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JPL Author’s Guide to Publishing Papers: The Publishing Process

Getting Started

When preparing to publish your work, there is a lot to consider throughout the publication cycle. Check out the New Researchers Support Group Degreed Learning Plan for more resources on topics such as aligning with strategy, proposal writing, funding, managing your award, socializing your project, and more.

Part of having a publishing strategy is evaluating potential places to publish. Here are some things to consider when selecting a journal:

  • Does the subject matter of the journal match your scholarship? Who is the audience of the journal?
  • Is it a trusted journal? Is the journal affiliated with an established organization that you are familiar with? Do the affiliations of the editorial board appear to be appropriate for the subject matter?
  • Is the journal indexed in a database that you use?


Several terms are used to describe the version of a paper as it goes through the publishing cycle. It is important to differentiate them, especially in relation to whether the version has gone through the peer-review process.

Click here for a taxonomy of Publication Types (spreadsheet in Alfresco).

Early AccessAn early access article is an article that is slated for inclusion in a journal but posted on a publisher's website in final, edited form ahead of the full issue. The article has not been assigned a specific volume, issue, or page number, but is peer reviewed and ready to go! The purpose of early access inclusion is to provide researchers with information/content as soon as it is ready for publication. Early access articles are fully citable.

Final Accepted Version: or "Author's Final Accepted Version", usually found on the institution repository or web site of the author(s). This version has gone through the peer-review process, and accepted by the journal to be published, but it has not gone through the complete editing process.

Preprints: A preprint is a complete draft of a research article/manuscript, that is shared publicly before it has been peer reviewed. Preprints are uploaded to a public server prior to formal peer review and publication. Not having been subject to peer review, preprints are treated as unpublished material. Example for citing a preprint, according to the Chicago Manual of Style (17th ed.):

Huang, Zhiqi. “Revisiting the Cosmological Bias Due to Local Gravitational Redshifts.” Preprint, submitted April 24, 2015.

Reprint: or Publisher's Reprint, Publishers sometimes provide copies (print or electronic) of the published paper, with complete bibliographic information, to authors for distribution.


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