As academics we spend countless hours, days and weeks developing
papers which we hope will one day make a difference in the world. One
metric that is often used to measure this difference is
article citations. The more citations a paper can gather the higher the
impact this can have on the career of an academic. However for many
academics once they submit their paper and it has been has accepted for
publishing they sit on their laurels and expect citations to come
In the brave new world of the internet this is no longer the case.
With so much data and information out there, getting your paper seen is
becoming increasingly difficult. Academics need to understand that they
are competing for citations in a global marketplace, the competition is
fierce. Hence this blog post looks at the process of Academic SEO, which
is the application of marketing principles to rank your research higher
in the popular search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing), and hence
increasing the chances of your research being found and cited.
The basic premise of Academic SEO is that if your papers are easier
to find then you will receive higher citations. There is a tentative
tool called Kudos which does attempt to help academics develop citations through social media, however it does have its limitations which I have discussed here.
The other advantage of Academic SEO is that within the online
environment through a process of analytics there are tools which can
help academics measure their citation rate. One such tools is Google Scholar.
In order to investigate this further the contents of this blog aim to
outline the key issues, techniques and tools in developing Academic SEO
for your research articles, conference papers and posters. Below
are the key Academic SEO issues and concepts that every academic should
consider as part of creating, maintaining and their online presence. It
is important to remember Academic SEO is a lot more complex than the
five tips I discuss below but if you are new to this process then the
following are essential.
1. Create a google scholar profile.This tool is essential in helping you measure your citations. It
trawls the web with its ever so clever spider and finds instances where
your work has been cited. This includes books, Journals, conference
papers etc. I have notice that it does overmeasure in some cases, but I
always say you cant have to much of a good thing! Here is an example of what a personal Google Scholar page looks like. Note the citation indices on the right hand side of the page.
2. Join the most popular Academic Social media sites.For maximum reach, as a rule of thumb you should aim to have a presence on Twitter, Google +, Researchgate or .
For examples have a look at my profiles on the right of this page. This
is not just a good way of interacting or collaborating with other
academics or researchers within your field, but also about giving your
work the best possible chance of making an impact. For me personally,
social media has been a positive force in helping to find co-authors
for journal articles and conference papers.
3. Be very careful about how you structure and write your copy.Google works on keywords so be very careful about how you write, what
you write and how this is structured. Copy should be written so that it
gives maximum coverage in a few words as possible. Remember content is king, your work should be unique and different adding value to your field of research.
4. Setup a Blog.First and foremost this is a commitment, not something to be done
lightly. However it can add a lot of value to your work and really help
you to develop a professional and efficient platform which can help you
to discuss and publisize your research to a wider audience and to
multiple fields. A blog is easy enough to setup, the two most popular
platforms are WordPress and Blogger, both have free options and are very
easy to use and setup. For details on when to publish check out my blog post.
5. Engage.Finally think about engagement. Remember the online environment is
all about engagement. To develop your profile and to create an online
presence engage with other academics, students and researchers. Sites
such as and
Researchgate or Slideshare allow for the discussion of your work in a
online collegiate environment. This is a good chance to build an online
personal learning network but also to gain feedback and support on your
Those are my five top tips. Just remember when you are developing
your online profile that you make a clear distinction between your
online digital professional identity and your private offline identity.
Don’t mix the two.
I hoped this post has helped you in getting to grips with some of the
key issues that all academics need to be aware off online. If you liked
this post or feel that someone else can benefit please give me a follow
on Twitter, or share this post within your networks.
Academic SEO: The future of research citations | The Academic Triangle