Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Get noticed - Scholarly Publishing and Current Awareness - Research guides at University of Toronto


Becoming a successful scholar

As a scientist, you are a professional writer.
Success as a scientist is not simply a
function of the quality of ideas we hold in our heads, or of the data we
hold in our hands, but also of the language we use to describe them. We
all understand that "publish of perish" is real and dominates our
professional lives. But "publish or perish" is about surviving, not
succeeding. You don't succeed as a scientist by getting papers published. You succeed as a scientist by getting them cited.
Having your work matter, matters. Success is defined not by the number of pages you have in print, but by their influence.
Schimel, J. (2012). Writing science: How to write papers that get cited and proposals that get funded. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.**

30 tips for successful academic research and writing Deborah Lupton, Impact Blog

  • "Connect for inspiration."
**highly recommended for non-science writers too. 

Measuring your impact

For a comprehensive overview of measuring your impact, visit UTL's Research Impact guide.

"Research impact is the demonstrable contribution that excellent
research makes to society and the economy. Impact embraces all the
extremely diverse ways in which research-related knowledge and skills
benefit individual, organisations and nations..." (Research Councils UK)

Citation Analysis 

Citation analysis is the examination of the frequency, patterns, and
graphs of citations in articles and books. It uses citations in
scholarly works to establish links to other works or
other researchers. Citation analysis is one of the most widely used
methods of bibliometrics. (Wikipedia)

Impact Factor 

frequency with which an "average article" in a journal has been cited
in a given year; evaluative measure of a journal's relative importance. 

Read more about this in founder Eugene Garfield's The Meaning of the Impact Factor. 


The h-index is an author-level metric that
attempts to measure both the productivity and citation impact of
the publications of a scientist or scholar. The index is based on the
set of the scientist's most cited papers and the number of citations
that they have received in other publications. (Wikipedia)

Take a closer look using Google Scholar 

Read more about the h-index:


​ Altmetrics is the creation and study of new metrics based on the Social Web for analyzing, and informing scholarship. (
Altmetrics can be applied to articles,
people, journals, books, data sets, presentations, videos, source code
repositories, web pages, etc.
altmetric tools: 
More reading on altmetrics: 

Other ways to monitor: 

Things to read later: 

Researcher Identity

"This need to uniquely identify researchers and correctly
associate them with their scholarly output has given rise to
bibliometrics and its extension, altmetrics— the attempt to measure the
impact of a work as it is reflected by mentions in social networks and
news media."
(OCLC Report)

Why is researcher identity management important? 

  • Ensures appropriate credit and recognition are given for scholarly output of all types 
  • Helps to make a researcher's work for discoverable 
  • Unambiguously distinguishes you and your work from other researchers 
    • A researcher may have the same name as you (example: John Smith) 
    • You may have different versions of your name floating around (J.M. Smith or John Michael Smith) [read more here on PLOS]

How can you manage your researcher identity? 

Publishers, libraries, and other groups have introduced a variety of
identification schemes to support name disambiguation and help to
capture the full picture of a researcher's work.

Using ORCID to manage your identity: 

  • ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) is a nonproprietary alphanumeric code to uniquely identify authors. This is an example:
  • ORCID allows for the addition of several types of works, such as: working papers, conference posters, and lecture/speeches. Here is a list of the work types that are currently supported.
  • ORCID is integrated with many of the major stakeholders in
    the research process, such as: funding agencies, publishers, research
    organizations etc. 
Other Resources:

UTL's Research Impact guide has for information on managing your research identity, including identifier options.

Social scholarship

Scholarly communication is often framed as a conversation.
Traditionally, scholars "talked" to each other through their
publications (who they cited, etc.) and f2f at conferences. Today, a
part of the scholarly conversation takes place online.

Introductory readings:

Social networks in academia

Specialized social network sites (SNSs) can be useful for
networking and current awareness.  Chronicle of Higher Education
article: Social Network Sites Proliferate Despite Some Doubts



Social sciences

  • SSRN - Social Science Research Network


Writing an academic blog

"Blogs get way more traffic than your peer reviewed paper ever
will.  The ResearchImpact blog, Mobilize This! (hosted by York
University) has received over 63,000 page views.  Blogs and
microblogging services like Twitter get your research seen by more
non-academics than your peer reviewed papers ever will.  The importance
of this is not to be dismissed. The public believes that they deserve a
return on their public investment in your public research."

Source: "To blog or not to blog"

Academic blogging has exploded in the last few years. Blogs can be useful for:

  • increasing your impact and visibility
  • self-curation
  • entering into conversation with others
  • current awareness
  • following an individual's work

Heap's framework of blog use in digital scholarship.

Purpose Type of scholarship Description of scholarship through blogs
Motivation for beginning and maintaining a blog Open knowledge production Posting and archiving ideas in progress, “half-baked”

Impact Need to construct and control an online academic persona

Audience and public engagement Being accessible to other people

Skills development Experimenting writing online
Benefits of blogging Open knowledge production Informal and faster dissemination of information

Impact Invitation by a blog reader to give keynote presentation

Promoting a book

Audience and public engagement Mediating relationships between academics and non-academics

Complementing blogs with other social software

Skills development Developing self-discipline; clarity in writing
Challenges to address Open knowledge production Information and opinions presented in blogs may be unsustained

Impact Content on blog is vulnerable, may disappear for server problems

Audience and public engagement Care is needed when writing about third parties (people, institutions) in public

Skills development Difficulties in maintaining the activity and managing time
Heap, T., & Minocha, S. (2012). An empirically grounded framework to guide blogging for digital scholarship. Research in Learning Technology, 20, 176-188. doi: 10.3402/rlt.v20i0.19195

Twitter for academics

Twitter is a microblogging service
where you can follow others' posts (tweets) or be followed yourself.
Tweets are grouped by hashtags (#), but can also be searched by word or

Best practices for tweeting at conferences

Types of conference tweets

  1. Session related – discussions about sessions/workshops
  2. Social – arranging unofficial meetings/meeting new people
  3. Logistics – change in room locations/events, information about an individual’s presentation
  4. Advertising – Tweets from companies present at the meetings

Best practices

"5. Attribution is key: Be clear in your tweets
about who is saying what. If you don't attribute and/or use quotation
marks when reporting what has been said, people can (and rightly will)
assume it's you saying it. If the speaker is on Twitter, find out what
they are called on Twitter in advance, as their 'handle' will often be
shorter than their name.

6. If you are quoting directly, use quotation marks.
Think direct and indirect reported speech. Never assume anything you
read online is from the public domain. Attribute other people's ideas or
anything else you quote. It's not just good manners, it's professional

7. Even if you completely disagree with what is being said, always be polite and respectful. Don't tweet anything you wouldn't say to a person or group face-to-face."

Priego, E. (2012, October 3) Live-tweeting at academic conferences: 10 rules of thumb [Blog post]. 


danah boyd is a senior researcher at Microsoft.  In November 2009, she gave a speech at Web 2.0 Expo that didn't go very well.

From her perspective

"And then, within the first two minutes, I started hearing rumblings.
And then laughter. […] I didn’t know what was going on but I kept
hearing sounds that made it very clear that something was happening
behind me that was the focus of everyone’s attention."

Further reading on social scholarship

About academic blogging

Casper, S. T. (2011, April 26). Why academic should blog: A college of one's own [Blog post]. Retrieved from

Conway, D. (2010, June 8). Ten reasons why grad students should blog [Blog post]. Retrieved from

Faulkes, Z. (2013, June 10). Back room science [Blog post]. Retrieved from

Heap, T., & Minocha, S. (2012). An empirically grounded framework to guide blogging for digital scholarship. Research in Learning Technology, 20, 176-188. doi: 10.3402/rlt.v20i0.19195

Kirkup, G. (2010). Academic blogging: Academic practice and academic identity. London Review of Education, 8(1), 75-84. doi: 10.1080/14748460903557803

Powell, D. A., Jacob, C. J., & Chapman, B. J. (2012). Using blogs
and new media in academic practice: Potential roles in research,
teaching, learning, and extension. Innovative Higher Education, 37(4), 271-282. Retrieved from

ResearchImpact. (2011, May 5). To blog or not to blog? [Blog post]. Retrieved from

Weller, M. (2012, April 29). The virtues of blogging as scholarly activity [Blog post]. Retrieved from

Wren-Lewis, S. (2013, January 14). Advice for potential academic bloggers [Blog post]. Retrieved from

About Twitter

boyd, d. (2013). Bibliography of research on Twitter and microblogging. Retrieved from

Chen, B. (2011). Is the backchannel enabled? Using Twitter at
academic conferences. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the
American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA. Retrieved

Gulliver, K. (2012, May 9). 10 commandments of Twitter for academics [Blog post]. Retrieved from

Macademise. (2013, February 22). Academic twittering: What I’ve learned from two months on Twitter [Blog post]. Retrieved from

Priego, E. (2012, October 3) Live-tweeting at academic conference: 10 rules of thumb [Blog post]. Retrieved from

ProfHacker. (2011, February 10). Encouraging a conference backchannel on Twitter. Retrieved from

Ross, C., Terras, M., Warwick, C., & Welsh, A. (2011) Enabled
backchannel: conference Twitter use by digital humanists. Journal of
Documentation, 67(2), 214 -237. doi: 10.1108/00220411111109449

Get noticed - Scholarly Publishing and Current Awareness - Research guides at University of Toronto

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