Wednesday, 18 June 2014

How to... ensure your article is highly downloaded: what you can do PRIOR to submission


As an author, you can dramatically improve the chances of your article
being downloaded once it’s online, before you even submit it!

There are three easy steps you can take to ensure it enjoys high usage:

  1. Choose a descriptive title
  2. Use appropriate keywords
  3. Write an informative abstract

1. Choose a descriptive title

  • Write a title for your
    article which includes the most important keywords and demonstrates the
    significance of your research
  • Use a title that is
    unambiguous and clear in both its meaning and its syntax.
Good examples:

  • "A framework for
    transportation decision making in an integrated supply chain"
  • "Organizational change
    and development: the efficacy of transformational leadership and
  • "Consumer perception of
    organic food production and farm animal welfare"
These titles make sense as sentences; they introduce the content of the
article and contain the main words and phrases that readers will search on.

2. Use appropriate keywords

  • Researchers search using key
    phrases. What would you search for? Think of every likely angle that
    someone would search on, and make sure that the angle is covered with a
  • Look at the keywords of other
    articles that are similar to your paper – do they give good results? Try
    searching using those keywords
  • Use keywords that might not
    appear in your title, for example the wider subject areas, the
    sub-discipline, the methodology used
  • Keywords don’t need to be
    single words, they can also be phrases: people search on ‘business
    ethics’, not only on ‘business’
  • Don’t use jargon or invented
    keywords that people probably won’t search on – keywords should reflect a
    collective understanding of the subject area
  • Use synonyms to ensure your
    article comes back in the results for a wider range of search terms
  • Think of the international
    aspect, for example ‘real estate’ is relevant to a US audience, but
    ‘property market’ or ‘housing market’ are terms more widely used in the UK
  • Include all variants of a
    keyword e.g. ‘CSR’ and ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’.

Other resources

Have a look at Google’s AdWords keyword tool to find the keywords that are the
most popular in searches. However, just because a keyword is popular, doesn’t
mean it is right for your article. Only use relevant keywords to ensure a
researcher isn’t misled.

3. Write an informative abstract

The abstract is the main place that a search engine will take the data from
which determine where your article should place in its results:

  • Including the keywords and
    key phrases in your abstract is one of the best ways to optimise your
    article on search engines. It allows Google to assess your article for its
    relevance to certain search terms
  • After you’ve ensured you have
    chosen the best keywords and you have deployed them in the right ways in
    your abstract and title, make sure you use them throughout your article:
    consider using them in subheadings, within the titles of figures and
    tables, as well as in the main body of the text. Search engines can also
    look at these places
  • Consider the first sentence
    of your abstract – this is visible within the Google search results,
    therefore your first sentence should get straight to the points and
    include strong keywords. See the example below:
Image: First sentence of abstract visible in Google search

The abstract is also the shop window for your research:

  • As well thinking about
    Google’s perspective, remember that abstracts are normally free to read
    online and will attract a reader to click through to the full article
  • Consider a video abstract to
    complement your paper and key your key messages across.


Don’t overuse keywords and damage the integrity of your research. You should
still write naturally. Google can detect abuse of this so there’s no need to
include a certain keyword more than once or twice in your title or more than
three times in your abstract.

4. Key points to take away

  • Your title should include the
    key terms from your research
  • Choose an intelligent list of
    words and phrases for the keyword section
  • Use those keywords naturally
    in your abstract.
- See more at:


How to... ensure your article is highly downloaded: what you can do PRIOR to submission

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