Michael Faraday may have suggested that the formula for scientific success is “work, finish, publish,” but Faraday said that back in the 19th century. In 2016, there are plenty of compelling reasons to tack another item onto the end of the list. Millions of scientific articles are published each year, making your work just a drop in the ocean (and we have authors who do a lot of work). In order to ensure that your work is read, cited, and has impact, it’s becoming increasingly necessary to add a little self-promotion to your workflow.
To help you get started we have a few suggestions – here are ECS’s top 5 tips to maximize impact and promote your published research.
1. Add a link to your article to your email signature.
Many people forget that they have a piece of prime advertising real-estate in every email they send out. Email signatures are a great way to keep your contacts in the know about your work. Something as simple as linking to your published abstract can help get your article out to people who want to read it.
2. Share on social media
Almost every publisher site has a “share button,” and what good is Facebook, Twitter, or Linkedin without a little shameless self-promotion? While some of these sites may seem like more of a venue for silly status updates or cat pictures, they are actually a great tool for sharing information with a large number of your connections quickly and effortlessly.
3. Publish Open Access
The reasoning behind this one is twofold:
- The first reason is simple math—if your work is available to read for free, more people can (and will) read it. Numerous studies have suggested that there may be a citation advantage for Open Access papers. Although OA is not a guaranteed way to get cites, it is a guaranteed way to make sure the people who want to read your paper can read your paper.
- Many search engines rank free results higher than those you have to pay to access, or simply don’t list paywalled results. If a website can’t freely search your manuscript’s full text, the search queries that will return your paper become increasingly limited.
4. Make the most of your abstract
As mentioned previously, many search engines like Google and Google Scholar can only search what is openly available to them – in many cases this means your abstract. In order to appear in other researchers’ search results, you need to make sure that your abstract is optimized to include as much clear and concise information as possible, with an emphasis on key words and phrases relevant to your research.
5. Publicize your work
There are dozens of services available to authors to help them publicize and track engagement with their work such as Kudos, Academia.edu, Impactstory, and Altmetric. While the large list of options competing for your attention may seem daunting at first, many of these services are extremely user friendly, and it’s easy to sign up even if it’s just to give them a test run.
So scientists, consider this your call to action…perhaps it’s time to change the cycle to “work, finish, publish, promote.”