How editors are working to promote your research
Authors: Lucy Goodchild and Sacha Boucherie
In this issue, we've touched on how you can spread the word about your newly-published paper via Kudos, Share Link and AudioSlides.
But there are also a number of options available to editors keen to highlight the great research in their journals.
In the article below we explore how Elsevier and editors are working together to ensure that your papers receive the recognition they deserve.
Telling the stories in Elsevier’s journals
There are currently more than 12,360,700 articles in 2,500 journals on Elsevier's ScienceDirect. How many stories are among them? How many exciting discoveries, fascinating facts and important findings?
Elsevier's Marketing Communications & Researcher Engagement department is piloting a content marketing toolkit of resources for editors, publishers and marketing communications managers; the toolkit helps editors to identify potential stories and marketing communications managers to write them. Together we can tell research stories across a variety of communications platforms, from Elsevier Connect to Twitter (and who knows – maybe even science comics in the future…).
Step 1: identify the story
An editor sees the articles as they come in and, crucially, knows whether the science is new, surprising, or important. By flagging up potential stories, they can help promote the journal.
Step 2: identify the audience
This is where Elsevier comes in. The marketing communications manager looks at the proposed stories (much like a newspaper editor considers the day's content) and decides what can go where. One story might be best for an interview with you, the author, on the journal homepage, one could be a catchy message on social media, and another might be a great press release. We use the channel tree to help with this.
Step 3: create the content
As the author, you have an important role to play here. The marketing communications manager contacts you with a set of plain English questions about your research. We then use the relevant template to create the story in the right format for the chosen channel.
Step 4: publish, promote, measure
After approvals, we publish the content and promote it across the relevant Elsevier social media channels – we currently have 160+ which together led to a 2,800% increase in visits to our journal homepages, ScienceDirect and Elsevier.com in 2013. We also measure a number of things, to determine how successful the outreach was. We look at the number of views a story has received, likes and shares on social media, comments and engagement, and we also gather qualitative feedback from authors.
How Elsevier's Newsroom can help
The Elsevier Newsroom has a range of channels and services available for promoting research through the media.
Used to highlight papers presenting the highest impact research or special issues of journals, press releases are distributed to science media across the world through global newswire services. Depending on the focus of the research highlighted, they may also be sent to a specific group of journalists or to media in a specific region. Typically, a press release will highlight the key findings of the research, an outline of the method and include quotes by the authors and/or editor.
These are a shorter version of a press release – typically 250 words in length. Results do not necessarily need to be ground-breaking; the topic just has to appeal to the general public. They contain the key findings of the research and its implications in lay language; quotes do not need to be included. Similar to a press release, research alerts are distributed globally to science media platforms and to a tailored list of media.
Elsevier's Research Selection
This e-newsletter allows us to promote a number of different research papers in a single mailing. Each fortnight, it is sent to a global media list covering 1,600+ subscribing science journalists. Research included is fun, topical, or otherwise intriguing, and topics often touch upon aspects of our daily lives such as health, food, diet, sports and sex. Each edition highlights 5-8 research papers which are summarized in a couple of sentences with links to the full article online, enabling journalists to further interpret the results and determine the story angle. Articles included are in-press and have not been available online for more than 6 weeks.
@ElsevierNews twitter account
The official Newsroom twitter account, @ElsevierNews, currently has 6,800+ followers, and this number is growing steadily. Our follower profiles include bloggers, journalists, academics, faculty, librarians, doctors, Elsevier editors, publishers, and marketing communications managers. All press releases, research alerts and Research Selection editions are tweeted.
Working with journalists directly
At times, science journalists look for an expert to help interpret or comment on particular study findings. On these occasions, we may seek your expertise. Similarly, you may be approached by members of the media directly. In all these cases, we appreciate remaining informed about your media activities and ask you to let your editor or publisher know.
Opening up articles for promotional access
Over the past months, the Newsroom has increased efforts to promote research papers by opening them up to external audiences (e.g. media and the general public) for a specified period of time. This action may be tied to a press release or research alert, allowing journalists to link to the full article in their stories. On other occasions, this can be done to highlight an article as a "must read" on the journal homepage or through social media channels.
Mobile-friendly Editors’ Choice website allows editors to share ‘Top 5’ articles
No one is more familiar with a journal's content than the editor, who has often curated each manuscript from arrival to acceptance.
On the new Editors' Choice website, they can now highlight the five most interesting, novel or important papers that have featured in their journal over the past 12 months, alongside an explanation about why they have recommended them.
The mobile website marks a new direction for Editors' Choice and replaces the original app for conference attendees launched in 2012. Another change is that it won't only be journals exhibited at upcoming events that will be featured; editors of all Elsevier journals will be given the opportunity to showcase five of their journal's articles per year. As well as appearing on the mobile website, those articles will also appear on the journal homepage on Elsevier.com and Health Advance, subject webpages on Elsevier.com, and relevant Elsevier social media channels. They will also be promoted at exhibitions relevant for that journal.
The articles will be freely accessible to all readers.
Liz Holmes, Global Project Manager in Elsevier's Marketing Communications & Researcher Engagement department, is behind the project. She added: "Importantly, authors will be notified that their article has been chosen and they will be encouraged to spread the news through their social media channels. One of the next steps will be to show the impact that social media promotion by Elsevier – and the article author – has had on the Editors' Choice article."
SENIOR MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER, LIFE SCIENCES
Lucy Goodchild joined Elsevier in November 2012, promoting Elsevier's immunology and microbiology journals and conferences from the Amsterdam office. She has a background in science writing and press relations through her previous work at the Society for General Microbiology and Imperial College London. Goodchild earned a BSc degree in genetics and microbiology from the University of Leeds and an MSc in the history of science, technology and medicine from Imperial College London.
SENIOR PRESS OFFICER
In her role, Sacha Boucherie works closely with Elsevier's journal publishers, editors and authors at one end and with science journalists and reporters at the other end with the aim of spotlighting and promoting interesting, topical research articles. She is based in Elsevier's Amsterdam headquarters and holds a master's degree in social psychology at the University of Groningen in The Netherlands.