore encourage staff to select the RWT repository as the first choice in making their research outputs and scholarly contributions visible and available to others. 

What are Predatory Journals?

Predatory journals or publishers are organisations that charge the researcher fees for publishing their work without providing peer-review or editing services, preferring profit over academic integrity. They offer a quick turnaround on publishing a manuscript. In the worst cases, the item does not get published as the journal does not exist. They also ask for a submission fee, that is not refunded should the article not be published.

The short video by AJE – American Journal Experts explains more about predatory journal and gives eight tips to identify questionable open access journals.

There are two useful lists of predatory publishers Beale’s List of Predatory Open Access Publishers and Stop Predatory Journals.

What is a Creative Commons License?

Creative Commons (CC) is a not for profit organisation that helps authors share their knowledge and creativity. They do not replace copyright but are based upon it.

The Creative Commons Organisation have created a short animated video ”Wanna Work Together” that explains how the licences work. If you wish to share your unpublished work with others, to protect your intellectual property right, select one of the six licenses available. You may wish to use the license checker  to select the correct one for your specific needs.

Further, before uploading an unpublished work (for example a poster or PowerPoint presentation) to a repository, you may want to consider adding a CC licence to your publication.

What Are Journal Impact Factors?

Journal impact factors (JIF) are a way to measure the influence of an academic journal. It's calculated by looking at how often articles published in that journal are cited by other researchers in a specific time frame, typically two years. So, a high impact factor means that, on average, articles from that journal are cited a lot.

Here's why they're important:

  • Comparing journals: JIF can be a helpful tool to compare journals within a specific field. A higher impact factor generally suggests the journal is more prestigious and influential.
  • Gauging article influence: By extension, publishing in a journal with a high impact factor can be seen as a sign that your research is more likely to be influential and impactful.

However, it's important to remember that JIF isn't perfect. Here are some limitations to consider:

  • Not the only measure: JIF doesn't take into account the quality of the research itself, just how often it's cited. There can be other reasons an article gets cited besides its quality.
  • Field dependence: JIFs vary by field. A high impact factor in one field might be considered average in another.
  • New journals: New journals won't have an impact factor until they've been around for a few years and built up a citation history.

So, while JIF can be a useful metric, it shouldn't be the only factor you consider when choosing a journal to publish your research in.

Useful Resources

RWT Library & Knowledge Services Building 11, Wolverhampton Medical Institute, New Cross Hospital, Wolverhampton. WV10 0QP Tel: 01902 695322 E-Mail: Twitter: @rwtlibrary