Interested in getting published? Read our guest blog post by Suzy Anderson from Emerald.

Hi, my name is Suzy Anderson and I’m a Business Manager for Emerald Group Publishing. Over the past two years I’ve been travelling around the world speaking to, and working with researchers to help them navigate the minefield that is getting their research published. I’ve been around South Africa, Botswanan, Swaziland, I’ve spoken to researchers in Malaysia and India, Australia and the USA, as well as of course from around the UK and Ireland as well.

What struck me most in my travels is not how different things are, but how researchers everywhere have the same basic needs, concerns and aspirations. As a researcher in Bradford College you have more things in common with a researcher in Swaziland than differences!

There are a few little gems that I’ve found in my travels, and I’ve been asked by your library to share these with you.

Reading for research versus reading for publication

How do you rate your skills searching for information? Pretty good? You can probably navigate your library’s discovery tools like a pro, are familiar with Google Scholar and all of the major databases, but as a quick challenge, write down the titles of the 3 main journals that you read on a regular basis. And no cheating by looking up your reference list!

Sorry are you finding this difficult?

You might do some provisional quality check before citing publications for your thesis, but when it comes to writing for publication, location and quality are everything. Do not fall into the trap of publishing in a low quality or scam journal just because there’s a website!

You are already reading widely in your field, so start paying attention to those key details. What is the journal called, who’s the editor and which company publishes the journal? Getting to know the styles and content of your preferred journal will help in writing appropriately for publication.

When it comes to selecting a journal, start by looking at the journals you read the most, cite from the most. It’s a good sign that they have a high affinity with the topic of your research, but remember, always read the author guidelines.

When to start the writing process

I get it, you’re excited, the research is complete and you have the energy and drive to sit down and write this article.


How upsetting and infuriating would it be if you spend weeks writing your article only to find that you’ve used the wrong style of references? How would you feel to find out that the subject matter isn’t covered in the journal, or that you have too many words and need to cut back significantly?

Writing an article before choosing a journal will not save you time, it costs you time, because every journal that you want to submit your article to will want to see that your article was targeted to their audience, their requirements and interests. So you would need to edit your article every time you submitted it somewhere else.

Save your time, read widely, target to the journal first… and then write!

Entering the journal conversation

When I first started to work with researchers on publishing, one of the common complaints I heard was that some of the standard advice from publishers didn’t make any sense, or couldn’t be applied in a practical way.

The most common example of this was the concept of “entering the journal conversation”. No one could really give an example of what this meant.

Anne Huff gives a brilliant example in her book “Writing for Scholarly Publication” which I’ve reinterpreted below. Hopefully it will give you a better idea of what this key concept means.

Imagine you are a guest at a wedding. In the reception, there are several tables filled with people having fun and talking to each other. Every table is talking about the same general topic, for example the US elections, but each table is looking at the topic from a different angle.

Table 1 is talking about the data security issues with Clinton using private servers
Table 2 is talking about Trump’s behaviour towards women
Table 3 is talking about the economic impact of each candidate winning
Table 4 is talking about the impact that each candidate could have on global politics

If you were to walk up to a table and just start talking about random Trump or Clinton facts you will find yourself feeling very foolish, possibly even ignored. You should always start by standing quietly, listening to what other people are saying and then making a decision as to whether you want to sit down or not.

This is why it is important to read back issues of the journal that you want to publish in, making a note of key themes, who are the major authors, what are the most cited papers.

I hope that this advice has been helpful to you, and I wish you all of the best in your future research publishing career.

Suzy Anderson

Getting the best out of Emerald Insight.

In our second guide to Emerald we look at some of ways that you can get the best out of the database for students and your own research.

Emerald Insight can be a slightly intimidating database for new users.  It doesn’t look like Google.  There is a lot of information on there.  It covers a lot of subjects but can be seen as quite specialist.  It looks like it’s aimed at HE but it does have a few journals suitable for FE students wanting to do more research around their subject.

So, how to get the students using Emerald?  One thing is to harness the power of Moodle.  If you can find one or two really relevant journal articles, add active links (rather than links to PDFs) into the relevant section of your course.  This will help bring students in to the actual database to look around.  They can then take advantage of some of the extra features of Emerald such as active links to references within the article, most popular articles within that journal, clicking on related keywords, viewing the current issue of that journal.  Your librarian can help you identify articles and add them to your Moodle page.

Do you have a favourite journal in Emerald?  Or – ask your librarian to recommend the best journals for your modules. If you can identify a really relevant journal that you would like your students to scan through from time to time, add a link to the journal homepage in your Moodle course.  This can encourage students to browse different issues and have a look at the most recent issue.  The journal homepage looks like this (below) and includes links to all the volumes and issues.  The home page also shows special editions which may be relevant to students or staff.

Journal homepage within Emerald

For staff or students undertaking research, Emerald has a great cross-referencing tool enabling you to search forward.  Find a key article and use it to locate more recent articles which have included your reference in their bibliographies.  If a journal article which has cited your article is also available in Emerald, you can click on a direct link to access it.  This also goes for references which your article has cited.  In essence you can move back and forwards from an article as an alternative way to simple keyword searching.

Use the Cited By options to find related articles.
Use the Cited By options to find related articles.

Emerald also has current awareness tools to help you keep up-to-date with the latest published research in your area.  You can easily set up an alert so you can be emailed when an article on your topic is published.

Finally – enter our Emerald quiz – the first 10 entries will win a prize!

Subjects covered by Emerald include: Business, Management, Accounting & Finance, Economics, Education, Engineering, Health & Social Care, HR, Marketing, Public Policy, Sociology, and Tourism & Hospitality.

For more information contact us on or contact your librarian.

Have you ever been to Emerald World?

Emerald Insight is our Business and Management-related database which also covers Accounting & Finance, Economics, Education, Engineering, Health & Social Care, HR, Marketing, Public Policy, Sociology, and Tourism & Hospitality.  You may have used it already if you use Discover which includes Emerald in its searches.  You may also have found articles from Emerald in Google Scholar – although you will only be able to access the abstract there.
However, it’s worth taking a look at Emerald as a standalone database.  It includes lots of useful features including a powerful Advanced Search allowing you to choose where to search for your terms (we recommend the Abstract option).


However, sometimes it can be better to run a wide search and then use Emerald’s filters to narrow down.   Emerald displays a list of publication titles, subjects, type of publication or keywords which you can click on to refine your results. Type can be very useful – you can restrict your findings to sources such as Research paper, Case Study, Viewpoint or Literature Review.


Once you open an article there are even more features that aren’t available in Discover or Google Scholar.


You can obviously view the article in PDF or HTML.  You can also view a list of the references with links where the article is available in Emerald. Perhaps even more useful is the Cited By link which will give a list of articles where the author has used the article in their own research. This can help you find more recent research on your topic.  There is also an option to see the most popular articles in the journal, the most cited articles, and also a quick search for related articles.

The library is promoting Emerald Insight during November 2016:

  • Come to the Library to find out more about Emerald
  • Pick up our guide on Emerald to learn how to improve your searches, set up an account, set up alerts and save in folders.
  • Ask your librarian for a demo or to come to talk to your class
  • Find out about putting links to key journals in your Moodle site
  • Enter our Emerald quiz – the first 20 entries will win a prize!

Contact us on

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