Why Does Enhancing Your Impact Matter?
- Confirm and validate research findings
- Time-stamp for documenting research findings
- Build upon existing knowledge base
- Inform researchers and clinicians of updated research findings
- Spur ideas for further areas of research
- Report to industry of findings that could lead to useful clinical applications
- Inform the community of potential new health interventions
- Share with clinical research trial participants the results of the research in which they participated
- Inform policy-makers of findings in order to effect change in health care policy and practice
Strategies for Authors
- Check out the Author Identifier feature in the SCOPUS database. The SCOPUS database addresses the issue of author ambiguation and reconciles authors who use different variations of their names throughout their careers. Authors are highly recommended to review their profile in SCOPUS to confirm the profile is correct, and set up alerts for their works.
- Register in ResearcherID. ResearcherID assigns a unique identifier to each author.
- Perform a Google or Google Scholar search using your name. What publications are attributed to you? Is there any information that can be updated?
- Check the website of the academic or research institution you are affiliated with to make sure that your name is noted correctly and that the information is current.
- Register in biomed experts. Biomed experts uses a disambiguation process to reconcile authors.
Tracking the Research
- Sign up for alerts in databases to keep track of one’s own research as well as other authors or topics. Alerts can be set to run daily, weekly, or monthly and can be sent via email or RSS feed. Examples of search alerts include:
- Search query alerts—a query based on a specific keyword or phrase.
- Author query alerts—a query based on a specific author.
- Publication query alerts—a query based on a specific work that allows for tracking subsequent works added to the database that cite that particular work.
- Check out the Author Identifier feature in the SCOPUS database. The SCOPUS database addresses the issue of author name variants and reconciles authors who use different variations of their names throughout their careers. Researchers are highly recommended to review their profile in SCOPUS to confirm the profile is correct, and set up alerts for their works.
- Attend conferences of professional organizations.
- Take advantage of RSS feeds that serve as a means of aggregating content from various websites, journals, blogs, podcasts, databases, and other web-based sources on behalf of users, without requiring the user to actively monitor the Internet, which can be very time consuming. Some aggregators are extensions of web browsers such as Firefox, or email programs such as Microsoft Outlook or standalone applications such as Google Reader.
- Take advantage of email alert services that are available. One example is Google Alerts, which allows for email notification of the latest relevant Google results based on a query. Queries can be based on the name of an author, a research study, a topic, an organization, or any other topic related to your area of research.
- Use the RePORTER database to keep abreast of current research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
- Maintain a series of academic, professional and industry networks to keep track of the current trends in your area of study.
- Sign up for social networking sites that allow for networking, keeping track of research and locating others who are working in the same field.
Strategies for Enhancing Research Impact
- Register for an ORCID iD. Registering for an ORCID identifier helps to promote discoverability among multiple information platforms and workflows as well as establishing a unique presence for researchers and scholars, regardless of name variants or affiliation history. Registration for the ORCID iD is free and privacy settings are controlled by the individual. Create an ORCID ID, Add Information, Import Works and Connectivity ORCID provides a universal, non-proprietary solution by linking your publications/research activities to you.
- Authors are highly recommended to use the same variation of their name consistently throughout the course of their academic studies and future professional activities. If the name is a common name, consider adding a middle name to distinguish it from other authors. If the name is still a common name, consider changing the name. Consistency enhances retrieval and helps to disambiguate author names in databases. Uniqueness of a name helps establishes a “presence” for an author.
- Authors are highly encouraged to use a standardized version of an affiliation address using no abbreviations.
- If the publication was generated as a result of a specific research study or a group such as an academic program of study, a laboratory or clinic, add the name of the research study or group as a corporate author and use the name consistently. Adding a corporate name for a research study or group enhances retrieval of research output by the given study or group.
- Publish as much as possible. Publication productivity demonstrates willingness to share research findings and helps foster knowledge transfer.
- Present at conferences or other symposia. Conferences are an excellent venue for disseminating new research findings.
- Use declarative titles for publications.
- Formulate a concise, well-constructed title and abstract for a work. Include crucial keywords in the abstract. Most databases allow for searching of words noted in a title and an abstract, and secondly, a clear abstract allows users to quickly discern the basis of the work when reviewing a list of results generated by a search query. It is recommended that authors construct an abstract that includes as many specific keywords that summarize the content of the work. What is the work about? Be specific in describing the work to enhance retrieval of the work in databases and search engines.
- Review the publisher copyright form for a manuscript and retain as many rights to the work that to allow for maximum flexibility to re-use the work.
- Consider the desired audience when choosing a journal for publication. Topic-specific journals or journals published by a specialized society may disseminate research results on a topic more efficiently to a desired audience than general science journals, such as Nature or Journal of the American Medical Association. More specialized journals, even with a potentially smaller readership, may offer an author broader dissemination of relevant research results to their peers in their specific field of research.
- Publish “negative” as well as positive research findings. Publication of negative findings leads to further applicability of research and prevents others from duplicating research.
- Publish a manuscript in a journal that is currently indexed by PubMed/MEDLINE. Citations in PubMed/MEDLINE are “crawled” by Google Scholar which can help promote the visibility and accessibility of a work.
- Consider publishing a work in an open access journal. Open access journals allow authors to retain rights to the work that allow for many options for further dissemination of the research.
- Partner with industry for a research project.
- Present preliminary research findings at a meeting or conference and follow-up with a published manuscript, even if the research findings were negative.
- Cultivate a series of academic and professional networks by participating in committees or other related activities. Volunteer for conference-related activities, participate in committees that issue position statements or clinical guidelines, act as a reviewer or Editor-in-Chief for a journal, serve as a mentor, develop relationships with policy-makers on the state or national level, be part of a team for conducting a systematic review, teach a Continuing Education class, serve as a grant application reviewer, participate in responsible conduct of research or curriculum committees affiliated with an academic or institution, serve on Institutional Review Boards or committees for animal studies, and other related activities.
- Many major academic or research institutions have institutional digital repositories that archive the work of authors affiliated with the institution. Some institutional digital repositories allow for creation of specific online communities that showcase the research output of an author or group such as a research study, a department or a center.
- Persuade the organizers of a conference to make publicly available the presentations made at conferences; not just the published abstracts.
- If the work relates to a research study, create a website devoted to the research study and post materials such as peer-reviewed versions of manuscripts of journal publications, conference abstracts, supplemental materials such as images, illustrations, slides, or specimens, progress reports, to name a few. Authors are encouraged to review any copyright forms to confirm that they have the right to post materials on an institutional website. If the right to post a manuscript on an institutional website cannot be obtained, create links to the manuscript from your website using the PMID from a PubMed/MEDLINE citation or persistent URLs/DOIs that link directly to the publisher’s website. If the research study involves work that may be of interest to consumers or potential clinical trial participants, provide information tailored for the layperson.
- If there is a website related to a research study, website developers should utilize SEO (search engine optimization) strategies to enhance retrieval of materials by search engines such as Google. The web developer should confirm that the web page titles describe the content of the website and include the name of the research study. Meta tags that note appropriate keywords should be included in the page header section. Search engines look at this “hidden content” and use this as a basis for search results page rankings.
- Register with CiteULike or Connotea and start a “library” of publications related to a research project or by author and share the research project library with others.
- If a work pertains to potential translational medicine applications, consider including a discussion of how the research could translate into clinical outcomes. This may provide insight for policy-makers as to the potential impact of the research study.
- Start a blog devoted to the research project. Check out ResearchBlogging.org which is a site that allows bloggers to write about peer-reviewed research, but also to share that work with readers and bloggers around the world to learn about cutting-edge research developments.
- Create a podcast describing the research project and submit the podcast to YouTube. Many major academic or research institutions have created their own YouTube channels and provide video services at no charge.
- Issue press releases for significant findings and partner with the institutional media office to deliver findings to local media outlets. Be willing to provide interviews with the media that explain the research study or area of research.
- Conduct outreach visits or provide seminars to other institutions/scientists, policy-makers, practicing physicians, consumers and health care providers to discuss a research study or topic related to current research efforts.
- Collaborate with authors and researchers from other institutions and from other subject areas.
- If the nature of the work is clinical, consider discussing clinical issues that arise with research investigators to help identify possible new areas of research to undertake, or vice versa. Such collaborative efforts help to accelerate translational research efforts.
- Document all forms of research outputs such as journal articles, outreach visits, research data, conference materials, patents, etc. Keeping track of research outputs is crucial to documenting impact of research. See the Assessing the Impact of Research website to learn more about documenting the impact of research.
Enhancing Your Impact - Tools for Authors - BeckerGuides at Becker Medical Library