Five Ways to Boost your Research Impact and Altmetric Score
A familiar story. . .
Dr Smart is a successful scientist. She’s a hard worker and has been focusing on her research for years.
Following a crucial discovery in her field, Dr Smart writes a paper hoping to share her findings with the world. And, after struggling with reviewers and long delays from peer reviews, Dr Smart finally gets her paper published.
And then. . . crickets.
After all of her hard work and dedication, nobody seems to notice Dr Smart’s research. It’s a sad story, but does this sound at all familiar to you?
Stand out in a crowd. . .
Unfortunately, most scientists do not have a strong promotional strategy for their research. Many even think their job is done once they’re published.
This couldn’t be further from the truth. And in today’s competitive publishing landscape, you shouldn’t leave anything to chance. Instead, you should look to broaden the impact of your research and boost your Altmetric score.
“Well, how do I do that?” you might ask.
Promotion, promotion, promotion!
Scientists like Dr Smart (and you!) need a solid promotional strategy, that if followed, will hopefully spread the research far and wide, giving it the impact it deserves.
Before you go any further. . .
Here are the three things you’ll need for Altmetric to track your paper:
1. An output (e.g. journal article, dataset, etc.)
2. An identifier attached to the output (e.g. a URL link that includes the DOI)
3. ‘Mention’ is a source tracked by Altmetric (see all tracked sources in our awesome infographic)
#1 Media releases
A well-written media release is perhaps the most powerful tool at your disposal. Although they can be a bit of a gamble, if picked up by the right people, this strategy can truly make you a superstar!
In other words, a simple but effective media release could give your research the wings it needs to reach the world. You might even find your research featured on TV, the radio and headlined in newspapers. And here’s a pro-tip: befriend the media team at your institution. Their job is to write media releases!
Here’s an example of a paper that, thanks to a well-written media release, attained massive international exposure (resulting in a mind-boggling Altmetric score of 1200!)
#2 Social media
Leverage Twitter and other social-media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn to share your research. However, the way you share your research is important; you don’t want to find yourself drowning in an ocean of cat videos and pictures of mushroom risotto. You’ll need attention-grabbing visuals such as video abstracts or graphical abstracts. These elements can make the difference between a post that goes unnoticed and a post that really stands out. (Interested in seeing how a social media savvy scientist looks like? Check out Dr. Paige Jerreau’s blog! She offers some very insightful tips).
#3 Blog posts
If you have a blog or personal website, it’s time to create an interesting post about your paper. This strategy allows you to share the story behind your research, creates a personal angle, and adds the human element that is all-too-absent in peer-reviewed papers. They’re also an effective way of reaching your audience without filters and intermediaries (e.g. media).
Don’t have a blog? No problem! Publish your post in your institution’s already-established blog — they’re always looking for new content to publish.
Conferences have been around for a while, but Twitter hashtags haven’t. These days all conferences have a Twitter hashtag that makes it easy for you to tap into the online conversation. Learn how to use Twitter at conferences. It is a great opportunity to spread the word, as many of your peers (even those not physically present at the conference) will be monitoring the hashtag. Don’t miss these excellent social opportunities!
#5 Register for Researcher IDs
In order to increase your online appearance, try registering for a researcher ID such as ORCID. Your ORCID iD becomes your own unique digital identifier, which distinguishes you from every other researcher. The best part is that many journals often ask for contributors ORCID, meaning you get automatic recognition for all your contributions, saving you time and hassle. There are several other platforms such as ResearchGate, Publons, and of course LinkedIn which contribute to your online presence and visibility. Most importantly, make sure that you keep your list of publications up-to-date across these platforms.
You now have the tools to spread your research far and wide. So remember: develop your strategy, incorporate graphical abstracts into your social media posts, leverage the full power of the internet (blog posts, Twitter conference hashtags, etc.), put your work out there and watch your eventual success follow.
If only Dr Smart knew about these strategies and tactics, she’d now be called Dr Super Smart!