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I'm a professional game developer looking to write up and attempt to publish some graphics & game development related items and I've found two journals but am having trouble trying to decide which I should try for first.

One journal is ACM Transactions on Graphics, which is free to submit to, but readers have to pay to get access to the publications.

The second is the Journal of Computer Graphics Techniques which both free to submit to, as well as free for readers to get access to.

Since I'm in the private / professional world, and not the academic world, it doesn't seem like I have much to gain by submitting to acm, since it seems to be primarily for, and primarily read by, academic folk in academic institutions, despite it probably being more prestigious than JCGT.

JCGT on the other hand is free, which means fellow game developers will be more likely to be able to read it (doubtful that most other game devs will have access to for-pay academic journals). They have a partnership with SIGGRAPH too which is intriguing, since it means the possibility of being able to present there.

Is there any angle I'm not considering that I ought to be, or for someone in my position, is JCGT the way to go? I definitely don't see value in submitting to a journal that costs money to submit to, but it also seems like putting my paper behind a paywall would be detrimental as well.

For what it's worth, I'm a self taught game programmer so have no degree, but now have 15 years of experience and am at a pretty well known game development company. Not sure if doing research and publishing it in academic journals can likely help one earn an honorary degree or not, but I guess that would be another item to consider, if that's within the realm of likelihood!

My main goal is just to explore and share some techniques, and contribute to my field for the betterment of science as well as my fellow game developers.

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Research is almost always an incremental venture: current breakthroughs are dependent on, motivated by, and understood within the context of past work and the current state of the field. Good academic journals generally aim to publish articles that are significant and novel contributions to human knowledge, and if you aren't keeping abreast of the research that is being done, then it's very unlikely that you will be able to understand how your research fits into the field and whether or not it actually is new or significant.

If you're planned article doesn't address those concerns (usually through a short literature review and the proper citations of previous work), then it will almost certainly be rejected from most reputable academic journals. You should read papers from the venues that you are looking at to get an idea of the expectations and practices, but it is very rare for someone who is not trained in and/or experienced with the research community to publish articles at their venues.

Note: I am not familiar with those particular journals and the nature of what they publish, so I do not know how "academic" or not either of them are.

To address some other aspects:

despite it probably being more prestigious than JCGT.

If you aren't and don't plan on working in academia or doing research, I'm not sure why academic prestige would matter to you.

Not sure if doing research and publishing it in academic journals can likely help one earn an honorary degree or not, but I guess that would be another item to consider, if that's within the realm of likelihood!

It's almost certainly not worth considering. Honorary degrees aren't actually useful in any real sense. They are more like lifetime achievement awards; if you're in a position to get one then you almost certainly have no need for one.

My main goal is just to explore and share some techniques, and contribute to my field for the betterment of science as well as my fellow game developers.

If that's your goal, then I'm not sure why you care about publishing in a journal at all. Why not just write a blog post or put your work online at some other venue? That's free, open-access, and you retain all the rights to your work if desired.

  • That chain of progression is what I'd like to contribute to and be a part of. I do have a blog, but its not a part of a collaborative effort and is unknown to most people (of course!). I have techniques I want to get out there to my colleagues which of course are built on existing techniques, but are seemingly novel. I'd also like to see how people extend those ideas as well, if anyone has any thoughts on taking things further. While I'm not as in touch with pure research, I have my finger on the pulse of leading edge practical techniques, which isn't as common in academia. – Alan Wolfe May 27 '15 at 3:43
  • And I have to mention, with most research being behind pay walls, it sure is difficult to connect to that chain as an individual! (; – Alan Wolfe May 27 '15 at 3:47
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    @AlanWolfe You should look through papers at each of the venues that you are considering. If your paper deals with leading-edge practical techniques, then a journal that mostly publishes theoretical work will likely not be interested. Also, in any academic journal, if you can't detail the specific works that you build on and are motivated by and justify the novelty of your ideas, then your work won't be seriously considered. That usually requires a serious and thorough review of the previous literature. To continue the analogy, you can't contribute to the chain if you don't know what's in it. – Roger Fan May 27 '15 at 3:50
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    @AlanWolfe The inaccessibility of academic research is a whole other issue. Unfortunately, though they may be sympathetic, no editor or reviewer will consider that as a reason to publish your work. – Roger Fan May 27 '15 at 3:51

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