Promoting your research
How to cite this article: Padmanabhan S, Ravichandran L. Promoting your research. Sri Ramachandra J Health Sci 2022;2:43-4.
The challenges and job description of a researcher are manifold and starts with conceptualization and ends up along a long travelled path with dissemination of the research.
The stereotype of the researcher as a nerdy intellectual relegated to a stuffy laboratory is a thing of the past. In the current context, it is not merely enough to carry out good research and publish it in a reputed academic journal but to share it widely and promote it. This is particularly so with the emphasis not merely on the publish or perish mantra but goes beyond that to the various lofty metrics that academics and institutions aspire to reach. Thus, the avatar of the contemporary researcher is multifaceted and constantly needs learning and updating to current trends and requirements.
It is often recommended that one presents one work or a part of it in a conference or symposium using the inputs received to refine it for final publication.
While most seasoned researchers are quite clear as to the choice of journal in which to publish, the keys to successful publishing are not merely choosing where to publish but promoting your work and connecting with your audience. Open access publishing has made published research more accessible where readers have complete access to the published work but quite often publishers levy an author publishing fee to make the entire manuscript open access. The authors can choose to make their entire work open access as opposed to making only the meta data available which would include authorship, title of the article, copyright year, publication date, keywords, and abstracts. This is a choice that the author has to make at the time of publication. Research identification systems such as Open Research and contributors ID (ORCID) is offered by a non-profit organization that provides researchers with a unique digital identifier. Others such identifiers are Researcher ID by Publons and the Scopus author identifier, and the Vidwan id by the MOE, India. Such unique digital identifiers are important because they resolve ambiguity in names, distinguish between the work from that of other authors, link works published under different names and they may be mandatory for some journals and funding agencies.
Academics, institutions, and accrediting agencies have keen eyes on numerous metrics such as journal level metrics, article level metrics, author level metrics, and department/ institutional metrics. Web of Science (WOS) and Scopus are two agencies which provide tools for bibliometrics that are commonly followed and provide both impact metrics and normalized metrics. The commonly known are the journal impact factor by WOS and citescore by Scopus, respectively. The advent of digital technology has not merely changed the way scholars and publishing houses submit and process the research work but it has also lead to the advent of social media in the world of research. It is not uncommon for researchers to share their work on social media platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp, and social media platforms but it has also lead to research specific social media platforms such as research gate and academia.edu which help researchers keep track of their work and their metrics and connect with peers. While conventional metrics have been traditional barometers of academic productivity and performance, they have disadvantages too. It takes years to stoke up citations and citation hacking is another problem. Social media has led to alternate metrics or altmetrics which are complementary to traditional metrics.
Unlike traditional metrics which looks at journal citations, altmetrics looks at visibility of all scholarly input on social media platforms, blogs, mainstream press, Wikipedia etc. and has the advantages of being instant with diverse impact on education, public policy, practice, scholarly impact and culture to name a few. Publishing houses are linked to altmetric aggregators such as Plum X or Altmetrics and currently offer additional selling points of high visibility on digital media.
However, sharing research on social media adds the additional burden of time taken to share, elicit a response, and respond to it. It is also important for the discerning researcher not to overshare since scientific publishing is also driven by economics and the researcher has to be careful not to infringe on the copyright contract signed with the publisher.
Despite all this sharing of research has become nearly as important as it’s conduct and it has become inevitable for the lofty researcher to keep on par with current trends and maintain a robust online presence.
“Offer your insight. It is an approach to accomplish immortality.” ― Dalai Lama XIV