As a blogger, author of a book, chapter or article; it should come as no surprise that we look to find ways to increase readership. This morning whilst researching for a project I am working on, I came across an article by Professor Christine Pascale who provides a list of tips for researchers and authors to improve research visibility and impact. Whilst this focuses on research, many of the tips can easily be applied to any form of writing you wish to share. It could be your blog about poetry or a book you have written.
In the list below I have added in red some additional suggestions of my own and hyperlinked the social media sites that are suggested.
Christine’s top tips for researchers and authors
- Publicise yourself and your research; for example, put a message and hyperlink to the article in your Email signature box.
Include a link to your blog or Amazon listing.
- Write a review, reviews are more likely to be cited than original research papers.
Consider writing a review of another author’s work in your own blog.
- Promote and present your work at conferences, with colleagues and through your student body. Persuade the organizers of a meeting or conference to make publicly available the presentations made at meetings; not just the published abstracts.
Include links to your work on the final slide. Upload your presentation to Slideshare, which is an excellent space for people to share, like and comment upon your work.
- Set up a web site devoted to your work and research projects and post links to manuscripts of publications, conference abstracts, and supplemental materials such as images, illustrations, slides, specimens, and progress reports on the site.
Tools like WordPress and Blogger make this very easy and can be set up at static pages just like a website. Including visible sharing buttons on your site enables readers to share what they have read with others.
- Ideas travel through networks and relationships. Build on these and be opportunistic.
- Use your Facebook account, blogs, and social networks. Start a blog devoted to the research project.
This is an excellent way to receive feedback. Include questions in your posts to encourage readers to answer these using the comments.
- Consider communicating information about your research via Twitter. Twitter provides an efficient platform for communicating and consuming science.
You may want to include #hashtags for keywords that relate to your work. For example blogging about social media in higher education, I might include #HigherEd #socialmedia.
- Take advantage of SEO (search engine optimization) tips to enhance retrieval of your research project web site by search engines. Work with your webmaster to make sure your web page titles describe the content of the web page and include the name of your research project. Include meta tags in the page header section that include appropriate keywords to describe the content of the page. Search engines look at this “hidden” content and use it to determine search results page rankings.
When writing a blog post think about the title and consider the search terms people may use to locate information about your topic or specialism and include these words.
- Research is not just text and figures. Create a podcast describing the research project and submit the podcast to YouTube or Vimeo.
- Sign up for other social networking sites to increase your visibility and connect with colleagues. Some useful sites are ResearcherID or LinkedIn. Sites such as Nature Network allow and encourage interaction between users. Social network tools provide a forum for disseminating your research, promoting discussion of your work, sharing scientific information, and forming new collaborations.
Consider joining groups or setting up your own in LinkedIn to discuss your own subject specialisms. Cloudworks is a space to share, find and discuss learning and teaching ideas and experiences. Scribd and Issuu are digital documents libraries that allow users to publish, discover and discuss original writings and documents.
For further ideas on how to develop the use of social media you may wish to look at a presentation I gave at the University of Roehampton on Social Media and the Digital Scholar which is available on Slideshare.
Professor Dr Christine Pascal OBE