Five ways to improve your research impact
1. Publish strategically
- Choose the right journal
Publishing in high quality
journals which are read by others within your discipline is the most
well established and important method of sharing your findings. You will
target different journals at different stages of your career. To find
out if a journal is relevant, peer reviewed and also whether/where it is
abstracted and indexed,check Ulrich’s web, an online directory of
periodicals, purchased by the university and available via FindIt@Bham.
- Use the right keywords
If you’re looking for scholarly
information, on the web, or in a citation database, keywords tend to be
the retrieval tool of choice.Think about the title of your paper and the
words you use in your abstract.Does it contain the ‘agreed terminology’
of your research area; will it be found by other researchers?
- Use the right address
standardisation will ensure that your work is correctly attributed to
University of Birmingham. Check the publisher guidelines before
submission, but include details on department,school, college and
- Use ORCID
non-profit organisation provides researchers with a unique identifier
and a transparent method of linking research activities and outputs to
these identifiers. ORCID is unique in its ability to reach across
disciplines, research sectors, and national boundaries and it cooperates
with other identifier systems. UoB now has institutional membership to
2. Monitor and verify bibliometrics
- Understand citation analysis
University of Birmingham has access to two important subscription databases which provide tools to analyse journal and author ‘bibliometrics’. These are Web of Knowledge (WoK) and Scopus.Both are available via FindIt@Bham.
- Know your Subject Advisor
Each school within the
University has been assigned a librarian to support researchers at every
stage of their career and at every step of the research process. This
includes advice on bibliographic management using packages such as
Endnote and Reference Manager, and also advice on how to use the
citation tools mentioned above. Identify your Subject Advisor.
3. Be open to new publishing models
- Begin by making sure your profile on PURE is up to datePURE
is an institutional database which aims to bring together all research
information from the University of Birmingham in one place. With
researchers, their publications and projects, esteem and impact all
gathered together in PURE, it provides an accurate single source of
information on the research activitiy and capability of the University.
PURE supports the creation of CVs which will automatically update when
you enter new publications, activities etc.
- Embrace Open Access - put your work online
Make use of UBIRA UoBs
institutional repository and self-archive as much of your work as
possible, enabling the widest possible exposure of your work. You can
check the 'Funders and Authors compliance tool' FACT to
find out what you are premitted to do. Most publishing policies will
allow you to archive a version of your work in a repository,usually the
author accepted manuscript/postprint, so do keep these. Make sure as
much as possible of the research you have done in the past is available
online too. This will improve its discoverability and will ensure your
work is found, read and ultimately cited. A number of studies suggest that this results in an increase in citations ranging from 20% to 500%.
- Go to the Open Access pages for more information on Open Access publishing models, UBIRA and Pure.
4. Be social
- Use social media
Disseminate your thoughts and findings
using a blog and tag (keyword) your posts appropriately to garner
maximum hits on search engines. Use hashtags effectively to help people
find your tweets and broaden your network of followers. Kudos is one useful tool for describing your research in lay terminology, disseminating it and seeing how many mentions you generate.
- Use academic and professional social networks
Register with services such as Academia.edu and LinkedIn and follow other people in your field. They will also begin to follow you.
- Update the web
Periodically check that your personal webpages, including your publications lists, are current.
- Remember to raise your profile retrospectively
If you are just beginning to make use of social media, don’t forget to mention work you have already done.
- Engage in conversation
Don't be tempted to simply promote your work; also take part in debate with your followers.
5. Manage your research data
- Consider your file naming conventionsIdeally filenames
should allow you to identify the content of the file without opening it.
Think about using version information, and the ordering of the elements
within a filename, e.g. YYYMMDD allows chronological ordering of the
- Back up your data
Make multiple copies. Keep copies in
different places, and automate the process where possible. This will
save time and mitigate against data loss due to accident or incident.
- Complete a Data Management Plan (DMP)
This will help you
to consolidate your requirements and plan processes for protecting the
data and preserving the data for future use. You may also be required to
do this by your research funder.
- Describe your data using metadata
Adding details of your
data to PURE will enable the metadata to be generated automatically and
harvested by search engines. Effective metadata will help other users to
find your data, and can result in increased use of your data, and
citation of your work, increasing your research impact.
- Compile documentation to support users of your data
will ensure that your data is given appropriate context inclusing who
created it, when and why, description of the item, methodology and
methods, units of measurement, definitions of jargon, acronyms and code
and references to related data. All of this will enhance the usability
of your data and increase its impact.
- Share your data
Storing your data in a repository and
linking it to your research outputs will allow other researchers to
verify the work you have done, enable them to build on your work and
enhance your academic reputation.
Five ways to improve your research impact