Sunday, 23 April 2017

Increasing Visibility and Enhancing Impact of Research


Article Released Fri-21st-April-2017 04:10 GMT

Contact: University of Malaya
Institution: University of Malaya

Publication is the beginning of
research impact and visibility, thus dissemination of research
publications have to be proactive. Researchers can promote their
research work in three stages: (1) manuscript preparation and
submission; (2) post-publication promoting; and (3) after receiving
mentions/citations (monitoring).

Figure 1
Three stages of the paper journey for promoting research outputs.
Copyright : Nader
Millions of research papers are published yearly by different journals
and indexed in databases such as Web of Science (WoS) and SCOPUS.
However, over 43% of WoS indexed documents have never received any
citations [1]. Publishing a high quality paper in scientific journals
does not guarantee a high citation but just a beginning of the paper
journey. Similarly, the most cited work might not necessary be the best
produced by a researcher [2]. The rest of the paper journey is still
dependent on the dissemination of research findings.

Researchers who authored the research papers are undoubtedly the best
person to promote their own research. With the increasing number of
publications every year, it is important for researchers to know how to
promote their research to maximum effect. A total of 33 strategies have
been listed for increasing the citation possibilities [3]. This article
proposes three stages of the paper journey for promoting research
outputs to maximize research impact and visibility (Figure 1).

Stage (1) - Manuscript preparation and submission

Manuscript should be prepared and written in a search-engine friendly
way [4], especially the title, abstracts, keywords and headings. Most
researchers use specific terms which are only known by peers in their
own fields. The chosen terms need to be commonly used and general to be
optimized and pick up by search-engine in the digital platform.

In addition, name variation and affiliation should be consistent. It is
quite common to share similar names with other researchers. As such, a
unique identifier such as Open Researcher Contribution ID (ORCID; is highly recommended. The ORCID will distinguish
researcher and his/her research work from others who has similar name

Future impact is also influenced by the type of paper, with literature
review papers more likely cited as than the original research papers.
Researcher should cite the best references to be the best in the field
[6]. Furthermore, researchers are encouraged to collaborate
internationally for multidisciplinary papers and submit in high rank
journals, such as Nature and Science. The writing style plays an
important role on the future research impact and citations, for an
example, the narrative style of writing may receive more attention
compared to other styles [7].

Stage (2) - Post-publication promoting

Researchers usually stop “the paper journey” after receiving acceptance
from the journal editor. Most researchers only conceptualize an idea,
write the paper, reply reviewers comment, and publish the article.
Research life cycle does not end with just paper submission and
publication. The paper journey continues by dissemination and sharing
the paper to increase readership and make it more visible to the border
range of audiences. Social media such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and should be used effectively to promote a research work.
Research findings can be disseminated through academic blogs, news
magazines or even online profile such as Google Scholar and

Scientific journals has been moving towards open access, and more than
50% of new research is now made available free online [8]. Articles
published in Open Access journals tend to be more widely read and cited
than the articles published in traditional subscription-based journals
[9]. Journal papers should be deposited with the open access version
shared through institutional or other repositories such as: SSRN
(, Arxiv (, Figshare
(, and ZENODO ( Supplementary
files such as data, presentations, video, reports, extra figures and
tables can be made available too.

Email marketing is another powerful tool for promoting research. Latest
publications can be emailed to peers besides adding paper link in email
signature. These links comprise all online platforms including
Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ and Snapchat which are usually visited by

Stage (3) - After receiving mentions/citations (monitoring)

Researchers should monitor their publication impact and find the most
effective channel for promotion. Most of the academic social networks
have analytical tools which allow the researcher to measure each post
traffics. Researcher can measure their immediate research impact by
using Altmetric [10]. Citations is able to be tracked and traced via
alert system in different academic databases and Google Scholar.
Expansion of collaboration is possible by sending invitations to those
who have cited the researchers’ work to join their network in LinkedIn,
Academia, ResearchGate, and Twitter. Thus, researchers are encouraged to
inform peers who cited their papers about their recent research work
and publications by sharing the links. Furthermore, researchers should
create and maintain a scientific track record database highlighting
their academic achievement such as publications in top-ranked journals,
scientific awards, prestigious research grants and others [9].


Research impact is important for researchers to improve their research
reputation, increase university ranking, and getting grants from
funders. As such, dissemination of research findings plays a vital role.
These three stages will help researchers to publicize their research
output and hence increase their visibility. Further links to effective
tools are available online at
part four “Enhancing Visibility and Impact” (Figure 2).


Dr. Bong Yii Bonn and Dr. Nader Ale Ebrahim

Centre for Research Services, Institute of Research Management & Services, University of Malaya,

50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Correspondence email: /

Figure 2
Screenshot of part four “Enhancing Visibility and Impact”.
Copyright : Nader
Associated links

Journal information

[1] Van Noorden, R., Maher, B.,
& Nuzzo, R. (2014). The top 100 papers. Nature; 514.7524: 550-553.

[2] Ioannidis, J.P.A. (2014). Is your most cited work your best? Nature; 514.7524: 561-562.

[3] Ale Ebrahim, N., Salehi, H., Embi, M. A., Habibi Tanha, F.,
Gholizadeh, H., Motahar, S. M., & Ordi, A. (2013). Effective
Strategies for Increasing Citation Frequency. International Education
Studies, 6(11), 93-99. doi:10.5539/ies.v6n11p93.

[4] Ale Ebrahim, N. (2014). Optimize Your Article for Search Engine. University of Malaya Research Bulletin, 2(2), 1.

[5] Tripathy, J., Bhatnagar, A., Shewade, H., Kumar, A., Zachariah, R.,
& Harries, A. (2017). Ten tips to improve the visibility and
dissemination of research for policy makers and practitioners. Public
Health Action, 7(1), 10-14.

[6] Corbyn, Z. (2010). To be the best, cite the best. Nature 539. doi:doi:10.1038/news.2010.539.

[7] Hillier, A., Kelly, R. P., & Klinger, T. (2016). Narrative Style
Influences Citation Frequency in Climate Change Science. PLoS ONE,
11(12), e0167983. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0167983.

[8] Munroe, R. (2013). The rise of open access. Science, 342(6154), 58-59. doi: 10.1126/science.342.6154.58.

[9] V. Cacean, and A.-W. Harzing, Quick guide: How to increase the visibility and academic impact of your research, 2014.

[10] Bong, Y.B., & Ale Ebrahim, N. (2017). The Rise of Alternative
Metrics (Altmetrics) for Research Impact Measurement. Asia Research
News, aid/10563(cid/6), 1-3. doi:10.6084/m9.figshare.4814215.v1.

Keywords associated to this article: Improve citations, Research visibility, Dissemination, Citations, Research tools

Increasing Visibility and Enhancing Impact of Research

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