Wednesday, 1 December 2021

Increasing Visibility & Impact


Increasing Visibility & Impact

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To improve your academic and societal impact as a researcher, visibility of your work and a deliberate strategy with regard to publishing and grant applications are key. Below, you will find advice and links to relevant services and sources. 

  • Making your work more visible

    By making your research visible and accessible your it is more likely to be noticed and used, thus increasing your own reputation and chances of success in your academic work. A selection of tools and activities is presented below:

    1. Get a unique author identifier
    Getting an ORCID iD helps to distinguish yourself and your work from that of other researchers. It is a widely used author identifier, recognized by publishers, funding organizations and research institutions. To learn more about ORCID iD please visit this page.

    2. Share your research output
    Making your work (e.g. publications, posters, research data, code, video) openly available to others increases your visibility. Many public funders require that publications, as well as underlying data, are made available to the public. Besides publishing your work via for example Open Access or hybrid journals, you can make closed publications openly available after six months, through the universities’ repositories. For more information please visit this page. For more information making available data sets, please visit this page. After publication, update the academic platforms you use and share the news via these platforms, social networks or for example as a by-line in your email signature.

    3. Create and maintain online profiles
    Personal or institutional webpages can be used to highlight your accomplishments and fields of expertise. Various platforms allow you to list your research outputs and provide visitors with information about usage and impact of your work. Suggested platforms on an author level are University of Twente Research Information, ORCID, and Google Scholar. It is important to maintain the profiles that you choose to create, so that the information is correct and up to date. Besides personal pages, your research unit’s webpage could help to increase your visibility and impact. Clear responsibilities within your research unit or institute can help to keep this web page up to date, findable and easily accessible for others. For technical questions regarding the University of Twente website (e.g. editing rights, requesting new pages) please contact Marketing & Communication via

    4. Engage in academic social networks
    Besides showcasing your research output some academic/professional platforms function as a social network. Suggested social networks are LinkedIn, ResearchGate, Academia and Mendeley. Again, it is important to at least provide correct and up-to-date information on created profiles. In the case of these social networks, interacting with other users of the platform will increase your visibility and serve as proof of your commitment and expertise in the field.

    5. Blogs, Tweets  & more
    Research findings can be shared in various forms and degrees of complexity, depending on the audience and the purpose of communicating. ‘Non-traditional’ ways of communicating your research are often not required by any standard or procedure, so the choice is very much up to you. Determining the goal of your communication activities (e.g. raising awareness among broad audience, receiving feedback from certain communities, educating children) and personal strengths (e.g. writing, talking, visualizing, video editing) will help you find the means of communication that positively attribute to your visibility and impact. To highlight news via the University of Twente communication channels, reach out to the Marketing & Communication staff of your faculty.

  • Refining your publication strategy

    When selecting journals for publication of your research findings, a number of factors come into play. The list below is an adaptation of a list that is part of the ‘Research Handbook’ published by Karlstad University.   

    • Authorship: If you collaborate with other researchers, decide early on who should be listed as authors or contributors to your work. Check the publication outlet’s guidelines for authorship. Some journals demand very detailed accounts on authors and contributors, make sure you can comply with them. 
    • Publication type: Should you opt for writing a book, book chapters, journal articles, conference papers, or a mix of these? The answer to this depends on the nature of your project, and funder requirements. It is easy to promise a funder ‘too much’ when writing a grant application, remember that you have to deliver on your promises. 
    • Aims and scopes of the journal/publisher: Can you deliver what the publisher wants? Do not hesitate to ask the publisher whether your idea for a paper suits the journal. Do not waste time writing up research in a way that does not meet the requirements of the publication channel and the funder. 
    • Complying with submission guidelines: Many articles are rejected because authors have not followed submission guidelines. Read them thoroughly, and double-check before submission.
    • Submission to publishing time: Publishing is often a slow process. Check the estimated publishing time with publisher
    • Rejection rate: Many prestigious research outlets have long turn-around and high rejection rates. Account for this in your publication strategy. Also, rejection is normal, plan for it. It is a good idea to make a ranking list of publication outlets, so you have a Plan B.
    • Trustworthiness of publisher: Sadly, there are many publishers trying to profit from researchers by luring them with short publishing times and fast peer-review. As a general rule, serious publishers will not contact you by e-mail.
    • Language: While many disciplines disseminate research mainly in English, sometimes it can be a good idea to use other languages to communicate with the particular stakeholders you want to reach.
    • Indexing: Will your research be published in outlets indexed by major databases such as Web of Science or Scopus? Indexing can be of importance for funders, for bibliometric purposes, and for gaining visibility for your research.
    • Publication model: Open access or traditional journal? How important is it for you to keep your copyright and the ability to freely disseminate your research? Do your financers request open access? Even when you don’t publish open access, you can still open up your closed publications afterwards. For more information, visit this page
  • Improving your grant applications

    Communicating the impact of your work in grant applications helps to increase your chances of getting research funding. There is more to impact than metrics such as citation count and h-index. Moreover, funders such as NWO no longer allow bibliometrics in grant applications. Impact sections will require you to think about impact goals, beneficiaries (organizations, groups, sectors, etc.) and pathways that ensure the impact goals will affect the potential beneficiaries positively. The Grants Office provides strategic advice and support on developing a grant proposal, applying for different funding programmes and managing granted projects. For more information, please visit this page.

  • Training & Support

    A course on how to increase the visibility and impact of your work is provided by the University Library for PhD candidates. For more information and enrollment, please visit this page. Support activities regarding grant applications are facilitated by the Grants Office, and can be found via this page.


Ways to increase research visibility


Increase research visibility

Ways to increase research visibility

To attract the attention it deserves, your high quality research needs to be easy to find. Research shows that the activities listed can improve discoverability and increase citations. They are not intended to be a checklist. Some activities may be more appropriate for your discipline than others.

Starting your research

Get an ORCiD. Use it proactively to connect to your research outputs and increase discoverability. Make sure you use it whenever you share your work, for example when you submit a manuscript or publish a dataset. Put it on your personal profiles on the web and social media. This will connect you to your research across the web whatever search tool people are using.

Identifying the specific topics within your field that generate a high level of interest can help to attract future collaborators and in turn increase visibility and impact.

Consider your collaborations. Research shows that papers with more than one author receive more citations. International collaborations can be particularly valuable. Approaches to collaboration will differ between disciplines.

During your research

Present research findings at conferences and, where appropriate, at international congresses. Attending such events also provides opportunities for networking and developing new collaborations.

Use social media and networks to promote your research and reach a wider audience. This can include an audience beyond your own discipline. Examples include ResearchGate, and Twitter

Curate your data and consider what you will share during and at the end of your research.

When you decide where to publish (journal articles)

Who is your audience and what is the best way to reach them? Are you looking to influence policy? Do you want to reach specialists outside of your own discipline? Are you looking to publish in an established journal or would alternative venues offer a better fit?

These resources can help you decide where to publish:

  • Journal Citation Reports (JCR). Allows you to compare journals indexed in the Web of Science (PDF) using citation data. JCR can show you the highest impact journals in your field.
  • SCImago Journal and Country Rank (SJR) is a free database based on Scopus data. It provides a prestige metric (SJR) based on the quality and reputation of journals. It is included in Scopus Journal Metric (PDF).
  • Scopus "compare sources" allows you to sort journal titles in a subject area by impact values. Use it to identify high impact journals within the Scopus database. This tool allows you to compare journals according the CiteScore, SJR or SNIP (Source Normalized Impact per Paper).

Consider the open access options offered by your chosen journal. What are their article processing charges (or other publication fees)? Do they permit you to deposit your author accepted manuscript in a repository? If it is a hybrid journal is it part of a Plan-S transitional agreement?

How discoverable is your chosen journal? Is it indexed by major databases like Web of Science and Scopus? Does it allocate a Digital Object Identifier (DOI)? A DOI ensures a persistent link that can be cited and tracked.

When you publish

Wherever possible, ensure your research output has a clear title that is direct and concise. This can help promote readership and attract citations from beyond your own discipline.

Think about writing a plain language summary of your research that is understandable to a non-specialist audience. This could be members of the public or researchers from other disciplines. Kudos is a good free tool to publish these or you can set up your own blog. You could also write for The Conversation.

Carefully consider your keywords and include them in your abstract and full text. This will help a reader better understand your content. It may also improve the visibility of your research in search results.

Consider your references. Authors you cite may become future collaborators and may cite you in turn.

Be consistent with your chosen name format so that all relevant papers can be attributed to you. For example, don’t use Elizabeth Jones in one paper and Liz Jones or L M Jones in another. Using your ORCID will also help with this.

Include the standard institutional affiliation “University of Leeds” on all research outputs. Avoid using abbreviations or only including your School, Faculty or research group.

Add your research outputs to Symplectic as soon as possible after acceptance. They will be made open access via the White Rose Research Online repository in line with any embargo

After your research

Make your data findable and citeable from a repository. This can lead back to your original research or to your other work. Use to identify a suitable service for your discipline. The Research Data Leeds repository is available to all Leeds staff.

Find out more about research data management

Consider publishing in a data journal. Practice around disseminating research data is evolving. Data journals offer another route to making data more discoverable and citable. They are often based on data deposited in a data repository and involve some level of peer review.

The University of Edinburgh maintain a list of data journals and their policies.

Continue to disseminate your research outputs on social media. Track social engagement with the Altmetric "donut" on the publication record in White Rose Research Online.


How to Improve Research Visibility and Impact: Session 7, Networking


Monday, 22 November 2021

Determining Your Research Impact


Determining Your Research Impact

An impact factor is one measure of the relative importance of a journal, individual publication, or research to literature and research.

Journal impact factors, citations to publications, h-index of researchers are used to measure the importance and impact of research.

Informed and careful use of impact and citation data is essential.  It is important to ensure data is being used to compare like with like:

  • The number of times a paper is cited is not a measure of its actual quality.
  • Some tools that measure the impact data do not incorporate books. So citations appearing in books are underrepresented.
  • Different disciplines have different publication and citing patterns. When making comparisons, ensure the data has been adjusted to account for differences between disciplines as cross-disciplinary comparisons of individual scholars' h-indexes are not valid.
  • Document age influences the number of citations it has.  Because it examines impact over time, the h-index favors established authors.
  • Review articles are cited more often and can change results.
  • Self-citing may skew results.

Journal Impact

The journal impact factor is calculated on the average number of citations per paper published in that journal during the three preceding years.  

Immediacy index based on the number of times articles published in the preceding year were cited in that year.

Eigenfactor Score, based on the number of citations received by articles in a journal, weighted by the rank of the journal the citations appear in.

Article Influence Score is a measure of the average influence of each of its articles over the first five years after publication.    

Acceptance and circulation rates can be useful metrics in determining the relative importance of particular journals.

CiteScore is based on the average citations received per document.  It is calculated on the number of citations received by a journal in on year to documents published in the three previous years, divided by teh number of documents indexed in Scopus published in those same three years. 

Citation Analysis

Citation analysis is a way of measuring the relative importance or impact of an author, an article, or a publication by counting the number of times that author, article, or publication has been cited by other works.

Why is citation analysis important?  It provides answers to:

  • What are the best journals in my field?
  • How do I check who is citing my articles?
  • How many times have I been cited?
  • How do I know this article is important?
  • How can I compare the research impact between journals so I know which journal I should publish in?

The results of citation analysis in various databases will vary depending on the tool(s) used and thoroughness of the search.

Why do different databases retrieve different results?

The citation data will relate only to articles indexed within the database.  Variations occur because databases

  • Index different publications
  • Cover different date ranges
  • Include poor-quality data (duplicate records, misspellings, incorrect citations, etc)

The h-index

The h-iindex is based on the set of a researcher's cited papers and the number of citations that the researcher has received in other people's publications.  

Graphic representation of h-index calculationsThe h-index is the largest number of articles/books that a researcher has published (N) that have been cited N times. 

Example: If a researcher has 6 papers thave have been cited 6 or more times, their h-index is 6.

Three resources include the necessary citation data for h-index in their respective databases. 

  • Web of Science
  • Scopus (UNF does not subscribe)
  • Google Scholar

The h-index of an author will be different in each of these databases, since they calculate using their own journal content.  

Alternative Metrics

Alternative Metrics (Altmetrics) measure the impact of articles by counting mentions by social media sites and other web sources, not considered in traditional bibliometrics such as citation counts and impact factors. Altmetrics measure the impact of articles outside the means of traditional publishing, including

  • number of 'talkbacks' or amount of discussion an article has received in blogs and on Twitter
  • mentions on social networking sites such as Facebook and bookmarking sites
  • discussions on scholarly networking sites and repositories such as Mendeley

Additional Resources

Interfolio Assistance

Marianne Jaffee

Gordon Rakita

Journal Impact Factor

Citation Tools