In this day and age of funding, university rankings, knowledge transfer and impact it is not simply enough to publish research, it also needs to be used. To be cited by other researchers. To be put into practice by researchers as well as those beyond the research field.
So, here are another 5 tips (going with my earlier tips) on how you might increase the awareness of your published works, and hence increase their citation and knowledge transfer.
5. Send hard copies out
If the journal you publish in provides written copies of your article, send them out! There’s no point leaving them in your drawer just in case. Send them to people who might be interested or to people who you think should read your work. I’m sure you have a strong idea of who these people are – but if not read tip 7.
6. Be the same author
This has happened to me – I am a different author on some of my publications. That is, in some cases I am Richard D Huysmans and in others just Richard Huysmans. Then there is my book. Which is Dr Richard Huysmans. Where possible, try to avoid this. Instead, have one name that you use consistently across all publications. Use of a middle initial (if you have one) makes it easier to identify your publications. Maintaining an ORCID can help in this process if/when your work is published using something other than your preferred name and/or if you change your name.
Regardless of how you get there, it is important that all of your publications are linked. It will make it easier to find your entire catalogue of work, not just the publication you are talking about now, or referencing in a blog or video.
Want to increase
citation of your work?
Share it on social media
7. Engage the authors you reference
As an author, I am always excited to read and see how others have used the work I have published. I am also surprised how few people let the authors they reference know that they used their work. Do it! If anyone will be interested in using and further citing your work, it is the people who’s work you built on. Give them the best chance to reference you. So, for each item in your reference list, send an email or other communication to the relevant author; e.g. lead or corresponding author. Let the person know about your work, and how you used their work. Don’t forget to include a copy of, or at least a link to, your publication, along with a request to share your work if they like it.
And while we are on the topic of reference lists, make it a long one. Studies have shown that research articles with long reference lists have more citations themselves. And this is not skewed by literature reviews1.
8. Share your work on social media
I’ve tangentially touched on this in relation to writing about your work. And social media is perhaps a microblog. Well certainly twitter is. Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn all allow much longer form posts, that I’d call blogs. Regardless, sharing your articles on social media increases their citation rates2. And there are increasingly strong links between unique tweets and future citations3. Note that publishing in journals with their own twitter account is associated with more tweets per article and more citations per article4.
Doing one tweet, or one blog or one video is great. So is contacting one author from your reference list. But it is much better to do several. Write a few blogs, covering different aspects of the work, and spread their release out over several weeks, days or months. Share that content on several social media sites in long and short form. Tweet, re-tweet and tweet again. Record several videos. Communicate with authors from all of the work you reference – tag them in social media or blog posts; thank them by name in your video. It is all well and good to say you’ll let the work stand on its own two feet”, but if no one can read it or find it that will be impossible. So share it!
Dr Richard Huysmans is the author of Connect the Docs: A Guide to getting industry partners for academics. He specialises in delivering high quality strategic advice to the education, research and government sectors. He is driven by the challenge of helping researchers be commercially smart, making academic ideas practical; the art of the #pracademic. Richard’s clients appreciate his cut-through approach. He knows the sector and how to turn ideas into reality.
To find out more, call 0412 606 178, email (Richard.firstname.lastname@example.org) or subscribe to the newsletter. He’s on LinkedIn (Dr Richard Huysmans), Twitter (@richardhuysmans), Instagram (@drrichardhuysmans), and Facebook (Beyond Your PhD with Dr Richard Huysmans).
1An easy way to boost a paper’s citations, Nature News, https://www.nature.com/news/2010/100813/full/news.2010.406.html, accessed 28 May 2019
2To be on not to be in twitter, and its relationship with the tweeting and citation of research papers, Scientometrics, https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11192-016-2113-0, accessed 28 May 2019
3Can tweets predict citations? Metrics of social impact based on twitter and correlation with traditional metrics of scientific impact
4The presence of academic journals on twitter and its relationship with dissemination (tweets) and research impact (citations), Aslib Journal of Information Management, https://doi.org/10.1108/AJIM-02-2017-0055, accessed 28 May 2019