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Peer Review and Scholarly Publishing: Home

A guide designed for the Undergraduate Research Academy at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs.

Scholarly Research Process

overview of the publishing process

"Publishing Process," Scholarly Publishing Guide, Australian Catholic University, http://libguides.acu.edu.au/c.php?g=234015&p=4044640.

Break down of the research process.


Identify your research question, review the published literature, conduct your research, and document your findings. 


Formally write up your findings in manner suitable for your discipline. 


Identify where you want to publish your research (journal, conference, repository, etc) and submit your manuscript.

Consider sending an abstract to determine publishers interest in your research.  

Peer Review

Your manuscript is evaluated by the peers identified by the editor or publisher. 


The editor or publisher sends you back your manuscript with their decision to accept your work or not. 

Often this involves revising your manuscript based on the feedback from the peer reviewers. 

Signing an Agreement

Success! Your manuscript was accepted for publication and now you need to sign a publishing agreement that permits the publisher to publish your manuscript.  

Research Published!

After going through the final copyediting and layout editing process, the publisher creates a version of your manuscript that is suitable for publishing and it is published. 

Scholarly Communication Continues

After your manuscript is published, your research continues. Additionally, your manuscript can be read and used by other researchers. So your manuscript's impact continues to grow over time. 



Your Publication Rights

Once your manuscript is accepted by a publisher, you will be asked to sign a publication agreement where you give your rights to the work to the publisher so it can be published.

Check the fine print before signing any publication agreement! And know you can always try to negotiate different terms. 

Questions to Ask Before Signing an Agreement

  • What rights do I retain by signing this agreement? Am I still able to share my manuscript with others?
  • Am I allowed to publish a version of my work in an open access repository?
  • Am I bound to certain agreements through my funding agency (so if you get a grant to fund your research, what obligations do you have that organization)?


Negotiating Your Copyright

As a research you have the right to ask for different terms in your publication agreement. 

SPARC Author Addendum Generator - Helps you create a PDF form you can attach to a publisher's copyright agreement so you can ensure you retain certain rights.  

Selecting a Journal

Choosing where you will publish your manuscript is an important decision because that determines who will find and read your research! 

It also impacts the creditability of your work. You have a researcher's reputation to maintain! 

Questions to Ask When Choosing Where to Publish

  • Does your research fit in with the scope and aims of the journal, publisher or conference? 
  • What type of review process is used?
  • Is the journal, publisher, or conference well regarded (high impact) in your field of research?
  • How will readers be able to access your manuscript after its published?

Determining a Journal's Prestige 

There is more than one way to determine a journal's prestige or the impact it has on your discipline. You can research the journal's impact factor or discuss the issue with a mentor or colleague.