Use the many powerful online and traditional tools of research dissemination to communicate your research to your academic peers. Sharing research, accomplishments and ambitions with a wider audience makes you more visible in your fields. With greater visibility, you get cited more, you cultivate a stronger reputation and you promote your research, and career.
Books or Book chapters
Writing a book or contributing a chapter in a book is a clear way to demon- strate your knowledge and research findings and to establish a solid reputation within your field. Then, use several of the online tools mentioned here to further broadcast your book or book chapter.
In addition to writing books or book chapters is publishing articles in reputable peer-reviewed journals, as in one of Elsevier’s many journals. Journals have loyal readers within the given academic field, so publishing in a journal is a strong way to get noticed. As with websites, you can optimize your journal articles for search engines using top keywords relevant to your article and research field throughout your article. Explore the Google AdWords keyword tool for how you can find which words to use for search engine optimization (SEO).
Publications, including the monograph, boost your resume or curriculum vitae (CV) and acknowledgement. A monograph is a medium for you to clearly demonstrate your strong research and expertise on a particular topic, either in book or article form. As with any book or article you publish, you can share a monograph in your academic social networks, such as on ResearchGate, or via links on your website, LinkedIn, Twitter and more.
A preprint is the version of your research article before being peer-reviewed and edited for publication. You can use preprint to help generate early awareness about your research findings within your academic network. With many publishers, authors are allowed to use a preprint for self-archiving. You should check which publishers allow preprints to be self-archived. Elsevier is one that permits preprints except its Cell Press and The Lancet.
Many higher educational institutions have established institutional repositories where theses, dissertations, reports and other publications of academics affiliated with the institution are kept and archived digitally. Users of the institutional repositories can digitally browse a database of such repositories for various research findings as in a traditional library. Repositories pave the way for wider distribution of your work.
As the name indicates, disciplinary repositories are repositories which cater to archiving publications within a particular discipline. There are numerous such repositories available online for specific disciplines. Disciplinary repositories are not limited to researchers from a particular institution, as is the case with institutional repositories. Publications in disciplinary repositories can be easily accessed online and website crawling engines like CiteSeerx actively search the Internet to gather scholarly publications to add to its database. Thus, open-access publications (accessible without payment or subscription) are the most retrieved and indexed. Disciplinary repositories strongly complement institutional repositories and broaden the exposure and indexing of your research articles. Examples of disciplinary repositories include arXiv.org and PubMed Central.
Press releases can be in either print or on the web these days and it’s best if it is both. Press releases are used to announce events or publications, or other newsworthy information. When you publish a book or an article, writing a press release and distributing it to online and print academic sources relevant to your field, is a smart way to attract attention to your work. Links to the press releases can be shared on your blog, in academic social networks, LinkedIn, Facebook and all of the other social media outlets as well.
If you are affiliated with a particular institution, chances are that it publishes one or more newsletters for its constituents. Contributing articles on your research or announcing a new publication are perfect for the newsletter. You can easily increase the readership of your work within the institution this way.
Research briefs offer a concise overview of your research and can be shared through many offline and online methods. Research briefs can be shared in institutional newsletters, for instance, or referenced via your website and social media. Research briefs give readers simplified information about the research, enough to entice them to read the publications further.
Presentations at conferences
Giving a presentation at a conference is a clear way to be recognized. You bring greater awareness to who you are and to your work. In today’s age when so much is done through the Internet, it is valuable to meet fellow academics face-to-face at conferences. Presenting at conferences and networking personalizes your work by giving your work a ‘face’ and a ‘voice’. Attendees will continue to associate that positive impression and relationship with your research. Networking in person is key to successfully disseminating your research and to possibly opening up new opportunities to collaborate with others who have common research interests. Add new contacts on LinkedIn, connect on ResearchGate, and tell them about your website and blog.
Posters and flyers
Creating an attractive poster for a conference, possibly accompanied with some flyers, can be useful in communicating about your research. You can also modernize the usage of posters and flyers by posting them online and providing links in several of the online outlets available today. (Also see: Elsevier WebShop for posters creation)
Facebook is a popular social media tool, but you can leverage it for professional purposes as well. You can share photos, status updates and links regarding your research with all of your ‘friends’ on Facebook. You can also join groups which may be available for your field of expertise and connect with other like-minded research professionals.
Twitter is technically a microblogging site, but it is addressed separately here given its popularity. Twitter gives you a chance to share quick thoughts, statements and announcements with followers, using no more than 140 characters. It is a great way to share your current research, publications and links to new blog posts with others. You can follow other researchers and thereby increase your own following.
Google+ is a type of social networking site bringing together many elements from the different social media sites. It is still in the early stages of operation. It is more sophisticated and enables you to have different layers of interaction with different users, such as between colleagues or friends. If you have an account with Google e-mail or any of Google’s products already, then you can expand your account to be a Google+ account. It is useful for interacting with fellow research professionals around the globe.
LinkedIn is a networking site for professionals in academia and industry. Since it is widely used, it is highly ranked in search engines; this helps you build a stronger online presence. You can showcase your work to your connections by creating an up-to-date and detailed profile (just like in a CV). You can post your latest accomplishments, research findings and links to your articles. You can also join research groups that interest you and connect to other like-minded research professionals.
Multifunctional Academic Social Networks1
There are several online academic social networks offering multifunctional uses, ranging from academic networking to online reference management, research announcement and research sharing, to organization of your publications, to facilitating opportunities to virtually collaborate on projects with other like-minded researchers. These purely academic and research-focused sites are a must for any serious and ambitious scholar. To get started on these sites, simply create an account and start exploring. The most reputable sites include: Mendeley, myExperiment, SelectedWorks, Academia.edu, ResearchGate, CiteULike and Zotero. Many of the sites offer handy tools, such as analytics, so you can see how many have viewed your profile or downloaded your papers.
Microblogging is the shorter form of blogging, but not as short as writing tweets on Twitter, which is limited to 140 characters. Thus, microblogging is also an effective way to announce research and publications and to attract attention to your website and blog. You can often attach documents, images or videos to your microblogging posts.
Blogs are proven to be effective in disseminating your research and having a larger impact. You can promote in-depth conversation via your blog. You build credibility by sharing information and responding to feedback from other researchers. Create a blog and write regular blog updates to tell about your research undertakings and other related topics of interest to you. Provide links to your Elsevier and other journal articles and publications. Readers can follow and subscribe to your posts and leave comments.
Online Resume Landing Pages3
A shortened version of a personal website is a resume or curriculum vitae (CV) landing page.
Create a personal professional website highlighting your research findings, achievements, publications and ambitions. A website is a very detailed virtual resume or curriculum vitae (CV). Share links to your website in your e-mail signature and on all of your online and social media profiles to get maximum exposure. You can also add links to your academic social networks, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other accounts to your website.
Podcasts offer more variety than sites like YouTube or Vimeo in that you can upload audio only files and other document types, in addition to video. Podcasts are most often used to make a series of audio recordings. You can use podcasts to broadcast your lectures, presentations, or to create a series of narratives on your research, for example. Popular sites offering access to podcasts include: iTunes, Yahoo, Podcast Directory, Podcast Alley and iPodder.org.
Share photos from academic events with sites like Picasa and Flickr. To get started on these sites, you only need to create a login and password. Add links to your website and other online media to photos from important academic events and avoid sharing photos that are too personal.
Share videos of your research findings, conference presentations, a lecture, or of you giving an explanation on a topic within your expertise. Make it professional in appearance and share it on sites, such as YouTube or Vimeo. To get started, just create a login and password and you can start sharing your academic videos.
Scribd is essentially an online library allowing registered users to upload, publish and share documents with others. Scribd is great for academics and non- academics alike. It is a good way to share, or even sell, your research briefs, abstracts, presentations or full publications. You can upload documents without an account, but it is best to create a login and password to get started.
SlideShare is a useful website for sharing your presentations, documents and videos. Following a conference or lecture, for instance, attendees may want to browse through your presentation slides again and SlideShare offers you an easy way to do that. You can choose to share your documents privately with one person or a few individuals, or make it publicly available to any SlideShare user. You can also share links to your SlideShare documents on a variety of social media tools.
Wikipedia is the well-known free online encyclopedia where registered users can create and edit entries. Not everyone can have a Wikipedia page. Once you have established a name for yourself and published several books and articles and have gained a solid reputation in your research field, you have a better chance of successfully obtaining a Wikipedia page. The Wikipedia page would highlight your background, profile, accomplishments, publications and any other relevant information. Having been cited by many other sources also increases your chances of being able to create a Wikipedia page. Wikipedia has many guidelines for how to write a Wikipedia entry, so check its website for more details.
Getting noticed today means using the abundant online and social media tools available to better disseminate your research findings and publications to a wider audience of researchers. As a result, not only will your research become more visible, but you will also attain more readers, increase citations, build a stronger reputation and expand your professional network with researchers. Efforts you make online today will make you stronger offline tomorrow.