Increasing visibility and enhancing impact of research
Publication is the beginning of research impact and visibility, thus dissemination of research publications have to be proactive. Researchers can promote their research work in three stages: (1) manuscript preparation and submission; (2) post-publication promoting; and (3) after receiving mentions/citations (monitoring).
Millions of research papers are published yearly by different journals and indexed in databases such as Web of Science (WoS) and SCOPUS. However, over 43% of WoS indexed documents have never received any citations. Publishing a high quality paper in scientific journals does not guarantee a high citation but just a beginning of the paper journey. Similarly, the most cited work might not necessary be the best produced by a researcher. The rest of the paper journey is still dependent on the dissemination of research findings.
Researchers who authored the research papers are undoubtedly the best person to promote their own research. With the increasing number of publications every year, it is important for researchers to know how to promote their research to maximum effect. A total of 33 strategies have been listed for increasing the citation possibilities. This article proposes three stages of the paper journey for promoting research outputs to maximize research impact and visibility (Figure 1).
Stage (1) - Manuscript preparation and submission
Manuscript should be prepared and written in a search-engine friendly way, especially the title, abstracts, keywords and headings. Most researchers use specific terms which are only known by peers in their own fields. The chosen terms need to be commonly used and general to be optimized and pick up by search-engine in the digital platform.
In addition, name variation and affiliation should be consistent. It is quite common to share similar names with other researchers. As such, a unique identifier such as Open Researcher Contribution ID (ORCID; orcid.org/) is highly recommended. The ORCID will distinguish researcher and his/her research work from others who has similar name.
Future impact is also influenced by the type of paper, with literature review papers more likely cited as than the original research papers. Researcher should cite the best references to be the best in the field . Furthermore, researchers are encouraged to collaborate internationally for multidisciplinary papers and submit in high rank journals, such as Nature and Science. The writing style plays an important role on the future research impact and citations, for an example, the narrative style of writing may receive more attention compared to other styles .
Stage (2) - Post-publication promoting
Researchers usually stop "the paper journey" after receiving acceptance from the journal editor. Most researchers only conceptualize an idea, write the paper, reply reviewers comment, and publish the article. Research life cycle does not end with just paper submission and publication. The paper journey continues by dissemination and sharing the paper to increase readership and make it more visible to the border range of audiences. Social media such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Academia.edu should be used effectively to promote a research work. Research findings can be disseminated through academic blogs, news magazines or even online profile such as Google Scholar and ResearcherID.
Scientific journals has been moving towards open access, and more than 50% of new research is now made available free online . Articles published in Open Access journals tend to be more widely read and cited than the articles published in traditional subscription-based journals . Journal papers should be deposited with the open access version shared through institutional or other repositories such as: SSRN (www.ssrn.com/), Arxiv (arxiv.org/), Figshare (figshare.com/), and ZENODO (zenodo.org/). Supplementary files such as data, presentations, video, reports, extra figures and tables can be made available too.
Email marketing is another powerful tool for promoting research. Latest publications can be emailed to peers besides adding paper link in email signature. These links comprise all online platforms including Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ and Snapchat which are usually visited by peers.
Stage (3) - After receiving mentions/citations (monitoring)
Researchers should monitor their publication impact and find the most effective channel for promotion. Most of the academic social networks have analytical tools which allow the researcher to measure each post traffics. Researcher can measure their immediate research impact by using Altmetric . Citations is able to be tracked and traced via alert system in different academic databases and Google Scholar. Expansion of collaboration is possible by sending invitations to those who have cited the researchers' work to join their network in LinkedIn, Academia, ResearchGate, and Twitter. Thus, researchers are encouraged to inform peers who cited their papers about their recent research work and publications by sharing the links. Furthermore, researchers should create and maintain a scientific track record database highlighting their academic achievement such as publications in top-ranked journals, scientific awards, prestigious research grants and others .
Research impact is important for researchers to improve their research reputation, increase university ranking, and getting grants from funders. As such, dissemination of research findings plays a vital role. These three stages will help researchers to publicize their research output and hence increase their visibility.
Further links to effective tools are available online.
Zoe Corbyn. To be the best, cite the best, Nature (2010). DOI: 10.1038/news.2010.539
Ann Hillier et al. Narrative Style Influences Citation Frequency in Climate Change Science, PLOS ONE (2016). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0167983
The Rise of Open Access, Science (2013). DOI: 10.1126/science.342.6154.58
The Rise of Alternative Metrics (Altmetrics) for Research Impact Measurement. Asia Research News, aid/10563(cid/6), 1-3. DOI: 10.6084/m9.figshare.4814215.v1