Resources For Research

General Advice

Finding Papers

Please note that in my experience it is never sufficient to use just one of the following resources, you usually have to check several (3-4) of them to collect a reasonably complete bibliography of previous work.

Planning Experimental User Studies and Analyzing Results

Writing/Presenting

Resources for looking for Jobs

Publication Impact and Rankings

Clearly, one should try to publish ones's papers as well as possible, i.e. in a journal or conference with a great impact. This in turn will give your work more visibility and in turn you more status. One way to assess that is to look at rankings that order publication venues by impact (usually defined as the average citation rate). The following table lists the most well known publication venues in Human-Computer Interaction, Interactive Systems, Virtual Reality, and the related field of Computer Graphics.
One such ranking was done by Citeseer in 2003, by computing an "estimated impact". Another ranking was obtained by computing the h-index for each publication venue via Google Scholar and a Web 2.0 application in early Sept 2007. Online scripts to do that are avaliable here or here. This data is a bit unreliable due to the ambiguity of matching publication names in Google Scholar's database and particularily unreliable results are replaced by a question mark.
Update Oct 2009: none of these links work anymore. The only one that works to some degree is a tool from Google, but it cannot account for different spellings of my last name, and duplications across fields, etc.
For journals, another ranking was obtained by looking at the ISI Journal Citation Report, by Thompson SCI. Unfortunately, the fields of Human-Computer Interaction and Virtual Reality are not well indexed by ISI/SCI.
In all rankings, higher values indicate better publications. Missing data is replaced by my own estimate of the relative ranking, if there is enough information for me to judge. Finally, there is some information on acceptance rate statistics.

NameConference
or Journal
AreaCiteseer2003h-index2007ISI2006Comment
ACM CHICHCI1.6143
ACM Symp. UISTCHCI1.5972
ACM CSCWCHCI1.5732
ACM TOCHIJHCI1.5658Only lately in ISI
HCI JournalJHCI??2.391just too many synonyms
ECSCWCHCI1.5630
ACM IUICHCI0.99?
Int. Journal of Human-Computer StudiesJHCI0.57591.094
AVICHCI0.5218
ACM EICS/IFIP EHCICHCI0.51?
Behaviour and Information TechnologyJHCI0.50400.743
Interacting with ComputersJHCI0.47370.833
ACM Symp DISCHCI0.4632
IFIP InteractCHCI0.4124
ICEIS-HCICHCI0.0310
Graphics InterfaceCHCI & Graphics?47GI has synonyms
Int. Journal of Human-Computer InteractionJHCI?270.431
OzCHICHCI?13
HCI InternationalCHCI0.0713Acceptance rates are suspiciously high
BCS-HCI (British HCI)CHCI?7problems with synonyms
NordiCHICHCI?7most probably underestimated
IHCICHCI?7
AUICCHCI?6
IASTED HCIC/JHCI?10no real reviewing, dubious sponsoring organization, see here. rating for IASTED overall, individual conferences have less
ICHCICHCI?0new event, dubious sponsoring organization (World Academy of Science)
ACHICHCI?2no real reviewing, dubious sponsoring organization, see here
 
IEEE TVCGJVR & Graphics1.53611.794
PresenceJVR?621.000
IEEE VRCVR0.7138-45
Virtual RealityJVR?18too many synonyms
ISMARCVR?19
EG Symp. VECVR?
ACM Symp. VRSTCVR?8
IEEE 3DUICVR5?underestimate, event new
CGVRCVR & Graphics2?dubious sponsoring organization (World Academy of Science)
 
ACM SIGGRAPHCGraphics2.5335-72later years in TOG
ACM Symp. Interactive 3D GraphicsCGraphics2.06?
ACM TOGJGraphics1.57724.081later years include SIGGRAPH
Computer Graphics Forum/Eurographics ConferenceJ/CGraphics1.0748-631.164hard to separate
Visual ComputerJGraphics0.62510.708
IEEE CG&AJGraphics0.42921.429declining since late 1990's
CGI (CG International)CGraphics0.2618
Computers & GraphicsJGraphics?400.601

In summary, there are several clusters of publication venues in HCI ranked in order of importance (Journals are in italics):
Premium
CHI, UIST, CSCW/ECSCW, HCI Journal, IJHCS
Good
GI, IUI, ToCHI
OK
AVI, EHCI/EICS, DIS, Interact, NordiCHI, BCS-HCI, IJHCI, BIT, IWC
In VR the ranking is:
Premium
TVCG, Presence, VR
Good
Virtual Reality, ISMAR
OK
3DUI (trend: improving quickly), EGVE, VRST
I suggest you try to publish a paper first in a premium venue, and then work down the ranks.
If you know about additional helpful resources, please let me know.