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Engineering: Publishing and Open Access

Information about the Department of Engineering Library, including information for researchers

Image: man writing notes on paper next to a laptopPublishing

Whether you're publishing your first paper or hosting a conference and publishing the proceedings, the Engineering Library team can help you with the publication process. 

We can advise you on academic writing and communicating your research, generate numbers for your technical reports, help you ensure your publications are Open Access and compliant with funder policies, and support you in preparing for the Research Excellence Framework (REF). 

Academic writing

Academic writing and communicating your research can be a challenge. Here are some resources that might help you with your writing:

Image: Open Access logoOpen Access

What is Open Access?

Open Access is simply making published research results freely available to anyone with an internet connection rather than keeping those results hidden behind a subscription paywall.

Why do it?

Making research articles Open Access is a requirement for most funders and for the Research Excellence Framework, or REF 2021. It also ensures that they are more discoverable, more accessible, and therefore more likely to be cited. 

The Open Access policy landscape in the UK is complex. The University of Cambridge Open Access Service can assist researchers with policy compliance and funder requirements. 

What do I need to do?

The easiest way to make your articles Open Access is to upload your accepted manuscripts from your Symplectic Elements home page as soon as they're accepted for publication. The University’s Open Access team will then add it to the University Repository for you and advise on any other requirements that might apply.

Where can I find out more?

The Library Team can provide training and one-to-one advice on Open Access, Symplectic Elements and making sure your work is REF-ready. You can also find answers to Frequently Asked Questions on the University Open Access website:

How do I choose where to publish?

Ultimately, the decision of where to publish your work as a researcher in the Engineering Department is up to you. However, there are some things you might want to think about:


You may have heard of the h-index and citation rate. These are just two of many metrics used to calculate the impact of articles, authors and publications. The academic system tends to be weighted in favour of authors who are published in high-impact journals and who have high citation rates. However, reaching the right audience for your work may involve publishing in smaller journals with a more specific focus, or making your work freely available to the public, both of which allow your work to have different types of impact. These sorts of impact are increasingly considered in evaluation exercises such as the Research Excellence Framework (REF).

Is the journal legitimate?

Fraud in academic publishing has unfortunately become a common occurrence and academics have found themselves paying charges to be published in predatory journals. Before you publish, have a look at the checklist on Think. Check. Submit.


If making research available for others is important to you, or if your funder requires your work to be Open Access, you might think about submitting your work to Open Access journals. To check the Open Access policies of journals, visit SHERPA/RoMEO or browse the Directory of Open Access Journals.