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Strategic Publishing

This guide provides information on applying strategic measures when considering publishing, promoting and tracking your research.

Choosing to publish a book or a book chapter

So, you are thinking of a book or book chapter as a publication type for your research. Some points to consider are:

  • Are books and publishing book chapters well regarded in your discipline?
    • Are your colleagues / supervisors publishing in books?
    • Speak with your colleagues / supervisors about their experience with publishing books and/or book chapters.
  • Would a book or a book chapter meet your publishing objectives?
  • Do you have the experience and research track record to write a book proposal that will be accepted?

Choosing a publisher

Strategies that may be helpful when choosing a publisher are:

  • Identify reputable academic publishers in your field. Do this by mining your own sources: which books are on similar topics and who has published them? You can also search library catalogues such as Worldcat.org or websites like Amazon.com 

  • Check academic publishers' webpages for recent titles and subject areas to ensure that your proposal matches the publisher’s market, or would fill a discernable gap

  • Always read advice and guidelines for prospective authors before submitting a book proposal

  • Read the fine print of any contracts you sign and seek legal advice if you have concerns


Potential problems in book publishing practice

Vanity publishers, print-on-demand and publishers specialising in theses are not considered to be commercial publishers. They do not offer peer review or editorial services and publishing with them may have copyright implications for publishing your work elsewhere, e.g. in academic journals.

Trade or academic publishers invest in the books they publish. They invest in editorial processes, production and design aspects, marketing and will seek to have the book reviewed. They will generally reject books that are assessed to not be marketable. There are other publishers, however, that make no such investment and only produce a book once it is sold. Quality is not as relevant (they invest little in the book) as they have no risk of unsold stock.

Is your book or book chapter a research output?

If you publish using RMIT University as your affiliation, you are required to report your publication.

However, RMIT only accept publications that meet certain conditions imposed by the ARC's Excellence in Research Australia (ERA).

Overall eligibility criteria requires the publication to:

  • be a major work of scholarship
  • have been reviewed for publication in its entirety by qualified, independent experts
  • have been published or made publicly available

Additional specific book/book chapter requirements mean that the book:

  • is offered for sale
  • has an International Standard Book Number (ISBN)
  • is published by a commercial publisher

The above content is from the RMIT Research Portal. For more information, please refer the RMIT Research Portal.