Wednesday, 30 August 2017

One way to boost your uni's ranking: Ask faculty to cite each other - Retraction Watch at Retraction Watch


Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

One way to boost your uni’s ranking: Ask faculty to cite each other

Readers who follow scientific publishing will know the term “citation stacking” — as a profile-boosting technique, we’ve seen journals ask authors to cite them, and individual scientists work together to cite each other, forming “citation cartels.” And now, we’ve seen a university do it.

A university in Malaysia has instructed its engineering faculty to cite at least three papers by their colleagues; the more citations a university accrues, the better its ranking in many international surveys. We obtained the original notice, dated August 3 and released by the University of Malaya, and translated it via One Hour Translation. Our English version says:

All Academic Staff

Faculty of Engineering


Key Performance Indicators (KPI) Confirmation for 2017

Please refer to the subject-matter stated above.

  1. As had been informed earlier, the
    KPI Confirmation for all University of Malaya staff has been opened and
    the final date for the KPI Confirmation is 9 August 2017.
  2. For the Academic Staff at the
    Faculty of Engineering, the First Appraisal Officer (PPP) has determined
    the KPI for each departmental staff (please refer to the KPI). Under
    Section 6, Faculty Specific Duties you are required to type:
(1) “Citation: To cite at least 3 relevant papers of colleagues in each of your publication”

  1. Other additional tasks are subject to the PPP of each PYD.
I would be pleased if you could take necessary action before 9 August 2017.
The notice is signed by Professor Ir. Dr. Noor Azuan Abu Osman,
Dean of the Faculty of Engineering. We contacted him to ask what
prompted the practice, and what penalties researchers will face if they
fail to cite three papers by their colleagues. We received a response
from a university spokesperson, who told us:

With reference to the issue of citations at the Faculty of Engineering, UM, it is common practice among academics at the Faculty concerned to cite the publications of academics
at the same Faculty or from other Faculties within the University
provided that the publications are relevant to the study conducted.

This is also practiced by academic staff in general at UM and other universities.

Academics are encouraged to acknowledge and cite fellow academics where Relevant.
(The original guidelines don’t appear to include the caveat that citations be related to the study.)

Of course, this isn’t the only technique universities use to boost their metrics. Recently, we ran a story in Science about institutions (including many in Western countries) who pay faculty for publications; a 2011 report in Science showed
that universities in Saudi Arabia were giving tens of thousands of
dollars to highly cited researchers to take a secondary position there,
ensuring the institution gets listed on prominent papers.

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Written by Alison McCook

August 22nd, 2017 at 7:59 am


  • John H Noble Jr
    August 22, 2017 at 8:22 am
    Amazing how individuals and organizations quickly learn how to
    game systems that are meant to track performance or to promote
    accountability. A very early report on the use of “social indicators” in
    the 1960s warned against the perverse effects of adopting such systems.

    I see no solution in sight except to educate audiences to apply a
    huge discount to statistics that are used to promote individual and
    organizational interests. How can it be that all hospitals in the
    vicinity are among the “best ten nationally” or that the majority of
    graduates “rise to the top of their occupations?” We seem to live in
    Jonathan Keillor’s celebrated community of Lake Woebegon, where
    everybody is “above average.”

    View 2 replies to John H Noble Jr's comment

  • aceil
    August 22, 2017 at 9:38 am
    University rankings are used to promote the use of some
    publishers tools and products. And while citation cartels boost ranking,
    retractions due to research misconduct do not have any impact on
    university ranking or academics standing. And thus, one can say that
    research misconduct pays off because it doesn’t hurt to publish now and
    retract later: 1) rankings include publication/citation counts from
    previous years and 2) most retractions are hidden.

  • L. Burke Files
    August 22, 2017 at 10:02 am
    It is only the most egregiously enfeebled organizations that
    engage in this sort of open and notorious corruption. The organizations
    can be political, commercial, or academic. Projecting this out further,
    political organizations go through a revolution, commercial
    organization are sent to a receivership – academic organizations

  • Martin Ball
    August 22, 2017 at 3:11 pm
    Garrison Keillor – that was one incorrect citation by John Noble!

    View the reply to Martin Ball's comment

  • Marco
    August 23, 2017 at 1:52 am
    Alison, you write that “The original guidelines don’t appear to include the caveat that citations be related to the study”.

    Being the Devil’s Advocate for a moment here, did the guidelines not
    say “(1) “Citation: To cite at least 3 relevant papers of colleagues in
    each of your publication” “?

    I would read the “relevant” as “relevant to the study”.

    The obvious problem with that is that putting a number on the
    required Institutional self-citations makes many studies suddenly
    “relevant” for the sole reason that they are from the some Institution.

  • Tony Hamzah
    August 24, 2017 at 10:06 am
    Is it the uni that out-ranked Waseda and Tokyo Tech in QS standing? Oh I see, this is the way they did it.

  • aceil
    August 24, 2017 at 10:41 am
    Curious why universities in many Asian and developing countries are so interested in QS ranking! Any insight?

    View the reply to aceil's comment

  • Aznijar Ahmad-yazid
    August 24, 2017 at 10:49 am

    Please find below a dissenting voice from the academic staff
    association of the university against the directive. PKAUM is the malay
    acronym for the association, Persatuan kakitangan Akademik Universiti
    Malaya. There are still sane and wise academics at Universiti Malaya.


    23 August 2017

    Citation Stacking in UM


    It has come to the attention of PKAUM that there is currently an
    institutionalised practice of “citation stacking” in our university.

    “Citation stacking” is the practice of purposefully citing the work
    of colleagues in order to boost their own profile as well as the profile
    of the university. The “advantage” of this practice is to inflate the
    importance of individual academics and to raise the university’s
    standing in any ranking system that uses citations as a criteria.

    There is nothing wrong in citing the works of others but only if it
    is relevant to one’s own work. To do so to boost one another’s standing
    and to raise the university’s ranking is not justifiable and in fact is
    dishonest because it seeks to “play the system” for personal and
    institutional gains.

    The Faculty of Engineering, fresh from the latest display of poor
    governance of treating academic staff like criminals by using a bio
    metric attendance system, has been uncovered to be involved in “citation
    stacking”. In a letter dated 3 August 2017, signed by Professor Ir. Dr.
    Noor Azuan Abu Osman, Dean of the Faculty, staff members are required
    to cite three of their colleagues in each of their publications. This is
    now part of staff members KPI in the Faculty of Engineering and it has
    been noticed by the outside world with a report on the matter published
    by Retraction Watch. The article can be read here :

    This is an unacceptable practice by the Dean of Engineering for the following reasons:

    1. It is potentially unethical, especially if the citation has
    no or minimal relevance to the work at hand and is done merely to “play
    the system” of personal aggrandisement and institutional rankings

    2. It places a ridiculous demand on academic staff by linking
    “citation stacking” to their own academic performance (via the KPI)

    3. It erodes academic freedom as staff are being forced to cite their colleagues whether they want to or not.

    For these reasons PKAUM insists that the top management of the
    university put a stop to this unsavoury practice. We also would like to
    propose a change of dean in the Faculty of Engineering, preferably
    through secret ballot. There has been too many issues coming from that
    PTJ which affects the values, ethics and principles of academia.


    Azmi Sharom



    View the reply to Aznijar Ahmad-yazid's comment

  • AM
    August 30, 2017 at 8:06 pm
    I always wonder when a dean or head of department doing
    something like this, what is actually his/her KPI? Ranking? Pleasing
    the boss? or really want to improve the ‘running’ of the department? Is
    this kind of ‘activities’ can be considered ‘fraud’ or misconduct?. I
    truly believe this kind activity is due to vague university policy in
    their research ‘adventure’.

One way to boost your uni's ranking: Ask faculty to cite each other - Retraction Watch at Retraction Watch

Monday, 21 August 2017

A Journal Selection Procedure for Receiving the Highest Citation and Impact

A Journal Selection Procedure for Receiving the Highest Citation and Impact

byNader Ale Ebrahim
in a peer-reviewed journal is the obvious goal of most researchers to
reach others in the field, advancing knowledge and encouraging
communication between groups with similar research interest. One of the
most important and possibly the least well understood aspects of the
publication process is the choice of a suitable journal that is likely
to improve your research visibility and impact. For instance, publishing
your article in an Open Access journal means that more people are
likely to see it, simply because more people will be able to access it.
So, the greater visibility achieved with OA may allow you to reach more
impact and potential collaborators easily. In this presentation, I
introduce some of the most important criteria to keep in mind when
choosing a journal that is a good match for your research and promise
higher research impact.
A Journal Selection Procedure for Receiving the Highest Citation and Impact

How to increase the reach of your published work - Global Academy Jobs Blog


How to increase the reach of your published work

Your work has been published in a brilliant journal with an
excellent impact factor. This may be quite recently, or it could be some
time ago, and due to recent events, or published findings, it is time
to reiterate the results of that particular piece of research. Today
more research is being discussed on-line. Your work could be discussed
on social media sites and in research blogs. It could be mentioned in
public policy documents and news articles. So it could be
beneficial for you to be part of that discussion.

You have the power to enhance and increase the reach of your
published work and you don’t have to totally rely on the journal’s
impact factor. Through raising your on-line presence, you will increase
the reach of your published work and potentially increase the number of
citations. But where do you begin? You may have started to set up your
LinkedIn account, and had a look at Twitter but don’t really understand
the point in it. Well, help is at hand. Here are several strategies for
using various digital platforms in the most effective way to increase
the reach and impact of your work.

Before you start

Professor Andy Miah, Chair in Science Communication & Future Media
at University of Salford, who has been published in Taylor & Francis
journals, is a strong advocate of using social media to publicise your
work. He has produced a 15minute video for Taylor & Francis’ author services site. His key take away messages are: –

1. Consider the journal’s social media identity

Social media can improve the cohesiveness of your research community.
Think about the journal’s social media identity as the focus of interest
for the people around it.

2. Grow community and public engagement

Grow the academic community beyond your peer groups. Doing this can
potentially increase the impact and the value of the research you are

3. Think of social media as a conversation not purely a broadcast channel

Consider how you respond to the sharing of knowledge and the changes in
behaviours around communication. Connect the interests with the
journal’s readership.

Which channels

Whilst you are very likely to be part of a community of researchers in
your area, there are several mainstream platforms that you can use to
take part in discussions on, and disseminate your thoughts through, to
reach a wider audience.

Here are the  top four mainstream platforms that we suggest you
consider. If you are not active on any of these channels start with one
and invest a bit of time in it until it becomes a habit.

1. Twitter

This is our favourite here at GA Jobs. It is a truly an international
platform. The use of hashtags opens up communication to the world. In
our post Twitter 101 for academics
we mention The power of the hashtag post on the Wiley Exchanges blog,
which lists various platforms that can help you to find relevant
hashtags without too much guess work.

Most institutions and organisations have a Twitter account listed
fairly prominently on their website. Before you follow that account
check when the last post was and who their followers are. As you look at
their followers you will inevitably end up following other accounts you
find interesting. You will discover relevant hashtags too. You may also
want to follow the lists that are set up on various Twitter accounts.

Some of our favourite Twitter accounts are listed below: –


LSE Social Impact Blog


Fast Track Impact


Research Whisperer

Writing for Research


Dr Raul Pacheco-Vega 

Patrick Dunleavy

Tseen Khoo

Pat Thomson

Athene Donald

Having an active Twitter account will increase your on-line visibility.

The keys are to engage and share interesting and relevant useful
information about your area of research. As you build up your network it
becomes a really great place to share your updates on your personal
blog, or events you take part in. For your published work you can share a
link to the journal listing with a photo of the cover of the journal.

Twitter is a fantastic source for live news updates, you will often
find individuals tweeting about events or news in your area of
interest/research before you see it on official accounts. When you can’t
attend events it can be a helpful tool if there is a hashtag being
used, as you will be able to get a flavour of what is going on. Event
attendees often post photos of slides that are being shown in the
session with their own comments.

2. LinkedIn

No matter what your area of work, whether you are a head of a department
or head of a company LinkedIn will increase your online visibility.
When someone ‘Googles’ you they will find you quickly and learn more
about your network too. Make sure you connect with your colleagues and

When you update your LinkedIn profile link it to your staff page on
your institution’s website. Of course you will need to ensure this is
also up to date. LinkedIn will automatically link you to the
institution’s LinkedIn page.

As well as raising your online profile and helping people to build a
picture of who you are in terms of your professional network, LinkedIn
is a useful tool to learn more about contacts and see who others are
connected to. It is handy if you don’t have a contact’s email because
you can contact them via LinkedIn.

It can be helpful to follow relevant funding organisations’ company
pages, such as Horizon 2020, for regular sound bites of information.

3. FaceBook

There is a general rule of thumb about keeping FaceBook as your personal
network and LinkedIn as your professional network. However, you may
well have built up a strong personal network of contacts throughout your
academic life. You could invite that community on to a FaceBook page
based on a project you’re working on or a team you have joined.

On international early career researcher Wesley Loftie-Eaton
has done this for his cycle trip through six African countries in six
months raising awareness of antibiotic resistance at institutions along
the way.

4. Your own blog

It is really important to have a plan before you start. Blogs can be
started with great gusto and trail off almost as quickly as they begin. We have a series of posts to help you get set up and maintain
your own professional blog. The reason to blog is to enhance your
network in your area of research and to potentially increase that
network to a wider audience including the general public and

In summary, the focus is more about encouraging researchers to be
active participants of on-line platforms and build up communities around
their area of work. By default, this will increase the reach of
published work and potentially increase citation rates.

Diana Hayes
key part of the founding team, Diana is achievement-oriented,
forward-thinking and strategic in creating a high-yielding network of
interested academics, universities and related associations. Her
research and content have created genuine engagement amongst both
candidates and employers resulting in a network of 250,000 academics.
Diana’s experience is in sales, marketing, event management and business

How to increase the reach of your published work - Global Academy Jobs Blog

Friday, 18 August 2017

Academics can help shape Wikipedia | Science


Academics can help shape Wikipedia

+ See all authors and affiliations
Science  11 Aug 2017:
Vol. 357, Issue 6351, pp. 557-558
DOI: 10.1126/science.aao0462

understanding of science is increasingly important. Wikipedia is widely
used by students, educators, researchers, doctors, journalists, and
policy-makers. The online, crowd-sourced encyclopedia site is perceived
as increasingly trustworthy, making it a key public engagement platform
with immediate impacts on scientific literacy (1).
is an important time in the evolution of the encyclopedia. Its parent
organization, the Wikimedia Foundation, is working to shape its
strategic focus through to 2030. This represents an unprecedented
opportunity for the global scientific community to advise on its future.
Wikipedia has discussion pages for users to provide feedback on some of
the upcoming challenges (2).
scientific community can improve Wikipedia on a more granular level by
learning to edit the encyclopedia in areas that need improvement. Poorly
written articles can mislead readers and give a false impression of a
research field. The recent introduction of a new editing interface has
made the encyclopedia as easy to edit as a Word document, and a short
2014 article outlines some editing advice for scientists (3).
is increasingly engaging expert communities to improve accuracy and
coverage. Interested parties can contribute to several existing
collaborative initiatives or propose new ones. For example, some
academic journals (such as PLOS Computational Biology, Gene, and WikiJournal of Medicine) have agreed to dual-publish articles as both a citable publication and Wikipedia page (4).
The Cochrane library, a collection of health care databases, has a
similar quality-improvement partnership to help integrate optimal
scientific references into the encyclopedia (5).
the new Wikidata system stores machine-readable, structured data,
complementary to the prose format of the encyclopedia. Integrating
Wikidata with scientific databases provides new opportunities to
discover, curate, and use scientific knowledge within and across domains


  1. Wikimedia movement, Strategy 2030 (

Academics can help shape Wikipedia | Science

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Disseminating your research - which journals should I publish in?


Which journals should I publish in?

When you come to submit your work to journals, you want to
identify the most appropriate and successful journals in your field.
Publishing in high-quality peer-reviewed journals will enhance your
reputation and help get your work cited by others. (See peer reviewed journals to find out more about identifying journals in your subject area.)

Open Access publishing might help your article to reach more
people because it is a way of removing the subscription barrier. You can
also find out more about the journals in your subject area which have
the highest impact factor, which is an average measure of how many times
the articles in that journal are cited.

Factors to consider are described in detail in the links on the below:

How do I find out about a journal?

If you already have a list of journal titles that you think might
be appropriate for you to target, here is a check list of sources of
information and factors to consider, about those journals:

  • Look at the journal's home page on the publisher's website.
    You'll probably find this through Google, and it will give you lots of
    information, often including calls for papers. Look at who the editors
    are and consider whether you know (or can get to know) any of them! Note
    that the journal's home page on the publisher's website is not always
    the same as the journal's record on a content provider's website:
    sometimes the library subscription is directly with the publisher, but
    at other times we use an aggregator service
  • Is it peer reviewed? It will probably state this on the journal's home page, but in any case you can check the Ulrich's Periodicals Directory for this information (The term "refereed" is more commonly used in the US but means the same thing as peer reviewed)
  • Is it open access? Sometimes journals can be hybrid and will
    offer you an open access option for a fee, even if they appear not to be
    open access journals. Look out for such options on the journal home
    page. If you have research funding that mandates open access publishing
    and allows you to claim for such fees or use one of the block grants,
    then you should investigate open access further
  • Does it have a high impact factor?
    This might or might not matter to you: after all, your paper will have
    maximum impact if published in the right title for your particular
    subject, which might not have such an impressive impact factor. However,
    you might like to target the high impact journals first.
  • Is it really the right title for your article? Try subscribing
    to the table of contents for a particular journal, either by RSS feed
    or by e-mail Zetoc is one of
    many alerting services that would help you to do this. Journals also
    often have detailed scope notes that will help guide you on the kinds of
    content they are looking for
  • What do your peers say about these journals? If you're just
    starting out in your career, you could also look at where the
    established authors are publishing and target the same publications.
    Look out for their personal web pages and their publications as listed
    in WRAP

How do I identify peer-reviewed journals?

This page briefly describes what peer-reviewed journals are, and
how you can identify suitable titles to which you may want to submit
your work.

What are peer-reviewed journals?

Peer reviewed journals are those containing only articles that
have been evaluated by academic experts. Many articles are changed and
improved through the peer review, before publication, and peer reviewed
journals may also reject a high proportion of the articles submitted to
them. Having your work published in such a journal will raise your
profile and act as a seal of quality for the work you produce.

How can I check if a journal I know the title of is peer-reviewed?

The main source of information on journal titles is called Ulrich's Periodicals Directory
(often simply called Ulrich's). Search this source for the journal you
are interested in. When you find the title you want, check to see if it
has the "refereed" icon next to its title, which looks a little like a
sports shirt! If there is no such icon, it may be worth checking the
journal's own web site. The lack of an icon on Ulrich's simply means
that they do not know that the title is peer reviewed, so it
may still be a peer reviewed title even if there is no such icon. You
need to use an on- campus computer to access Ulrich's.

Some indexing databases only index the contents of journals that
are peer-reviewed, or offer you a filtered search of only peer reviewed
titles. An example is the Web of Science databases, available via the Web of Knowledge service.

How can I locate journals in a specific subject (especially if that subject is new to me)?

You can search a database that covers the subject you're
interested in to find articles on a similar topic to yours (use the
subject guides in the "resources"
section of the library's website to find subject specific databases).
Scan the results to identify the journal titles that crop up most

Check the database's help pages - if the database only indexes
peer-reviewed journals then you know these articles have gone through
the reviewing process. If you cannot find this information, note down
the names of the most frequently-occurring journals and check them as
described in the section above.

How do I know a journal is of high quality?

The fact that a journal is peer reviewed is in itself a mark of a
certain level of quality. As you'd expect, though, some journals are of
higher quality than others. One of the main ways of determining the
prestige of a journal within its given field is to check its impact factor.
Don't forget also to consult colleagues, who may have a good knowledge
of which are the most prestigious journals in your subject area.

What are impact factors and how would I use them?

A journal's impact factor is based on how often articles
published in that journal during the previous two years (e.g. 2000 and
2001) were cited by articles published in a particular year (e.g. 2002).
The higher a journal's impact factor, the more frequently articles in
that journal are cited by other articles. The impact factor can
therefore give an approximate indication of how prestigious a journal is
in its field.

There are different measures of impact factors, taken across
different numbers of years, so be careful that you are comparing like
with like. Impact factors are calculated by the Thomson Reuters
(formerly known as Thomson ISI or Thomson Scientific). Not all journals
have impact factors, and the importance of impact factors will vary
between disciplines. They nevertheless provide a useful pointer to the
more important journals in your subject.

The Eigenfactor is another way to estimate a journal's standing
within the academic community and it also counts numbers of citations to
a journal, but it weights those from other high impact journals higher.
In this way, it works similarly to Google's PageRank.

Instructions on how to find a journal's impact factor are given below.

How do I find a journal's impact factor?

Use the Journal Citation Reports (JCR) available through the Web of Knowledge
service. To check the impact factor of a specific journal you can
search by title. Otherwise, you can browse by subject (subject
categories are brought together in the Science and Social Science

You can sort the information in many different ways - you will
most likely wish to rank journals according to their impact factor. In
addition to the impact factor you can check other aspects of a journal,
such as immediacy index (a measure of how soon after
publication the "average" article is cited - useful in comparing how
quickly different journals are cited).

What is Open Access publishing?

In this context open access means research literature that has
been made publicly and freely accessible. It can be reused without
licensing restrictions for research, teaching or other purposes.

Open access is compatible with all forms of quality control and
all the major open access initiatives insist on rigorous peer-review
processes. Decisions on what to make open access are controlled by the
copyright holders and use of open access material must be properly

What are the benefits of Open Access?

Open Access benefits both the author of the research and the audience.

  • Visibility - there is growing evidence that
    open access material is more likely to be found, read and cited than
    work solely published in traditional journals. This visibility can also
    help to attract prospective collaborators and research students
  • Discoverability - open access repositories, such as the Warwick Research Archive Portal
    (WRAP), are optimised to allow for better indexing and visibility in
    popular search engines, including Google and Google Scholar
  • Access - open access benefits researchers
    working independently, in small companies and in developing countries
    where the cost of subscription previously prevented access
  • Compliance - most research funders now mandate open access for funded research outputs
How is work made open access?

Today open access is chiefly achieved through two main routes; Green OA and Gold OA.

  • Green OA works alongside traditional
    publishing models and allows authors to take advantage of both
    traditional journal publishing and open access availability. At Warwick
    this is supported by WRAP, a service that makes permitted versions of
    research outputs available while the final version remains with the
    publisher. There are no charges to the author or Funders with Green OA.
    The WRAP team check publishers' permissions to ensure compliance with
    agreements you have made with your publisher. More information »
  • Gold OA refers to the Open Access Publishing
    model. This can be alongside articles in a traditional subscription
    journal (often known as hybrid OA) or in a journal that
    only publishes open access articles. These open access articles are
    peer reviewed in the normal way and made freely available to the world
    immediately upon publication. These journals cover their costs either
    through a subsidy from an institution or professional society or through
    charging an article processing charge or APC to be paid by the author
    or the author’s sponsor (employer, funding agency)
How can I make my work open access?

There are many ways in which you can get involved in the Open Access movement, here are a few ways for you to start:

  • Deposit your articles to WRAP

  • Consider using an open access journal for your next publication. The Directory of Open Access Journals currently lists 8372 open access journals and more are being added all the time
  • Take advantage of the funds/deals available to University researchers:
    • RCUK provides the institution with a fund to cover APCs on its funded research
    • The Wellcome Trust has granted the University a fund to cover APCs for Wellcome Trust funded research
    • The Library's subscriptions to BioMed Central and to the Royal Society entitles University researchers to a discount on the article processing charges

How should I prepare manuscripts for submission?

Each journal will have its own submission guidelines covering
aspects such as article length, subscription style, communication
procedures, etc. A couple of examples are below:

You can discover these in two ways - if you have a print copy of
the journal you can consult the Notes for Authors/Contributors (usually
found at the front or back of the journal), or in many cases by
consulting the journal's home page on the Web. To find the journal's
home page, do a search for the journal on Ulrich's Periodicals Directory and, once you've found the title you want, click through to the publisher information.

Reference management software products like RefWorks and EndNote
can help you prepare manuscripts for submission. They each have hundreds
of output styles to choose from, most of which are output styles for
specific journals. With both RefWorks and EndNote, if the journal to
which you want to submit your work is not among their listed output
styles, you can request that the software suppliers create a new output
style. The Library has information on using EndNote Online.

Also, see Versions Toolkit
for advice about how to keep track of your versions - and make sure
that you keep a copy of your own final draft, suitable for repository
deposit in WRAP.

Disseminating your research - which journals should I publish in?

How to disseminate your content


How to disseminate your content

Spreading content
After you have figured out what sort of content your business
requires and you have started publishing that content the next step is
distributing and disseminating that content. Simply publishing content
on your website or blog is not going to be very profitable unless people
become aware of it and start accessing it. You may already have a
steady flow of traffic to your website or blog and this can further gain
traction once you produce more and more content but still you have to
take measures to make your content accessible to as many people as
possible. Listed below are some channels that you can use to disseminate
your content

Publishing content on your website or blog

This is the easiest way of making your content available but for this
people need to be aware of your website and blog. If you already have
an audience, great, but if you are in the process of building an
audience than along with publishing content under your website you also
need to focus on other sources.

Publishing an electronic newsletter

Publishing an e-zine is one of the oldest and the most effective ways
of spreading your content on a regular basis. Have an opt in e-mail
list and display a subscription box on your website and on your blog.
You can either just publish content in the e-zine or you can first
publish it on your website or blog and then mail links to your
subscribers. Services like MailChimp and Aweber
have great features and they also provide you with ready-made
subscription forms that you can straightaway copy/paste onto your
website and blog

Making RSS subscription available

RSS feeds are a great way of regularly distributing your new content.
If you are using a content management system to manage your website and
blog the feature that generates RSS feeds must already be there (you can also use for better statistics and enhanced exposure).
Once you have generated an RSS feeds link display it prominently on
your blog and website and elsewhere so that people can easily subscribe
to it.

Using social media channels

Although your blog is very much a part of social media you can use other avenues such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Tumblr.
Many businesses publish content keeping such distribution channels in
mind. Extensive research has been done on what sort of content goes
viral on social media websites: what sort of heading and what sort of
format attract the most attention and encourage people to share your

Submitting articles to article directories

There are many article directories that accept articles free of cost.
It is a much outdated method but it is still being used by those who
have just started spreading around their content, and to an extent it
does work. The only problem is the quality of most of the articles in
these article directories is not up to the mark and consequently they
don’t carry much authority.

Writing for other blogs

Writing for other blogs exposes your skills in front of an entirely
new audience and it also gives people an opportunity to visit your
website or blog and know more about you and your business. There are
many successful bloggers who are constantly looking for guest bloggers
to provide them the much-needed respite and if you can write well you
can approach them. With every blog post a small bio of yours appears
carrying your credentials, primary URL and also a link to your RSS feed.

Submitting slides and PDFs

You can create information slides and PDFs and upload them to websites like SlideShare and Scribd. I personally feel compared to full-fledged blog posts and articles it’s much easier to create slides carrying main points.

Publishing white papers

White papers pack lots of useful information without beating around
the bush. Writing and publishing white papers might be a difficult task
because it requires lots of research work and fine tuning (most white papers are scholarly and detailed)
so you may want to spend more than a couple of weeks preparing a single
white paper. But once it is prepared and published on your website you
will reap great dividends for a long time.

Attending meetups and workshops

If there are meetups and workshops happening in your niche you must
try to attend them so that more and more people come to know of your
presence. This may not directly help you expose your content in front of
them but it will certainly bring you in contact with several
influential people in your business and some of them may mention your
website or blog through their blog or social media updates.

These are some prominent channels you can use to distribute your content over the Internet.

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About Amrit Hallan

Amrit Hallan is a professional content writer who helps
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How to disseminate your content

Disseminating your thesis | Search & Write


Disseminating your thesis

Disseminating your results is a part of the academic process. You
can do it by presenting papers at conferences or seminars, producing
posters, and, of course, publishing in journals and books. You may
choose to disseminate your masters’ thesis by including it in your
institution’s electronic archives (called self-archiving). In doing so,
you make it available worldwide for free download to anyone who has
access to the Internet.

Written presentations

When you have submitted a thesis you have acquired new insights. If
you would like to share this with a wider audience than your own
teachers and peers, an op-ed on your topic might be a good channel for communicating your findings.

Choose a newspaper or journal that is likely to be interested in your
topic. If your research concerns students and part-time jobs, a student
paper like Universitas or Studvest might want
to publish your article. Is your topic of national interest? Try the
daily press. To enhance your chances of being published; try
linking your findings to current events. A topic like students and
part-time jobs might be of interest in the autumn, around the beginning
of term. If you have written on climate change in the Norwegian Arctic,
you may want to present your findings in a scholarly journal, e.g. Klima. Always be conscious of your target group and genre.

Have someone read through your text before you present it to its
intended audience; they may have ideas about how you can improve your
text, and they can provide new perspectives to enrich its content.

Take particular care:

  • that you have clear transitions in your text
  • that you have intermediate titles
  • that the different sections of the text progress logically
This will help you structure the content and make it more easily available to your readers.

Oral presentations

Who is your audience?

  • How much information do they have on the topic already?
  • What is their relationship to the topic; is it academic, work-related or of private interest?
  • Is a summary of the topic sufficient or do you need to go into greater detail?
  • Does the audience expect a formal or informal presentation?
  • Give the audience space for their own thoughts

How should the presentation be structured?

  • Formulate a title which is short, catchy and precise
  • Select a suitable amount of material to fill the time you have available
  • Indicate what you are going to say, say it, and finally; summarise
    • You should state clearly in the introduction what you are going to
      speak about. The aim of the introduction is to capture the attention of
      your listeners and stimulate their curiosity
    • Then present the main points of the argumentation and ensure you cover everything you want to say
    • The conclusion should clearly emphasise your main points

Visual aids

Use visual aids to reinforce your message. Some correlations can only be explained through, or with the help of, visualisations.

  • Poster presentations
    • The title should be short and poignant
    • Carefully design your pictures, illustrations and captions
    • Use as little text as possible
  • Presentations made using PowerPoint or similar software and a projector:
    • The programs are simple and intuitive to use
    • To design your slides, you can select a pre-set template suitable for displaying text, graphs, tables and pictures
    • Do not exaggarate the use of effects such as animations; they can easily draw attention away from your message
    • A good template uses around 15 slides for a half hour presentation
    • Editing electronic presentations is easy. You can quickly amend
      slides and where required make corrections immediately before the
    • Make a printout of your slides in case of technical problems
  • Your presentation can include:
    • Experiments, demonstrations
    • Pictures
    • Graphs
    • Animations
    • Videos  
    • Web pages
    • Handouts
    • University logo and graphic profile (Check with your institution)

Can you check the room in advance?

  • Equipment  
  • Sound  
  • Positioning of the audience  
  • Lighting, room temperature, ventilation
  • Legibility of slides/transparencies  
  • Do you have compatible software?  

Tips for presentation 

Before the presentation:

  • Make sure you know the contents of your presentation well! 
  • Show what you know and make yourself understood
  • Keep to the time schedule
  • Practice the presentation (even though you are not nervous)
  • Write a manuscript or notes, but prepare to talk freely, rather than read your written text out loud
During the presentation:

  • Remember good manners:
    • At the beginning: Thank for the invitation after you have been introduced and before you start the presentation.
    • At the end: Thank the audience for their attention.
  • Think about communication; look at the audience, maintain eye contact. 
  • Speak clearly; use a microphone to avoid shouting. 
  • Pay attention to body language. Avoid fumbling with your hands.
  • Do not allow the audience to interrupt as this can easily distract
    you. Ask the audience to wait until the discussion section at the end.
    You are the speaker and you decide how the presentation will be carried
    out. You have been allocated a period of time, and it is up to you
    decide how that time should be spent.
  • Make sure there is time for questions from the audience at the end.
    Remember that no one expects you to be able to answer all questions.


Many university colleges and universities offer master’s students the
opportunity to self-archive their theses electronically in the
institutional archives.
Some institutional archives in Norway:

All these archives make research carried out at the relevant
institutions freely available on the Internet. Works can be retrieved
using search engines such as Google Scholar. If you wish to make your
master’s thesis available in this way, you must find out about your
institution’s submission procedures. Some institutions allow you to
self-archive your thesis at the same time that you submit it for
examination. Other institutions will only allow self-archiving after the
examination process has been completed. It is never too late to
self-archive your work. Contact your institution if you decide later on
that you wish to self-archive.

Publication vs. self-archiving

If you wish to have your master’s thesis published commercially as an
article, chapter or book, it is important to check the publisher’s
policy on self-archiving. Some publishers consider self-archiving as
equivalent to publication and may reject your manuscript on this basis.
The situation varies from publisher to publisher. Accordingly it is
important to think carefully about how you wish to disseminate your text
before you self-archive. Otherwise you may find that you have
inadvertently limited your options. If you have signed a contract with a
publisher you can always self-archive in the future.

If you have published an article, you can self-archive it if your
publishing contract allows this. In Norway, the publishers’ and authors’
associations have collaborated to produce a standard contract for publication in journals, which permits self-archiving.

Under this contract, the publisher has non-exclusive rights regarding
the digital publication, duplication and publication of the work. The
author may include the work on her or his own website or that of her of
his employer.

With regard to international journals, consult the Sherpa/Romeo database. This database contains information about most publishers’ and journals’ policies on self-archiving.

Contact your institution’s library if you have questions about
copyright, self-archiving and the dissemination of articles in different
versions. For more information about Open Access publishing and
self-archiving in Norway, e.g., about Norwegian publishers’ practices,
see the Norwegian website


Dysthe, O., & Kjeldsen, J. E. (1999) Skriveråd for studenter (No. 1/99). Bergen.

Vaage, S. (2001)
Perspektivtaking, rekonstruksjon av erfaring og kreative læreprosessar
George Herbert Mead og John Dewey om læring. I O. Dysthe (Red.), Dialog, samspel og læring (s. 129-150).

‘Learning Support Services. Skills for Learning. CD-rom version’, 2004.

Last updated: Ma

Disseminating your thesis | Search & Write