Feature Article — Promoting Your Article for Maximum Impact

Despite millions of research papers being published every year, by no means all of them get sufficient attention. It has been found that more than 43% of research articles indexed by the Web of Science (i.e. published in journals with impact factors) have never been cited (Van Noorden, Maher, & Nuzzo, 2014). This implies that publishing a high-quality paper does not guarantee a high citation rate. It is therefore important that researchers learn how to make their articles stand out. With reference to the literature on promoting research (e.g. Elsevier, 2016; University College Dublin, n.d.; University of Pittsburgh, 2016), this article introduces ways for researchers to effectively publicize their research along the three stages of the ‘paper journey’ — from manuscript preparation to promotion of published work and monitoring of the research impact.

1. Manuscript preparation and submission
Choosing the right journals to publish your work is one of the most important decisions for disseminating your research. Other than targeting only the top journals in their fields, researchers can check relevant journals indexed by key scholarly databases, and also consider journals in which the most highly cited papers in their areas are published.

To increase the discoverability of their research, researchers need to establish their author identity. This may be done by using a consistent name and affiliation in different publications. It is not rare for researchers to have names which are similar or even identical to others. To resolve the potential problem of author name confusion, it is recommended that researchers register researcher identifiers, which provide them with unique identifiers that connect them with their publications.1

Manuscripts should be written in a clear and helpful way so that they are more easily indexed by internet search engines. An optimized title and abstract are important to make the work retrievable through search engines.2

2. Post-publication promotion
After the publication of research work, a common way to promote it is to present your work at academic conferences. Apart from exploring research collaboration, researchers can take the opportunity to connect with delegates on social networks and invite them to visit their websites, blogs or profiles.

The prevalence of social media allows researchers to easily reach potential readers of their publications. They can engage in academic social networking platforms and get connected with others sharing the same research areas and interests. For promoting their work to a wider audience, researchers can set up blogs and Twitter pages for their research projects. There are also tools which help them to explain their work to the general public, one of which is Kudos, which is introduced in the research resources section of this Bulletin issue.

Researchers can also deposit their work in open access repositories, which make their research available to the public free of charge. Quite a number of publishers and journals allow authors to deposit accepted manuscripts into these repositories, subject to an embargo period (e.g. one year). Making research outputs publicly accessible helps to increase their visibility and hence potential impact.

3.Monitoring of research impact
After promoting an article, it is useful to monitor and assess the effects of the promotion work on the discoverability of the article. Citations of publications can be tracked by setting alerts in scholarly databases such as Scopus, Google Scholar and the Web of Science. In addition, altmetrics3 allow users to understand how their research outputs are being received in the digital environment through various social engagement activities. Researchers can then identify the most effective channel for promotion.

In sum, the dissemination of research outputs is part of the research cycle and is as important as the production of the outputs. Promotion of your research work helps to increase its visibility and the possibility of citation, which ultimately build your research reputation.


Elsevier. (2016). Get noticed [Brochure]. Retrieved from

University College Dublin. (n.d.). Promote your research. Retrieved from http://www.ucd.ie/promoteyourresearch/.

University of Pittsburgh. (2016). How to increase the visibility of your research? Retrieved from http://pitt.libguides.com/researchvisibility.

Van Noorden, R., Maher, B., & Nuzzo, R. (2014). The top 100 papers. Nature, 514(7524), 550–553.

1. The research resources section of a previous issue of the Research Bulletin introduced researcher identifiers and two popular types of them.
2. For more information about how to optimize your articles for search engines, please refer to the feature article in the last Bulletin issue.
3. More details of altmetrics are provided in the feature article and research resources section of a previous Bulletin issue.



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