Ensuring your paper achieves maximum impact

In this article, we answer the questions you posed during our recent online webinar on this topic

More than 1 million research articles are currentlypublished each year and that number is growing. However, only 40 percent of thosearticles are cited and many don't even get read.  To help authors ensure theirarticle attracts the attention it deserves, Manon Burger, anElsevier Marketing Communications Project Manager, recently presented thePublishing Connect webinar Promotingyour article for maximum impact.

The 450 attendeesasked more than 50 questions. In this article, we explore the answers to someof the most popular queries.


1. Preparing your article

What's the best way to use AudioSlides?

AudioSlides are short,webcast-style presentations about an article that are shown alongside thatarticle on ScienceDirect. This service isavailable for more than 70 percent of our journals. AudioSlides are not peerreviewed and you are free to share them before your paper is published. You cansend them to (influential) bloggers with or without a press release, or sharethem on social media with a link to your article once it is available online.  More information on AudioSlides can be foundon Elsevier.com.

How do I use search engines to promote my paper?

Recent research hasrevealed that 34 percent of searches for research papers are conducted via generalsearch engines such as Google. There are a number of techniques, also calledSEO (search engine optimization) you can adopt to ensure your article is rankedhighly by search engines. These include using:

  • A short title with keywords
  • Subtitles with keywords
  • Keywords in your abstracts or highlights
  • Captions for images

For more informationsee our SEOguidelines or listen to the webinarrecording.


2. Promoting your article

Does sharing data lead to more citations?

We have found that articles with supplementarymaterial on ScienceDirect tend to have more citations. We believe that this isbecause, in general, sharing research data is a useful way to help validateyour results during the peer-review process - when reviewers can check yourdata - and post publication - when readers can confirm your conclusions.

Elsevier issupporting  researchers to link theirarticles to their research data, for example, by creating bidirectional links between articles and data,by launching datajournals, and by promoting proper datacitation standards. Visit Elsevier.com for moreinformation.

Idon't like/ have time for social media. How important is it to promote myarticle?

The most important thing is to find a medium youfeel comfortable with. It's no use opening a Twitter account and sharing yourlatest article without having any followers. And building those followers takestime, energy and dedication. You could try a scholarly tool like Mendeley or some people keep a very successful blog, which can be a powerfulmedium but requires frequent attention. If that's not your thing, it may bemore effective to post your articles on your institutional page or yourLinkedIn profile. Just try it and see what works best for you.

How important is it to post your article onpreprint servers such as arXiv.org?

In some subject fields, e.g. physicsand computer science, it can be very relevant as it is another way you canpromote your research and receive feedback from your community which may helpyou refine your article and get published.

Should I make use of paid Google ads?

Paid ads don't help your article appear any higher in the list of resultspeople see when they search without the Google ads. I'd advise you to build upyour organic SEO (search engine optimization) by using keywords, captions tographics and linking to your article from relevant sites such as your institutionalpage.

What is a Research Statement and how should I use it to promote myarticle?

It is a brief statementwhich explains the significance of your research and its key outcomes in simplelanguage. This statement can be used as a basis for press releases, forexample, or for sharing on social media.

Isit possible to use Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID) to promote myarticle?

We recommend you register for an ORCID. ORCID is a unique researcher identifierlinking your name, research activities and articles. It takes away any concernsover name ambiguity which means you and your work are easier to find.

Can I use an email signature to tell people about my article?

Yes it's a very good ideato add a link to your latest article to your email signature. You can eitheruse the Share Link we send you (which gives people 50-days' free access to yourarticle on ScienceDirect) or the DOI link (Digital Object Identifier).

What does Elsevier do to promote my article?

Lastyear, there were more than 700 million downloads of research papers fromScienceDirect - we spend a lot of time making sure your article is marked up inall the right ways for it to be discoverable. We do this by investing in our platform technology – this has led toreaders spending 60 percent more time on your article than previously and theycan now determine the relevance 24 seconds faster. We alsoensure your article is indexed by search engines such as Google and that yourarticle is included in abstract and indexing databases such as Scopus or Web of Science.

In addition to this, we highlight researchthrough a wide range of initiatives. Below are listed just a few:

  • Posts on journal homepages
  • Table of Contents alerts
  • Editors' Choice
  • Email campaigns
  • RSS feeds
  • 160+ subject social media channels via which we can share the latest research

We also have press services which givemedia access to our platforms and we actively highlight relevant publishedarticles to international science journalists to help break science and medicalstories in the media.

Isn't the best way to promote my article to publish open access?

It'san interesting question. We find researchers publish open access to ensuretheir research can be accessed by everyone. It may bring additionalopportunities to promote that research to the broader public.

However,while there have been many different studies conducted, there is currently noconclusive evidence to link open access to a higher number of downloads orcitations.  We always recommend finding ajournal with the right aims and scope to fit your article as it is the mostimportant step you can take to ensure your paper reaches your target audience.

Fromthere you have choices about access.  Mostsubscription journals provide open access options and have an array of universal access programs toprovide free access to members of the public, patients, and researchers in developingcountries.


3. Monitoring your article

Can I also share the article link I receive in the ScienceDirect UsageAlerts?

The simple answer is yes!

How can I embed the tools for monitoring my article? Do I need to have a website?

As an author with Elsevier you will automatically receive a usage alertgiving you the numbers of downloads and views of your article. As soon as yourarticle has been cited by an article on ScienceDirect you will also receive aCiteAlert informing you which article has cited you. You can find altmetricsdata – which lets you know about the online mentions of your article - onScopus, ScienceDirect or many of the journal homepages on Elsevier.com. Formore information on monitoring your article see Elsevier.com.

How can I find out if my article has been cited by non-Elsevier journals?

You can make your own 'Author Citation Alert' on Scopus,our abstract and citation database that many universities use.

What's your best advice?

Itis helpful to consider the promotion of your work as part of your researcherrole. Whether you are carrying out research, attending a conference, writingyour article, or it is already published, you can play an active role inraising its profile. Promoting your work can even be fun!


Author biography

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.

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