How to improve the impact of your paper
Our top tips for preparing and promoting your paper and the best ways to monitor your success
By Manon Burger Posted on 14 September 2014
1. Preparing your article
Optimizing your article for search engines - Search Engine Optimization (SEO) - helps to ensure it appears higher in the results returned by search engines such as Google and Google Scholar, Elsevier's Scirus, IEEE Xplore, Pubmed, and SciPlore.org. This helps you attract more readers, gain higher visibility in the academic community and potentially increase citations.
Below are a few SEO guidelines:
- Use keywords, especially in the title and abstract
- Add captions with keywords to all photographs, images, graphs and tables
- Add titles or subheadings (with keywords) to the different sections of your article
- Make sure there are as many links as possible to your article, e.g. from your institute's website, Wikipedia, LinkedIn, (influential) blogs, and social media
Elsevier offers you the option of creating AudioSlides; free, webcast-style presentations. These appear alongside your article once it is published on Elsevier's ScienceDirect platform, home to one-quarter of the world's STM journal and book content.
For more advice on maximizing the reach of your paper, read How to win attention for your research – an author's story in this issue.
2. Promoting your article
Presenting at conferences
Presenting and networking personalizes your work, giving it a face and a voice, and it can create new opportunities for collaboration. Make sure you connect with other delegates on Facebook and LinkedIn, and direct them to your website or blog.
- Explain the significance of your research and its key outcomes in simple language. Use this for press releases or for sharing on social media
- Make use of your institution's communication channels such as press releases and newsletters
- If you think your work has interest for a wider audience, contact us at email@example.com
Share Link: 50 days' free access
When your article is published on ScienceDirect, we send you a 'Share Link': a customized short link that you can share with colleagues and peers. Via this link, they can access your article free of charge for 50 days from the date of publication.
You can promote this link via your social media channels and/or include it on your (institution's) webpage.
Find out more about sharing your full-text article.
ORCID is a unique researcher identifier linking your name, research activities and articles. If you don't already have one, you can register for an ORCID and add details of the article to your new profile.
Elsevier's Scopus is the world's largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature and it features smart tools to track, analyze and visualize research. When you've published an article in any peer-reviewed journal, you automatically have a Scopus profile. Keep it up-to-date so others can find your articles.
Every day, scholarly articles receive 12,000 new mentions across social media, news and blogs: that's one mention every seven seconds! It's a powerful medium for reaching your potential readers.
This networking site is used professionally by 65 percent of the researchers we surveyed. Create a profile and post your latest accomplishments.
You can enhance your profile by adding research findings, articles, images, videos, SlideShare presentations and audio recordings (for example, your AudioSlides presentation). You can also join relevant groups and connect with other researchers in your discipline.
Make an impact:
- Create a profile on www.linkedin.com
- Add a picture and your CV
- Move the 'Publications' section to a prominent position at the top of your profile
- Include any relevant honors and awards
- Enhance your profile with images, AudioSlides and video
Facebook is a popular social media tool, but you can also leverage it for professional purposes. You can share photos, status updates and links regarding your research with your Facebook friends. Recent research (1) shows that the richness of the content that you share on Facebook raises the impact of the post, i.e. posting images and videos during business hours has a positive impact on Facebook likes and comments.
You can also join groups catering for your field of expertise, connect with like-minded research professionals and use Facebook as a collaborative space to share with fellow researchers.
Make an impact:
- Make a profile on www.facebook.com
- If you want to keep your regular profile for only social purposes, create a 'fan' page for your professional endeavors
- Invite fellow researchers to be a friend
- Discuss ideas and carry out debates
- Link to your articles
- Share images, videos and audio recordings, e.g. AudioSlides
- Record reflections on research you have read or events you have attended
- Ask for early feedback on research ideas
- Recruit participants for research
- Join groups related to your research field
Twitter gives you a chance to share quick thoughts using no more than 140 characters. Today, one third of all scholars are active on Twitter. It's a great way to share your current research, publications and links to new blog posts.
Make an impact:
- Make a profile on www.twitter.com
- Follow other researchers and thereby increase your own following
- Post regular content, e.g. links to hot papers, events and conferences
- Respond promptly to direct messages and comments
- Retweet. By promoting other members of your community you are raising your own profile at the same time
- Use images. A picture is twice as likely to be retweeted as text
Google+ makes it easier for you to be discovered online and it's integrated with other Google services such as Gmail and YouTube.
Make an impact:
- Start an account or upgrade your current one if you have a Gmail or YouTube account
- Introduce yourself and add a picture
- Connect with fellow researchers
- Share links to your articles, AudioSlides and conferences
- Use Google Hangouts to hold online video meetings where you can share and view documents
Mendeley is a powerful reference manager and online social network with more than 2.6 million users. You can collaborate with colleagues on documents, share reading and reference lists, and stay close to research in your field. Mendeley can help you uncover interdisciplinary and cross-institutional connections to power your research.
3. Monitor your article
After promoting your article, you'll want to know how it has been received. Elsevier helps you monitor your success in a variety of ways.
Citations are a well-established measure of research impact; a citation can mean recognition or validation of your research by others. CiteAlert is a weekly service that automatically notifies you by email when your work is referenced by an article in an Elsevier-published journal.
Citations can take years to build up, so a more immediate way to track the reach of a paper is to consider how the article is being downloaded by users. ScienceDirect Usage Alerts do this by sending the authors of articles published in our participating journals a quarterly email, which links to a dashboard of ScienceDirect usage data for the first year of the article's publication.
Who's talking about papers online and what's being said? Altmetric.com is an analytical tool tracking and analysing online activity around your article. It does this by watching social media sites; science blogs; many mainstream media outlets and special interest publications; and reference managers for mentions of academic papers.
Find out more in the article Elsevier is expanding its use of altmetrics in this issue.
Getting noticed today means using the abundant online and social media tools available to better promote your research findings and publications. As a result, not only will your research become more visible, but you'll also attract more readers, potentially increase citations, build a stronger reputation and expand your professional network.
For more information click here.
|Manon Burger, MA, started her career in STM publishing at Elsevier in 1999 in various marketing and publishing roles. She then moved to General Publishing as a Head of Marketing, exploring new business models and innovative ways of marketing. She has been back at Elsevier since April 2014 as a Project Manager in the Marketing Communications & Researcher Engagement department and is responsible for global projects. She has a MA in English Literature and Linguistics from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and a MA(Ed) at the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. She is based in Amsterdam.|
(1) Sabate, Ferran, 2014. "Factors influencing popularity of branded content in Facebook fan pages". European Management Journal. DOI: 10.1016/j.emj.2014.05.001