Using Content Discovery as the Starting Point for Your Publishing Strategy – Increasing the Visibility of Your Published Papers

After surveying more than 40,000 researchers, a study released this month has pointed to some interesting insights on the distribution of content and how researchers source information relevant to their research.

At Ediqo, we have taken these insights as the starting point to building effective publishing and distribution strategies: understanding how researchers access scholarly content will help you determine the most effective ways to publish your own papers and maximize the impact of your research.

Here are five points to consider to help you effectively publish and distribute your research, which can all be applied in parallel. For a more comprehensive guide to developing your publishing strategy, see our Authors Resources Center.

1) Choose the right place for publication (and make sure you are indexed)

Web search engines (Google and the like), academic search engines (Google Scholar, etc.) and indexing & abstracting (A&I) databases (Web of Science, etc.) are the main sites scholars begin their search for content. Ensuring good coverage in these search engines and databases is essential to enhancing the visibility of your research.

2) Offer a free copy of your research paper

Considering that over 50% of journal content delivery is through free copies of the content, you need to make sure the full-text of your paper is available for free somewhere. The academic search engine Google Scholar, for example, displays direct links to free copies in search results. Offering a free copy therefore increases the visibility and click rate of your paper.

3) Build your online presence

While most researchers do not begin their search for content on social media, many are active on such platforms. Build an online presence on the main social media channels used in your field to grow your audience and communicate your latest research findings. Building an audience is a slow process, and you will have to continually share your insights, opinions and links in order to attract a sizable number of followers.

Unlike Twitter, the other major platforms allow for longer posts. When publishing posts with larger amounts of content, consider the timing. During work hours, users tend to skip long stories, and are more likely to engage with them during prime time (evening hours). Try to experiment by posting your content at different times during the day to find time windows that work best for the kind of messages you want to communicate.

4) Choose a Publisher that supports link resolver technologies

Over last few years, the importance of discovering scholarly content through library platforms has steadily increased. Libraries offer access to their electronic resources via these platforms. Make sure that the content from your preferred journal is accessible in your own library portal via link resolvers – usually a button in the search results of the library portal, which will take you directly to the publisher’s website of the concerned article. Link resolvers are also used by some search engines such as Google Scholar to direct users to copies of articles held at the local university library.

5) Choose a mobile-friendly publisher

Ten percent of scholarly content is accessed from mobiles phones (smartphones). Publishing with a journal that offers a website tailored for mobile phones, including full-text articles optimized for reading on small screens, will greatly enhance the usability of your paper.

Mobile phone usage across the wider Internet has already reached 50% and is still climbing. It is thus likely that usage of content on mobile devices will climb further over the coming months. Further, websites with poor mobile design tend to have much less traffic from mobile phones. You may therefore be missing out on traffic to your paper when choosing a publisher or journal with poor mobile phone compatibility.

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