Using Online Resources to Make Your Work More Visible

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS—Today’s scientists have more tools available for disseminating their research and connecting with each other than ever before. A workshop held at the annual meeting of AAAS on Friday—”Manage Your Online Profile, Maximize the Visibility of Your Work and Make an Impact!”—explored the ways researchers can now get their work out into the digital world.

During the session, science librarians Julia Gelfand of the University of California, Irvine, and Laura Bowering Mullen of Rutgers University in Brunswick New Jersey, shared their thoughts about some of the newly available options.

“You are the subject and you are trying to promote the best of yourself.” —Julia Gelfand

• Publish your work with open access. A big trend right now is the push by funders, institutions, and the public for open access to research results. Advantages for researchers include the rapid dissemination of results, the broadening of their audience, and greater impact for their work. Measuring your work’s impact is also facilitated: “If you share your research early you can get some clear metrics,” Mullen said.

Broadly, there are two ways you can make your research openly accessible: either you publish in an open-access journal or you load your (usually post-peer reviewed, but not journal-branded) paper onto an institutional or disciplinary repository. When you do the latter, you must of course adhere to the copyright policies of whatever journal published the work. An easy way to check those policies is by using SHERPA/RoMEO.

• Share your data. Gelfand and Mullen encouraged researchers to join the movement toward liberal online data sharing. Researchers may share their data through institutional repositories or at cloud services like figshare and DRYAD.

• Create an online profile. Scopus, Microsoft Academic Search, Google Scholar, Web of Science, and many other services allow users to create an online profile. Check your profile for errors such as incomplete information, duplicate citation, or varying name convention—as they can creep up easily. Make sure you know how to update your profile—and have your username and password stored away. “You are the subject and you are trying to promote the best of yourself,” Gelfand said.

These profiles allow other researchers to see your number of publications and citations, along with all your coauthors and the researchers that cited your work. “It also helps with building your network,” Gelfand said.

• Create an ID. An ORCID ID—a unique, universal researcher identifier—will automatically pull together all of your research activity and output.

• Measure your impact using altmetrics. Increasingly, research impact is not only measured not only in terms of academic publications and citations but also via clicks, bookmarks, downloads, tweets, blog posts, and the like. The presenters suggested a tool that researchers can use: ImpactStory.

Gelfand and Bowering Mullen offer a wealth of other tools in a version of their talk that they posted online.

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