helenlt on October 30th, 2015
Breaking out of the traditional publishing model
As the copyright owner of your research, you can determine how your work is communicated and used by other parties. You may choose, for example, not to go down the well-worn path of traditional publishing and try alternate pathways of sharing your research. There are many ways of doing this, and in this blog post, we’ll cover a few examples.
You can choose to publish your research yourself on a website you maintain. Self-publishing means that you retain copyright in your work. It affords you lots of freedom in how you share your work. You may want to consider licensing your work under a Creative Commons, for example.
Doing it yourself does have its downsides. Publishing your research yourself may mean that you forgo the rigorous process of peer review. Most academic journals have a formalised peer review process whereby your research is evaluated by other experts working in the discipline to ensure that your methodology and findings are sound. Furthermore, self-publishing does not give your work the visibility that traditional publishing can afford. Scholarly journals have established communication and marketing networks to which researchers and academic institutions subscribe to ensure that they have access to the latest content. These two factors may mean that fellow researchers may not easily find your work or view it as serious research.
Alternative publishing platforms
The last few years have seen a proliferation of publishing platforms that have sprung up on the internet which you may want to consider as an avenue for sharing your work. Platforms such as The Conversation and Medium allow you to share your work with a wider audience than say if, you published your work on your own blog, for example. Neither site requires that you transfer copyright in your submission, but they do ask you to grant them a license be able to reproduce and allow others to distribute your work through other channels, such as social media and syndicated media.
You do still need to assume some responsibility over your work when publishing your work through these channels. These sites state that the views and opinions expressed in the works that they publish are the authors. As such, you should be careful when dealing with contentious or controversial subject matters as it may lead to your work being taken down. You should also make sure you that you have the appropriate permissions to include any material that you didn’t create yourself in the work that you submit.