Researcher Tools Review: Kudos
Promoting your research, Tools and resources, Kudos, Social media, Citations, Altmetrics, 21st century
Your research team put thousands of hours into this project. You
carefully wrote up the results, polished your manuscript through rounds
of revisions, and received the good news that your article was accepted
and published. You sit back and wait for the world to discover your
You could wait, or you could act.
There are tools that exist on the web right now that you can use to
help readers find your work: whether colleagues, researchers outside of
your field, the scientific news media, or the general public.
One of these web-based resources is Kudos,
which aims to help authors increase readership. Rather than waiting for
people to find your article or hoping that your journal will
effectively promote it, you can use a tool like Kudos to increase your
article’s reach. It is currently free for authors and paid for by
We met Kudos co-founder Melinda Kenneway at the 2014 Society for
Scholarly Publishers (SSP) conference in Boston, where Kenneway said
that she wants to give authors more “control” over the post-publication
reach of their work. In a follow-up email, Kenneway explained the
problem Kudos is trying to solve:
“In the past, authors were almost entirely dependent on their
publishers to make sure their work gets found, read and cited. But with
almost 2 million new articles being published every year, it’s becoming
ever more critical for authors to use their own networks and expertise
to ensure their publications get noticed.”
We tried Kudos to see how it works and what you can expect when you get started.
From the home page, you can search for your publications using the
built-in search feature. You should be able to locate any publication
that has a registered DOI (digital object identifier) in CrossRef.
To then manage your publications in Kudos, you will need to create a
user account and click a simple “claim” button next to each of your
articles. Claiming an article moves the title to your account dashboard.
Above: Kudos account dashboard
Your account dashboard displays a summary view of your claimed
publications; the actions you have taken to enrich and share each
publication; and various measures of your publication’s reach, including
article views, article downloads, and Altmetric
score (more on that in a moment). From your account dashboard, you can
click through to your article’s profile page hosted by Kudos.
Your article profile page includes several components: title,
authors, and journal; a link back to the article’s version of record on
the publisher’s website; and editable fields where you can place
additional context to help readers understand the importance of your
These are Kudos’ current features, which we tested.
1. Explain your work. Using an editable plain-text
field, you can add a non-technical summary to your article profile page
so that people outside of your field can easily understand your main
findings. You can also add a short title and impact statement to help
readers quickly grasp why your study is important.
Above: Editable plain text field in Kudos
2. Enrich your article. You can add links to data
sets, images, media coverage, and other types of content to provide
context for your work. If your journal offered limited space for
supplemental material, you can use your article profile page to link to
it instead. If your article has received press coverage or blog
mentions, this feature offers a great way to point readers to those
Above: Supplemental links using Kudos
3. Share your findings. Kudos has integrated social
media tools, including Facebook and Twitter, so that you can easily
share a link either your enriched Kudos article profile page or directly
to the version of record on the publisher’s website. (Your contacts’
ability to read the full text of the article depends on the publisher’s
Above: Facebook status update from Kudos tool
4. Measure the impact. Pulling from publisher data
as well as activity on your own article page, Kudos shows you the number
of times your publication is viewed and downloaded. It has also
integrated with Altmetric,
a service that quantifies interest in your article beyond citation
metrics. For each publication you’ve claimed on your Kudos dashboard,
you can view its Altmetric score and the various inputs into that score,
including blog posts, tweets, and comments on publisher sites that
mention your article. Kudos does not yet report article citation data
but has projected that this feature will be available later in 2014.
- We found the Kudos interface intuitive and simple to use,
particularly the search and claiming functions, as well as the editable
fields on the article profile page.
- Sharing to Facebook was
also straightforward, although the default option to share a link to the
publisher’s page rather than to the enriched Kudos article profile page
was surprising given that readers clicking directly to the publisher’s
article page may not see the “enriched” information the author has
provided on the Kudos article profile page.
- Some publishers
have partnered with Kudos to add the author’s enriched information
directly on the publisher’s website; however, we did not see direct
evidence of that feature for our publications in this initial
exploration of the service.
PLoS One and created a video in which he narrates his use of the tool,
which he calls “very simple, very intuitive.” (You can view Williams’
For this publication, Williams used Kudos to add a lay summary, impact
statement, and links to supplementary information, then distributed the
article’s Kudos page link via Twitter and Facebook. Within 3 days, his
article’s Kudos page had 200 views.
“The early results are very positive,” Williams said in the video. He also envisions using the tool to increase visibility for older publications:
“What I really like about this [tool] is some of my best science
from earlier in my career that is not as visible…I would like to
reinvigorate that. So what I’m going to do now is…breathe some fresh
life into my historical articles. I’m going to bring them back and put
them on Kudos.”
Some additional potential evidence
Kudos provides tools to promote your work, but will undertaking these additional efforts really make a difference?
Kudos aimed to answer this question during a 2013 pilot phase and
found that “researchers using the Kudos sharing tools saw an average
increase in downloads of their publications of 19% compared to a control
group” (source: Kudos FAQs).
A 2012 study published in the journal Clinics found that publications
with short titles describing results are cited more often, thus
suggesting that Kudos’ “add a short title” feature may help authors
increase their citations (source: NCBI).
As research outputs increase and megajournals proliferate, many
researchers are wondering if their publications will receive the
attention they merit. If your goal is broad impact, tools such as Kudos
may be able to help you reach a larger audience.
To learn more about Kudos, visit www.growkudos.com or follow them on Twitter @GrowKudos.
Researcher Tools Review: Kudos