Ensuring your paper achieves maximum impact
In this article, we answer the questions you posed during our recent online webinar on this topic
By Manon Burger Posted on 5 January 2015
More than 1 million research articles are currently published each year and that number is growing. However, only 40 percent of those articles are cited and many don't even get read. To help authors ensure their article attracts the attention it deserves, Manon Burger, an Elsevier Marketing Communications Project Manager, recently presented the Publishing Connect webinar Promoting your article for maximum impact.
The 450 attendees asked more than 50 questions. In this article, we explore the answers to some of 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 that article on ScienceDirect. This service is available for more than 70 percent of our journals. AudioSlides are not peer reviewed and you are free to share them before your paper is published. You can send them to (influential) bloggers with or without a press release, or share them on social media with a link to your article once it is available online. More information on AudioSlides can be found on Elsevier.com.
How do I use search engines to promote my paper?
Recent research has revealed that 34 percent of searches for research papers are conducted via general search engines such as Google. There are a number of techniques, also called SEO (search engine optimization) you can adopt to ensure your article is ranked highly by search engines. These include using:
- A short title with keywords
- Subtitles with keywords
- Keywords in your abstracts or highlights
- Captions for images
2. Promoting your article
Does sharing data lead to more citations?
We have found that articles with supplementary material on ScienceDirect tend to have more citations. We believe that this is because, in general, sharing research data is a useful way to help validate your results during the peer-review process - when reviewers can check your data - and post publication - when readers can confirm your conclusions.
Elsevier is supporting researchers to link their articles to their research data, for example, by creating bidirectional links between articles and data, by launching data journals, and by promoting proper data citation standards. Visit Elsevier.com for more information.
I don't like/ have time for social media. How important is it to promote my article?
The most important thing is to find a medium you feel comfortable with. It's no use opening a Twitter account and sharing your latest article without having any followers. And building those followers takes time, energy and dedication. You could try a scholarly tool like Mendeley or some people keep a very successful blog, which can be a powerful medium but requires frequent attention. If that's not your thing, it may be more effective to post your articles on your institutional page or your LinkedIn profile. Just try it and see what works best for you.
How important is it to post your article on preprint servers such as arXiv.org?
In some subject fields, e.g. physics and computer science, it can be very relevant as it is another way you can promote your research and receive feedback from your community which may help you 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 results people see when they search without the Google ads. I'd advise you to build up your organic SEO (search engine optimization) by using keywords, captions to graphics and linking to your article from relevant sites such as your institutional page.
What is a Research Statement and how should I use it to promote my article?
It is a brief statement which explains the significance of your research and its key outcomes in simple language. This statement can be used as a basis for press releases, for example, or for sharing on social media.
Is it possible to use Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID) to promote my article?
We recommend you register for an ORCID. ORCID is a unique researcher identifier linking your name, research activities and articles. It takes away any concerns over 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 idea to add a link to your latest article to your email signature. You can either use the Share Link we send you (which gives people 50-days' free access to your article on ScienceDirect) or the DOI link (Digital Object Identifier).
What does Elsevier do to promote my article?
Last year, there were more than 700 million downloads of research papers from ScienceDirect - we spend a lot of time making sure your article is marked up in all the right ways for it to be discoverable. We do this by investing in our platform technology – this has led to readers spending 60 percent more time on your article than previously and they can now determine the relevance 24 seconds faster. We also ensure your article is indexed by search engines such as Google and that your article is included in abstract and indexing databases such as Scopus or Web of Science.
In addition to this, we highlight research through 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 give media access to our platforms and we actively highlight relevant published articles to international science journalists to help break science and medical stories in the media.
Isn't the best way to promote my article to publish open access?
It's an interesting question. We find researchers publish open access to ensure their research can be accessed by everyone. It may bring additional opportunities to promote that research to the broader public.
However, while there have been many different studies conducted, there is currently no conclusive evidence to link open access to a higher number of downloads or citations. We always recommend finding a journal with the right aims and scope to fit your article as it is the most important step you can take to ensure your paper reaches your target audience.
From there you have choices about access. Most subscription journals provide open access options and have an array of universal access programs to provide free access to members of the public, patients, and researchers in developing countries.
3. Monitoring your article
Can I also share the article link I receive in the ScienceDirect Usage Alerts?
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 alert giving you the numbers of downloads and views of your article. As soon as your article has been cited by an article on ScienceDirect you will also receive a CiteAlert informing you which article has cited you. You can find altmetrics data – which lets you know about the online mentions of your article - on Scopus, ScienceDirect or many of the journal homepages on Elsevier.com. For more 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?
It is helpful to consider the promotion of your work as part of your researcher role. Whether you are carrying out research, attending a conference, writing your article, or it is already published, you can play an active role in raising its profile. Promoting your work can even be fun!
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.