13 Jun 2017
Scientific Research Assistance
Five actions for increased visibility of your publications
Do you know how to maximize the impact of your publications? Here are five essential elements that all researchers should know in order to extend their reach.
Scientific output indicators calculated using the number of articles published and the number of citations received, have an influence on many aspects of a researcher’s career. They are taken into consideration for world rankings, the award of research grants, the career progression of a researcher within an institution, and the guidance of students interested in pursuing graduate studies. Thus, in addition to being the traditional vehicle for disseminating scientific discoveries, the publication of articles contributes to a researcher’s recognition.
In the current context of research evaluation, researchers are under pressure to increase their pace of publication and this increase often leads to a decrease in the quality of the content. Faced with this problem, the scientific community also uses metrics based on the number of citations to assess scientific output. Citations measure the use of scientific publications and are used to estimate scientific impact.
Today, there are many ways of disseminating research and a variety of tools that allow tracking and that facilitate access to scientific publications. Here are some strategies you can use to maximize the visibility of your publications and increase your chances of being cited.
1. Publishing in an International Journal
Publishing in an international journal is not the rule for all fields, as seen in the social sciences and humanities, where research generally focuses on local phenomena and is discussed in local languages. Local journals are much less likely to be listed in Web of Science and Scopus databases, which target the most often cited scientific journals in the world across all disciplines.
Thus, if it is relevant for your research topic, it is better to submit your article to a journal indexed in these two databases. Because of their scope, selection criteria and rigorous data processing, these databases are currently the main sources used in the compilation of bibliometric indicators.
2. Publishing in Open Access Journals
Open access is generally associated with journals that are freely available online and whose publication costs can be quite high for the author – this is the gold open access where the publisher provides the service. This “author-pays” model is the one proposed by many prestigious journals. Unfortunately, this dissemination model has given rise to journals whose publishers are completely profit-driven and whose credibility is often questioned.
There is another possibility! Several journals are adopting a dissemination model that allows the author to self-archive publications in a disciplinary or institutional repository – this is the green way to open access.
At ÉTS, the institutional repository is Espace ÉTS. This open access channel is beneficial for both the author and the reader, who can locate the article through search engines and access it for free. The author does not have to pay publication fees and, if necessary, is able to meet the requirements of the granting agencies regarding open access.
Most of the journals listed in WoS and Scopus allow self-archiving of articles, you just need to ensure your rights by checking the publisher’s policies for self-archiving.
To find out about your self-archiving policy, consult the Sherpa/RoMEO, the journal’s website, or contact the appropriate resource person.
To find out more about this topic, see the post
“Open Access Journals: A Great Option for Researchers” or the section Publier en libre accès within our guide Choix d’une revue où publier.
3. Deposit your items in an institutional repository
By choosing a journal that allows self-archiving and by keeping the correct version of the document, you have everything you need to deposit your article in Espace ÉTS. The benefits are great: you contribute to the access to knowledge movement, you promote the preservation of information, and you increase the visibility of your article on the Web. The platforms on which institutional repositories are developed are easily indexed by Google, so your article will be spotted easily.
Studies show that open access articles are generally more cited (Gargouri et al., 2010).
4. Popularizing your Research
Researchers are increasingly encouraged to connect with the public. They are asked, for example, to demonstrate the social or societal impact of their research, or to establish a plan of action to engage the public in their research. Scientific popularization is an interesting option to consider in developing this component. It makes it possible to interest, attract, and capture the attention of a wider audience and to enhance the awareness of a research project.
There are more and more dissemination vehicles for popular research, such as the scientific news site Substance ÉTS. This platform promotes the scientific research carried out at ÉTS, and the fact that it is published in French and English makes it possible to reach readers from a variety of backgrounds.
5. Use social media to enhance your research
To make it easier for people interested in your research topic to find you, you should be easily spotted on the web. There are now several scientific social networks that allow you to disseminate your researcher profile and include the details of your publications. These platforms come in different forms, but all have the same objective: to disseminate research results and increase their visibility. A study by Van Noorden (2014) shows that Google Scholar and Research Gate are the platforms most regularly used by researchers. The study also points out that the LinkedIn professional networking platform is widely used by the scientific community.
Being present on one or other (or several) of these scientific social networks also allows you to follow new developments in a given research speciality. Follow the most renowned researchers and research groups and engage in discussions: it is a great networking strategy. This applies particularly to networks in a purely scientific context, such as Research Gate or Academia.edu.
To reach a wider audience, social networks like Twitter and Facebook are a good bet, and are also used by researchers to disseminate their articles. This can indeed be a complementary strategy since readers have the means to redistribute information in the form of sharing. This can stimulate interesting discussions and increase the visibility of a research.
The advice provided here is not exhaustive and is not essential to success in research. It is up to each researcher to evaluate the relevance of their actions according to the evolution of their career and the culture of their field.
To find out more about one of these elements or to monitor the impact of your publications, please see your institution’s librarian.
Held Barbosa De Souza
Held Barbosa de Souza is a librarian at ÉTS. She holds a master’s degree in Information Sciences from Université de Montréal, and the subject of her thesis was about the contribution of postdoctoral fellows to the advancement of knowledge.