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How do you answer a question in your application for research grant, where it asks you 'Plans for publication'?

I plan to publish the results of my research in one of three optional scientific journals, and maybe present the results on a conference at the end of the year. But how should I answer this, without sounding too unspecific or 'casual' in the application?

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This question is quite common and "dissemination" is usually a part of a grant proposal. It depends greatly on your "position" and the planned work and also the field on how to write it exactly.

Sometimes we write quite blank statements like

Results will be published in highly ranked, peer-reviewed international scientific journals.

for some projects this might not be true, since you know right away that it won't find a place in the top journals so you can write publishing it in specialized journals and give examples:

Results will be published in peer-reviewed journals important in the field of this work/XY (e.g. examples).

You can definitely write how many publications you expect, if it's more than one!

Depending on the grant you might want to include a statement about open access (if they pay for this then you definitely should).

As for conference attendance: you can definitely include this too. If you already know a suited conference you should definitely mentioned it.

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Your publication plans will likely depend on a number of factors including the funding agency, the purpose/aim of the research, number of journals publishing similar research, etc.

Based on my limited experience writing grants and attending grant writing seminars, I believe that funding agencies are likely looking for congruence between your publication plans and the rest of your application. For example, I received feedback from National Institutes of Health reviewers that my publication plans were insufficient, as one or two peer-reviewed publications was not congruent with the amount of money we were requesting ($100,000).

Thus, you might want to mention how the project will be broken into individual publications, when publications will be submitted, and anticipated impact. If you have space it may help to provide examples of journals that publish similar results.

Best of luck with your application!

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