How can Kudos help you grow citations for your articles?
SAGE Publishing recently announced an extended partnership with Kudos,
to include all content from SAGE’s 900+ journals. SAGE began a pilot
program with Kudos in 2015 and following the success has extended the
agreement to two years, enabling all SAGE journal authors to benefit
from these extended support services for article visibility and
So how can you as a SAGE author make the most of this new service? Kudos co-founders Charlie
Rapple, David Sommer, Melinda Kenneway, along with Ann Lawson, Head of
Business Development are on hand to explain the key features.
Can you summarize the ways in which Kudos works to increase the reach and impact of publications?
Charlie: Kudos does two things. Firstly, it provides researchers with a platform to explain their work in plain language (there are some nice examples here, here and here)
– this can increase the likelihood of it being found (because even
fellow specialists often use non-academic language when searching) and
also helps non-specialists (whether people in other fields, or outside
academia all together) to understand and therefore to “apply” the work
Secondly, Kudos provides authors with trackable links to use when
sharing their research – and maps the resulting clicks against
publication metrics such as views, downloads, citations and Altmetrics.
By tracking and measuring efforts when sharing work, Kudos helps
researchers learn where their readers are coming from, for example via
email, academic networks or social media-– this means that authors can
increase the effect of their communications around their work, and
ensure they are maximizing readership (a crucial component of impact!)
How important is the use of social media in driving article downloads and citations?
In discussions I’ve had with researchers, there are generally three
clear views around the use of social media for outreach. The most common
view is: “I know I should be using these tools, but I’m not sure how.”
Others remain to be persuaded that social media can help build
readership for their work (or that they should have a role in this). A
minority (but fast growing) group of researchers are very confident with
this medium and see results in views and downloads of their articles.
Kudos makes this relationship between action and impact easy to see
on the author dashboard – some of the authors using social media through
Kudos see hundreds of additional views of their work as a result.
Assessing the impact on citations is more difficult, as this is a longer
term measure. But we’re collecting this data and over time will be able
to correlate actions with article views and downloads and then
subsequent citations. Imagine as a researcher knowing which social media
tools or professional networking sites are most effective in
generating, say, media coverage for your work, or which extend
readership, or which have the strongest link to maximizing citations …
this is the guidance we are developing, both for social media, and for
other ways of communicating, such as email.
How can social media be used effectively by authors to increase the visibility of their work?
Melinda: One of our highest-performing authors on Kudos told us that
she was relatively new to social media. She started with a Twitter
account and built a good network fairly quickly – connecting initially
to people she knew and then following people whose posts got her
attention. Within a short period of time she was finding that sharing
links to her publications on Twitter through Kudos was generating
hundreds of views of her work. From there she began to expand her social
media presence – key platforms are Facebook and LinkedIn, which Kudos
also integrates with. Links can also be shared and tracked from Kudos
within networking sites like ResearchGate and Academia.edu – helping
researchers identify which sites are most effective in helping them
build readership and citations for their work.
Our observations are that the researchers that get the best results
from social media are good at writing short posts that highlight
something really interesting and novel about their work – a catchy
headline that draws people in. Another important factor is connecting
with people who themselves are well connected. An influential blogger
reposting a link to your work can have a dramatic impact on your article
At the end of the day, it’s not so different to more traditional
academic outreach activities like attending conferences and departmental
meetings. Building a good network is important, as is being willing and
able to talk about and share your passion for your work. Social media
simply opens the door on researchers being able to extend these
discussions to a much bigger and broader audience.
More tips from Kudos on how to build a social media following
Guidelines for Tweeting from SAGE
One of the tools that Kudos provides to increase visibility
and impact is the facility for authors to add a plain language
explanation of their article. Do you have any advice to offer authors
about how they should approach this?
Charlie: The main thing is to keep non-specialist readers in your
mind. I call it “the Queen test” – imagine you’re accepting an honour or
award, and the person bestowing it asks “what do you do?” How would you
summarize your work for them in the one minute you will have? What
language would you use, or avoid, in that context? You don’t need to get
across all the details of your work – that is the job of your abstract,
and we’re not trying to replace that; we’re trying to add a layer on
top to help people determine whether to “drill down” further into the
research. So the key is to keep your explanations short – something that
fellow specialists can skim and scan quickly, to help them navigate a
broader range of literature – and to use non-specialist language, so
that people outside the field can understand whether your work has
relevance for them. Remember that part of the role of the plain language
descriptions in Kudos is to increase the likelihood of people finding
your work via search engines, so think about the language people will be
using when they search – and try not to just replicate your abstract,
as Kudos is an opportunity to double the ‘discoverability” of your work
by increasing the number of search terms for which it will be found.
How long should authors wait after implementing Kudos’
suggestions to begin accessing their metrics? What can authors expect to
David: One of the unique things about Kudos is that we map actions that authors take to
communicate their work against the results of those actions – and we do
this in real time. For example, an author who has written a plain
language explanation of their work on Kudos and then shared a trackable
link through social media can check their Author Dashboard the following
day to see how many times the link was clicked, how many times readers
clicked through to read the publication and what increase there has been
in metrics such as Altmetrics. This immediate feedback on how effective
actions have been is not something that many of our authors are used to
having, and seeing the results encourages people to retweet or add
resources or a perspective to help further boost the impact. The
following graph shows an author that took 4 actions over a period of
days and saw a significant boost in views of their work as a result:
Typically, authors are used to taking an action such as tweeting, but
have no way of quantifying the effect of that action on their
publication metrics. Equally, there are longer-term measures of impact
such as citations, but there is little information available to authors
to help them understand what actions have helped result in increases is
impact. Kudos helps authors determine where best to direct their efforts
based on what is most effective.
How should these metrics be used to gauge the success of an author’s work?
Ann: Until now, authors have had to be quite knowledgeable, and look in a range of different
places, to understand the effectiveness of their attempts at sharing
news of their research work and resulting publications. With Kudos they
can see at a glance the impact of their shares in terms of various
metrics including Altmetric score, page views, click-throughs, citation
data and more. Each of these metrics measures a different kind of
success: Altmetric scores help you understand the attention being paid
to your work across a range of traditional and social media, and other
online sources from government policy to Wikipedia. Click-throughs and
page views on Kudos help you understand how many people have followed
the links you have shared. Looking at such metrics together is important
because (for example) you can gauge your own role in the performance of
your work – do your publications with high Altmetric scores also have
high numbers of click throughs and page views? That suggests your own
outreach efforts have helped to create the attention around the work.
Conversely, if a work has a high Altmetric score but you were not
active, or your actions did not result in high click-throughs and page
views, then perhaps it was effort by your institution or publisher that
made the difference in that case. So metrics should be used not only to
gauge the success of your work, but also to gauge the success of your
efforts so that you know how best to use the limited time you have for
outreach. This is where Kudos, uniquely able to map communication
efforts to publication metrics, can really help you become a more
efficient and effective communicator for your work!
Watch out for next week’s post by Rebecca Wray: How to grow the impact of your paper: A step by step guide to using Kudos
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How can Kudos help you grow citations for your articles? | SAGE Connection – Insight