Tools for Authors: Enhancing Your Impact
Tips for Authors
- Establish and monitor your presence
- Utilize strategies for “discoverability”
- Present, participate and collaborate
- Consider multiple avenues of dissemination for various audiences
- Document your activities
- Track your work
- Go beyond numbers to tell your story
Why Does Enhancing Your Impact Matter?
can authors optimize their dissemination and enhance their research in
order to demonstrate quantifiable and meaningful indicators of impact
that transcend traditional scientific output measures? What strategies
can authors utilize to reach audiences such as funding organizations,
colleagues, healthcare providers, policy-makers, students, governmental
bodies, the media, consumers, professional organizations and potential
clinical trial participants? What options are available for authors to
promote resource sharing and publishing productivity?
>Confirm and validate research findings
>Time-stamp for documenting research findings
>Build upon existing knowledge base
>Inform researchers and clinicians of updated research findings
>Spur ideas for further areas of research
>Report to industry of findings that could lead to useful clinical applications
>Inform the community of potential new health interventions
>Share with clinical research trial participants the results of the research in which they participated
>Inform policy-makers of findings in order to effect change in health care policy and practice
Strategies for Enhancing Research Impact
are highly recommended to use the same variation of their name
consistently throughout the course of their academic studies and future
professional activities. If the name is a common name, consider adding a
middle name to distinguish it from other authors or changing the name
itself. Consistency enhances retrieval and helps to disambiguate author
names in databases. Uniqueness of a name helps establishes a “presence”
for an author. See Establishing Your Author Name and Presence for more information.
for an ORCID ID. Registering for an ORCID identifier helps to promote
discoverability among multiple information platforms and workflows as
well as establishing a unique presence for researchers and scholars,
regardless of name variants or affiliation history. Registration for the
ORCID ID is free and privacy settings are controlled by the individual.
See Create an ORCID ID, Add Information, Import Works and Connectivity.
the website of the academic or research institution you are affiliated
with to make sure that your name is noted correctly.
- Check out the Author Identifier feature in the SCOPUS
database. The SCOPUS database addresses the issue of author name
variants and reconciles authors who use different variations of their
names throughout their careers. Authors are highly recommended to review
their profile in SCOPUS to confirm the profile is correct, and set up
alerts for their works. Authors can contact SCOPUS to request
corrections to their name profile. See “How do I request corrections to author details?” or contact Cathy Sarli for corrections.
- Authors are highly encouraged to use a standardized version of an affiliation address using no abbreviations. The Washington University Style Guide provides guidance on how to note your affiliation and related information.
a series of academic and professional networks by participating in
committees or other related activities. Volunteer for conference-related
activities, participate in committees that issue position statements or
clinical guidelines, act as a reviewer or Editor-in-Chief for a
journal, serve as a mentor, develop relationships with policy-makers on
the state or national level, be part of a team for conducting a
systematic review, teach a Continuing Education class, serve as a grant
application reviewer, participate in responsible conduct of research or
curriculum committees affiliated with an academic or institution, serve
on Institutional Review Boards or committees for animal studies, and
other related activities.
- Follow reporting guidelines appropriate to your area of research. See the Guidelines for Reporting of Research box.
- Post a CV online and make it publicly available for others to view. One way to post a CV is to use the NIH Biosketch tool SciENcv available via NCBI.
as much as possible. Publication productivity demonstrates willingness
to share research findings and helps foster knowledge transfer. See Selecting a Journal for Publication for guidance on selecting an appropriate journal.
preliminary research findings at conferences or other symposia.
Conferences are an excellent venue for disseminating new research
findings and enhancing your visibility.
a concise, well-constructed title and abstract for a work. The title is
your hook to grab the attention of readers. A declarative title is
recommended. Include crucial keywords (both natural language and
controlled vocabulary words) in the abstract. Most databases allow for
searching of words noted in a title and an abstract, and secondly, a
clear abstract allows users to quickly discern the basis of the work
when reviewing a list of results generated by a search query. It is
recommended that authors construct an abstract that includes as many
specific keywords that summarize the content of the work. What is the
work about? Be specific in describing the work to enhance retrieval of
the work in databases and search engines.
the publisher copyright form for a manuscript and retain as many rights
to the work that to allow for maximum flexibility to re-use the work.
the desired audience when choosing a journal for publication.
Topic-specific journals or journals published by a specialized society
may disseminate research results on a topic more efficiently to a
desired audience than general science journals, such as Nature or
Journal of the American Medical Association. More specialized journals,
even with a potentially smaller readership, may offer an author broader
dissemination of relevant research results to their peers in their
specific field of research.
“negative” as well as positive research findings. Publication of
negative findings leads to further applicability of research and
prevents others from duplicating research.
- Publish a manuscript in a journal that is currently indexed by PubMed/MEDLINE. Citations in PubMed/MEDLINE are “crawled” by Google Scholar which can help promote the visibility and accessibility of a work.
publishing a work in an open access journal. Open access journals allow
authors to retain rights to the work that allow for many options for
further dissemination of the research.
- Publish negative research findings. The Journal of Negative Results in BioMedicine
is an open access, peer-reviewed, online journal that provides a
platform for the publication and discussion of unexpected,
controversial, provocative and/or negative results in the context of
the final, peer-reviewed manuscript version of a journal articles in an
institutional repository. Many major academic or research institutions
have institutional digital repositories that archive the work of authors
affiliated with the institution. Some institutional digital
repositories allow for creation of specific online communities that
showcase the research output of an author or group such as a research
study, a department or a center. Digital Commons@Becker
is the institutional repository for the School of Medicine and accepts
most file formats including white papers, podcasts, slide presentations,
posters, among others. Please contact Amy Suiter for more information.
- Consider making your figures available through FigShare and your presentation materials available in your institutional repository or on a sharing site such as SlideShare
so that others may discover and share your materials post-event. You
might also consider submitting your content to a permanent, citable
archive such as F1000Posters.
the work relates to a research study, create a website devoted to the
research study and post materials such as peer-reviewed versions of
manuscripts of journal publications, conference abstracts, supplemental
materials such as images, illustrations, slides, or specimens, progress
reports, to name a few. Authors are encouraged to review any copyright
forms to confirm that they have the right to post materials on an
institutional website. If the right to post a manuscript on an
institutional website cannot be obtained, create links to the manuscript
from your website using the PMID from a PubMed/MEDLINE citation or
persistent URLs/DOIs that link directly to the publisher’s website. If
the research study involves work that may be of interest to consumers or
potential clinical trial participants, provide information tailored for
there is a website related to a research study, website developers
should utilize SEO (search engine optimization) strategies to enhance
retrieval of materials by search engines such as Google.
The web developer should confirm that the web page titles describe the
content of the website and include the name of the research study.
Metatags that note appropriate keywords should be included in the page
header section. Search engines look at this “hidden content” and use
this as a basis for search results page rankings.
- Add your works to platforms such as Zendodo, Mendeley, or Citeulike
and start a “library” of publications related to a research project or
by author and share the research project library with others.
a work pertains to potential translational medicine applications,
consider including a discussion of how the research could translate into
clinical outcomes. This may provide insight for policy-makers as to the
potential impact of the research study. See the Aims and Scope section of Translational Research: The Journal of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine for guidance on how to include potential translational medicine applications in your manuscript.
- Start a blog devoted to the research project. Check out ResearchBlogging.org
which is a site that allows bloggers to write about peer-reviewed
research, but also to share that work with readers and bloggers around
the world to learn about cutting-edge research developments. Need help?
See "How to Write a Blogpost From Your Journal Article."
- Create a podcast or video describing the research project and submit the podcast to YouTube. Many major academic or research institutions have created their own YouTube channels and provide video services at no charge. Washington University School of Medicine’s YouTube channel has many examples of videos created by authors.
press releases for significant findings and partner with the
institutional media office to deliver findings to local media outlets.
Be willing to provide interviews with the media that explain the
research study or area of research.
- Tweet about your research. Many authors use Twitter to
announce new publications or other research products. Include the DOI
or a link to your article along with text to announce a new article.
outreach visits or provide seminars to other institutions/scientists,
policy-makers, practicing physicians, consumers and health care
providers to discuss a research study or topic related to current
- Collaborate with authors and researchers from other institutions and from other subject areas.
the nature of the work is clinical, consider discussing clinical issues
that arise with research investigators to help identify possible new
areas of research to undertake, or vice versa. Such collaborative
efforts help to accelerate translational research efforts.
in trade journals. Trade journals allow for a greater audience reach
such as clinicians, consumers, policy-makers and industry. Increase
awareness of your research beyond academia.
all forms of research outputs such as journal articles, outreach
visits, research data, conference materials, patents, etc. Keeping track
of research outputs is crucial to documenting impact of research. See
the Assessing the Impact of Research website to learn more about documenting the impact of research.
Enhancing Your Impact - Tools for Authors - BeckerGuides at Becker Medical Library