Monday, 4 January 2016

Promoting research


Get your research noticed

Some ideas to try

Universities are increasingly ranked by their research so promoting
it is important. Citation count is one measurement of research ranking,
not a perfect one but it makes up 30% of the score for Times World
University rankings and 20% of QS World University rankings.

Of course, the most important thing is to produce good research and
none of the ideas below are guaranteed to increase interest in your work
but they do work for some people so choose the ones which are likely to
work for you and have a go at increasing the visibility of your


  • Collaborate—papers with multiple authors tend to be cited more,
    especially if you can use international collaborators or people with a
    strong reputation in your field. Collaborating across disciplines also
    often attracts high citations. There are some tips on collaborating in
    this article from Science.
Writing Tips

  • Choose a good title. Question type titles seem to attract less citations than other types of title. This article from the LSE Impact blog gives some ideas.
  • Repeat key phrases in your abstract as this will help search engines
    to pick up your article—though still keep in mind that you are writing
    for humans and the abstract needs to attract people to read on.
  • Articles with plenty of references tend to attract a high number of
    citations. It is usually acceptable to cite your own work as long as it
    is relevant.
Finding the right journal

  • In many subjects it is important to find a journal with a high
    impact factor.  Our subscription to Journal Citation Reports will allow
    you to find out what this is for the journals you are considering and to
    compare journals for your subject.  Scopus also offer a similar
  • Our guide to finding impact factors
  • You could also consider the journal aims, scope, how well known the
    editorial board are and whether it is indexed in the major databases for
    your subject. Ulrich's International Periodicals Directory will give you this information.
Optimize your research for search engines

  • Choose good keywords whenever you are given the chance to,
    either within your article or in any repository you put it in. Use
    current buzzwords if these are appropriate and consider how others might
    search for your article.
  • This advice from Elsevier may be helpful.
Open Access

  • Making your work open access can make it more visible and there is some evidence
    that open access articles are cited more. You can make your work open
    access by paying an article processing charge if you have funding or by
    depositing in a repository. Information on apcs for RCUK funded research
    is at
  • Make sure you deposit your work in Cronfa
    as that will be required for the next REF. Cronfa aims to make articles
    visible to Google Scholar and other search tools. In some subject areas
    there are well known repositories where you can put your work. OpenDOAR has a listing. There is usually nothing to prevent you from depositing in more than one repository though you do need to check your publisher’s copyright policy
  • If you have data which accompanies your article, consider making
    this publicly available as that can also increase citations of your
    article. Some information on data management is available in Collaborate.

  • Take the chance to attend and speak at conferences - some ideas for finding funding
    One suggestion is to take along copies of your paper and leave them as
    handouts which may encourage people to read and cite it.
  • Try social media as a means of promotion. Although not everyone is
    comfortable with this there is evidence that using Twitter, blogs,
    podcasts and tools like Research Gate and Mendeley can help to get you
    known and increase the chances of your work being used and cited. Our
    guides to social media and social networking for researchers will help you get started.
Your identity

  • Use a unique identifier such as an ORCID
    ID to make sure that you can be distinguished from people with a
    similar name. There are other options such as  Researcher ID though
    ORCID is becoming the most widely known. Adding your ORCID to university systems
    will show you how to put your ORCID in the university ABW system.
  • Make sure you are consistent in the form of your name that you use
    in publications and use the university name in full as  this can help to
    identify you.
How can I find out where I am cited?

Claim all your publications

  • It is not uncommon for databases to make mistakes and attribute
    articles to the wrong person or institution.  It is worth taking the
    time to search Web of Science, Scopus and Google Scholar to make sure
    that all your papers are correct and attributed to you. 
  • Keeping an up to date list of publications will help you to keep an
    eye on this. If you use RIS / Cronfa to do this your staff page will
    automatically be up to date but if you maintain your own lists take the
    time to make sure that people can find out about your latest work.
Use the full university address

  • It is important that your work can be traced back to Swansea
    University. Using an address such as Singleton Hospital or a research
    group without the university name and address can risk your work not
    being credited to the university when rankings are worked out. 

Promoting research

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