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Interested in sharing your research results?

Where should you share your work?

Your faculty supervisor may have suggestions of appropriate venues for your work, so that is a good place to start.
Generally, the choice of where to share your work might be guided by the following questions:

Who might benefit most from reading about your research?
Consider the target audience for your findings - other students and researchers in the field, community stakeholders, practitioners in the field, or the general public. Each of these audiences might require a different communication strategy to ensure the maximum impact of your work.

How can you get this information to the people who could really use it?
Scholarly journals and conference presentations may not always be the best way to reach your target audience(s). Other ways research findings might be shared include websites, community newsletters, blogs, editorials in newspapers, podcasts, social media posts, pamphlets, creative works, policy papers, and more. Some venues may be more accessible to you than others - speak to your supervisor about what venue might be right for you.

How might the publication of your work support your future career plans?
Considering how potential employers or graduate programs might view your work in different venues might play into your decision making process. Your supervisor, other professors in your discipline, or those working in your chosen field may be able to provide helpful advice. For assistance in how to showcase your research experience in a cover letter, resume, or CV, contact Career Services.

Do you have the right to share the results?

If you are working as a research assistant for a faculty member, you do not have the right to disseminate any findings from the project without the permission of your supervisor. If the research project is your own (e.g. you developed the research question, designed the project, and conducted the study), you similarly have rights to your work that should be respected, but you still need to ensure that anyone who has contributed to your project is credited appropriately.

Who will be credited as an author?

This is an important discussion to have with research collaborators early on in your project. The expectations for who will be listed as a co-author will depend on the level of their contributions to the project and the norms of your discipline. For example, your faculty supervisor may expect to be credited as a co-author on a publication relating to your Honours thesis work because of their contributions. Here are some additional resources that discuss some of the complex ethical considerations around authorship when students and faculty collaborate:

In what order will the authors be listed?

The order in which authors are listed for a journal article usually conveys their role in the project, with the lead researcher listed first or last, depending on the discipline. Your supervisor will be able to advise you on the conventions of your field.

Choosing a journal

Does the journal publish work by undergraduate students?

Who will be listed as authors for the article may play a role in your decisions of where to publish. Undergraduate research journals welcome work from student authors. MRU students have also published in major journals in their discipline, but in most cases a faculty member is the lead author of the article.

Is the journal reputable?

Some of the factors that may feed into a journal’s reputation include whether the articles are peer reviewed, how often the work in the journal is cited by others, the history of the publication, and the potential sponsors of the journal (e.g. a professional association). Your faculty supervisor is a great source of advice on how particular publications are viewed by those working in the discipline.

There are some journals who make false promises to researchers about the rigour of their peer review process and importance in the field in order to make money. You may come across these predatory journals in searches, and it is important to learn how to recognize them. For more information on what to look for, check out our resources on predatory publishing.

What types of research does the journal typically publish?

Read the journal’s aims and scope to ensure your work is appropriate for their audience. Typically, the journal’s website will also list the types of articles they are looking for (empirical research only, reviews of existing work, etc.) along with specific requirements around word limits and formatting. It is also worth reviewing articles they have published in the past to see if other researchers who used similar methods to yours (e.g. qualitative studies) have been published by the journal. It will give you a sense of whether the journal’s peer reviewers have experience in reviewing those types of studies.

Can your target audience easily find and access the journal?

If you feel that your work would be beneficial to members of the broader community, you may want to think about whether the journal you select makes its articles freely available to read (open access) or only available to those affiliated with an institution who can afford a paid subscription (e.g. a university). If you choose to publish in a subscription journal, there may still be a way to make your research available to the public by depositing it in our Open Access Repository - reach out to your subject librarian for more information.

You may also want to consider what databases or search tools the journal is included in (i.e. will researchers in the field find your work). This is known as indexing. Many undergraduate research journals are included as part of Google Scholar, but might not be listed in disciplinary databases (e.g. PubMed, MLA Bibliography). One place to find this information is Ulrich’s Periodical Directory - search for the journal title, and review the section on indexing. You can also look at the list of publications in the database itself.

How often does the journal publish?

Some undergraduate research journals publish only once a year or haven’t put out new issues in some time. You should not submit the same article to more than one journal at a time, so it is important to review the website for upcoming submission deadlines so that your work isn’t stuck in limbo. If a journal has not put out an issue in the last two years, it may have gone dormant (not uncommon for student led journals) and you might want to look elsewhere.

Examples of undergraduate research journals

Undergraduate journal catalog

This list is maintained by the Council of Undergraduate Research. Some journals limit submissions to students at particular institutions, so review the websites carefully to ensure that you are eligible to submit to them.

Open Access Repository

Another way to share the results of your research is by depositing it in our Open Access Repository. Browse the student research currently available in the repository including honours theses, research posters, and past winners of the Library’s Award for Research Excellence. 

Need assistance?

If you need assistance with your research project, please reach out to your subject librarian. They would be happy to help.

If you are not sure who to chat with, please contact Brian Jackson.