It’s up to you how far you want to go with your research. Do you just want to do your family history? Then it would be great to join online forums and particularly the ones that are directly connected with the families you’re interested in. However, if you want to do research abroad, then funding might become an issue and you’ll probably want to plug in a network that’ll help with travel, accommodation and so on. Something that helps with getting financial support is lecturing and publication.
This is very important as publishing is a way to disseminate your research and is also a form of advertising. Are you going for an article or a book? I’ve put together some notes that might help you decide on which publication route you might choose for your book. When considering an article, start off by looking at the instructions that journals produce for authors (often called notes for contributors).
Aim high by producing material that is properly referenced; the notes for contributors will then help you to create your article in the format that that particular journal requires.
Be prepared to invest time and money in software such as bibliographic/ reference management software (or learn how to do it manually). Knowing how to present references correctly really does pay off if you start publishing seriously as it makes your material look professional.
Publishers have different requirements for submissions. They expose their books to various markets which might not suit the subject of your book. It’s wise to look around to see where your publication would fit (and whether it might be better published as a book or in separate articles). A publishing agent knows all about this kind of thing and this is why they’re useful to act between you/ your book and publishers.
Do you need to publish in a refereed journal? Check out Sherpa Ref to see whether a journal meets the Research Excellence Framework (UK) requirements.
Here’s a list of publishers I’ve put together …