Activities aimed at promoting research are increasingly important in researchers’ work. By making your research visible and accessible you increase chances of your research being noticed, used and having impact, thus increasing your own reputation and chances of success in your academic work.
Researchers are embracing a variety of activities and tools to promote their work, connect with other researchers, and engage in scholarly discourse. Increasingly, the activities related to promoting research take place at all stages of the research process from discovery, analysis, writing, and finally through the publishing, outreach, and assessment stages. The "101 Innovations in Scholarly Communication" project from University of Utrecht (see below) provides a comprehensive mapping of traditional and newer, nontraditional tools to aid the research process.
In this guide you will find descriptions of six steps to increase visibility and impact of research activity, and recommended tools that can help in this process. Many thanks to Aimee Sgourakis and the University of Pittsburgh Library System for the generous use of this guide.
Publications, preprints, conference papers and posters, presentations, research data, video, and code are all evidence of your research activity. By making them all publicly accessible you increase your visibility, preserve your outputs and make them available for future use. Moreover, many research funders in the US and overseas require that both publications and underlying data are made available in open access.
Great places to make your research outputs available openly are institutional and subject repositories. OpenDOAR is a comprehensive database of open access repositories.
At the Brigham Young University, you can deposit your research outputs in ScholarsArchive. ScholarsArchive can ingest many types of research outputs (including publications, pre-prints, working papers, slides and presentations, dissertations, video and some data sets), is committed to ongoing preservation of these outputs, is indexed by Google for improved discoverability and use and provides statistics of use and impact of deposited materials.
Research Papers in Economics (Repec) A collaborative effort of volunteers in 86 countries to enhance the dissemination of research in economics and related sciences. It is a bibliographic database of working papers, journal articles, books, books chapters and software components.
A comprehensive list of subject specific and general science data repositories can be found here. General science repositories, such as figshare, Dryad Digital Repository or Mendeley Data, handle a variety of data and may be appropriate for storage of associated analyses, or experimental-control data, as a supplement to the primary data record. Some data sets can also be deposited in Brigham Young University's institutional repository, ScholarsArchive. Find out more about this option here.
Slideshare, while not exclusive to the research community, is great for sharing your presentations. It supports PowerPoint, PDF, Keynote and OpenDocument file types and provides basic usage statistics. F1000Research is an option for researchers in life sciences. It allows for free deposit of research posters and presentations (please note that publishing articles on the website incurs processing fees). If you develop code, GitHub may be a great place to deposit it.
These could be simply your personal and institutional web pages or commercial services allowing you to highlight your professional accomplishments and areas of expertise. Below you will see a more detailed description of a few such tools. These tools, apart from simply allowing you to list your research outputs, will also provide you with additional information relating to their use and impact (for instance, citation counts, downloads or attention on the social web). It is very important to keep your online profile up-to-date.
Google Scholar Citation Profile is a popular tool to showcase your research outputs alongside citations associated with these outputs. It also calculates some basic bibliometric indicators of impact such as h-index and i10-index. You can create your GS citation profile by following these simple steps (please note, you will need a Google account before you begin).
ImpactStory is a free online tool that allows you to showcase your research outputs (publications, presentations, data, code, posters, etc.) together with measures of their impact. Impact story uses ORCID profiles to find and import scholarly works. To make sure that your Impact story has all your outputs, make sure that you import them to ORCID and sync your ORCID profile with Impactstory. ImpactStory profiles can be downloaded as json files. You can view a sample ImpactStory profile here.
Impactstory gets its data from Altmetric.com, Mendeley and Twitter for tracing impact and CrossRef and ORCID for identity management and metadata.
Kudos is a new service to help researchers promote their research output. You can freely showcase your publications with links to full text, short titles, lay language explanations, impact statements and links to additional related content (underlying data, code, video, slides, etc.). Kudos also streamlines the process of sharing content via social media.
Kudos will monitor:
A brief YouTube video from Kudos provides more details.
Another great way to disseminate your research and gain reputation is through active engagement in research networking communities. These services will allow you to create profiles, showcase your research outputs, identify communities of interest and participate in discussions by posting and answering questions in your network. All of them will also let you know about the impact of your activities in these networks, for instance downloads of your publications, views of your profile and levels of your activity as compared to others in the network.
Blogging is a great tool for making your research content more visible. When you write a blog post, you are creating content that can be freely shared via social media. Blog content is freely available and not limited by publisher restrictions thus potentially reaching and influencing much wider and diverse audiences. With a blog you can become part of a network with whom you can share ideas and engage in discourse in your area of interest. This can enhance your reputation as an expert in your field, allow you to gain valuable feedback on ideas and broaden your professional network.
Kelly Oaks, a Guardian science writer has the following suggestions for those interested in starting a blog:
Is the effort of blogging or tweeting really worth your time? Read here about experiences of Melissa Terras, Director of University College London Centre for Digital Humanities, who took all of her academic research-- including papers that have been available online for years-- to the web and found that her audience responded with a huge leap in interest in her work.