Life after acceptance: what to do when your paper is published

Looking at how you can ensure that your article doesn’t fade into the background after publication

Life after acceptance image

One never notices what has been done; one can only see what remains to be done.

– Maria Skłodowska-Curie

Congratulations! You’re published. The many months (or was it even years?) of hard work have finally given you the result you were hoping for: a shiny new article in a high-standing academic journal. Time to reach for the champagne, kick off your shoes and reflect on a job well done, no?

Alas the job is far from over. It’s fantastic that you have got published (and well done!), but unfortunately your article is just one of over 2.5 million that have taken their place on the shelves of academic literature this year. It’s all too easy to get lost in such a vast crowd and lose any chance of meaningful impact. If you really want to reap the benefits from your publication, there are still things that require your attention.

When it comes to life after acceptance, you can approach the various aspects of what you need to do by means of the following moniker: own it; share it; track it!

Own it!

When it comes to the area you’ve been researching, you want your name to be synonymous with that topic. You also want there to be no ambiguity about who you are (which is especially important if you happen to share a common name with several other researchers). ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) assigns a unique identifier to your individual research output and thus means that your work can’t be confused with someone else’s. If you haven’t already therefore, make sure that you get an ORCID ID!

You want as broad a range of people as possible to identify and engage with your work. Unfortunately, unless you’re working on an issue that’s particularly in the public eye – and doing so in way that makes your research highly visible and accessible – you should consider writing a research statement and / or a lay summary. These devices are intended to broaden the understanding of what it is you’re doing and what you’ve achieved. Breaking down technical/language barriers is also a powerful and effective way of creating more public engagement with your work.

Share it!

There is no better way of making sure your research gets the impact it deserves than by sharing broadly and widely. Different publishers and journals vary in their approach to the topic of sharing, but luckily there is a fantastic tool for those of you who are struggling to work out what’s possible:

Here at Elsevier we make sharing easy by giving you and your co-authors a ShareLink. ShareLinks are personal, customized short links that provide 50 days’ free access to your newly-published article on ScienceDirect to anyone clicking on the link. Make sure you get the most out of ShareLinks and the many other sharing options on social media, in press releases and wherever else you can.

Track it!

After you’ve spent all this time and effort in publishing and promoting your paper, it only makes sense to keep a good eye on it and analyze the reactions to it. With article-level metrics, you can, for example, see who is talking about your paper online and what they’re saying about it.

As a published author, Mendeley Stats provides you with a unique, connected view of how your published articles are performing in terms of citations, online usage in an Elsevier publication and Mendeley sharing activity. Mendeley Stats is an Elsevier service for authors, but is not limited to Elsevier publications. Based on Scopus, it also provides you with citation information for articles published with other publishers. You’ll get a monthly update which shows new activity on your publications and the Stats dashboard gives you terrific insight into how your papers are performing and how they compare to other publications in the field.

Using a tool like Mendeley Stats also gives you a good indication of potential new contact opportunities. Is there someone who’s regularly adding your new papers to their Mendeley library? Or sharing them with their own community? Or publishing in a similar area? Maybe that’s someone with whom you should consider networking and engaging for your next project

Nailed it!

There are many options here (and more besides – see our resources on getting noticed and ensuring visibility to read more) for ensuring that your article doesn’t simply fade into the vast backdrop of all those millions of other articles. It may be that not all are appropriate for your own particular context. That doesn’t necessarily matter – what’s important is that you at least consider these options and leverage them wherever appropriate. When you’ve done so, you can indeed rest, relax and reward yourself for your efforts… Until the next article, that is!


Christopher Tancock
Written by

Christopher Tancock

Written by

Christopher Tancock

Christopher Tancock is Editor-in-Chief of Elsevier's Editors', Authors' and Reviewers' Updates and works on related communications projects. Based in Oxford, Chris has degrees in European studies and linguistics and is founder of Pint of Life, a new initiative which delivers free life-saving skills into the local community.


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