What is Kudos?
provides a platform which helps researchers to explain and share their
work with a wider audience, and to measure the effect of this in terms
of key metrics such as full text downloads and citations.
The Royal Society has been supporting Kudos’ development in
order to help authors increase the reach and impact of their
Here, Charlie Rapple (co-founder of Kudos) kicks off a series of
posts explaining in more detail what Kudos is, and how it can benefit
Outreach: drivers and challenges
With over 1 million new research papers being published every year,
it can be hard to make sure that your work is found and read by those
who are most likely to read and apply it. There are also increasing
pressures to broaden the audience for research – both by pursuing
greater interdisciplinary collaboration, and by increasing public
engagement. In pursuit of these goals, scientists are being encouraged
to use many different communication services but often without good data
to indicate which of these is proving to be most effective. Many
metrics are available – views, clicks, bookmarks, mentions, shares,
downloads, citations – but they exist in silos that aren’t easily
integrated. So there are a number of challenges:
- How can you make your research stand out?
- Which communications channels can best help you in this endeavour?
- How can you determine the effectiveness of your efforts?
Our early conversations with scientists demonstrated that people felt
they should do more outreach, but that they didn’t feel confident in
using the available tools, and didn’t have time to spend getting to
grips with multiple systems.
84% of scientists said they felt the visibility and usage
of their publications could be improved, and felt this was primarily
A simple, proven solution
We therefore saw a need for a single, central system that scientists
could use for outreach across all their publications, regardless of
publisher; from which they could manage all their communications,
regardless of their preferred communication channel or tool; and in
which they could map the effect of this against a range of metrics, from
This is what we went on to develop! The Kudos system launched in May
2014, and since then nearly 50,000 researchers have signed up to use it.
Unlike other platforms, the free toolkit allows authors to collect
together their research papers but also to add additional information
such as lay summaries, links to media and other supplementary materials.
It provides a suite of tools for sharing this information via a range
of channels, and then view the effect of that. In our pilot,
publications that were explained and shared in Kudos had 19% higher
daily downloads than publications in a control group for which Kudos was
Try it for yourself
If you have 10 minutes now and would like to increase the reach and
impact of something you have published, why not try it out? You can:
- sign up for free at www.growkudos.com
- find and ‘claim’ a publication
- explain your publication in plain language (what is it about? why is it important?)
- enrich it with links to related resources that help to set it in
context (code, methods, data, slides, video, press coverage,
blog postings, etc.)
- use the trackable links generated by the Kudos system to share it via your email, web and social networks
See the results
Our dashboards and graphs then enable you to see how your actions
have affected views of your work – we bring together data including
clicks on the links you share, views on the Kudos site, “Times Cited”
counts from Web of Science(r), and data from Altmetric (which
tracks mentions of your work in sources ranging from social media and
Wikipedia, to government policy documents and newspapers).
Over the next few months, look out for more postings from the Royal
Society Publishing team featuring some examples of how authors are
successfully using Kudos to increase the visibility of their work. You
may also hear about Kudos from your institution or from other publishers
that you are working with. If you’d like to learn more right away,
watch this video tutorial:
What is Kudos? | Publishing blog | Royal Society