Seven ways to increase the visibility of your research

This post is by Library Research Support Advisor, Sally Dalton

So, you’ve published your research and you’re now hoping to sit back, relax and get ready for all those citations to roll in?

Unfortunately the hard work doesn’t stop here!

Now you need to promote your research to make sure it reaches the widest possible audience, this is part of the job of being a researcher. By making your research more visible you could potentially open up future collaboration / job / publication opportunities, increase citations to your work and increase the number of people finding, reading and building on your work.

Image source: (CC-0)

1. Promote your research at conferences

Conferences are a great opportunity to promote yourself and your research. Even if you aren’t presenting your work you can use the conference as an opportunity to meet other researchers and start to develop your research network. Keep an eye out for names of researchers you would like to meet and practice introducing yourself and your research. You may only have a few minutes so make sure you’re prepared!

2. Carefully consider which journals you are going to publish in

Choosing where to publish in an academic matter but there are certain questions you may want to ask yourself before choosing where to publish. Are the articles in the journal easily discoverable? Are they indexed in services such as Web of Science or Scopus? Does the journal have suitable open access options? Have you and your colleagues heard of the journal? The answers to these questions will determine how visible your article will be to other researchers. Think Check Submit provides a simple check list to make sure you choose trusted journals for your research.

3. Sign up for an ORCiD 

Having and ORCID can help to make your research more visible. ORCID is a digital identifier that helps to distinguish you from other researchers. You can link all your research outputs to your ORCID and you can keep it throughout your career. It is particularly useful for researchers with common names, who change their name throughout their career or who change institutions. No matter what changes are made you will always have the same ORCID, so other people can easily see details of your research outputs. More details on how to sign up for a free ORCID can be found here.

4. Make your research open access

Open access publishing makes scholarly works available online, free for anyone to find and read. The potential readership of open access articles is far greater than that for articles where the full-text is restricted to subscribers. Making your research open access will make it more visible. There are 2 ways to make your research outputs open access; by self-archiving in an open access repository or by publishing in an open access journal. More information on open access can be found on our open access pages.

5. Share your research data where appropriate

There is growing evidence that sharing data can increase the visibility of research. Sharing your data could allow other researchers to validate your work, build upon it and could potentially help to open up future collaboration opportunities. Learn more about managing and sharing your data on our Research Data Management pages.

6. Promote your research online

Promoting your research online will help you reach your potential audience, connect with other researchers and help you to start developing a network of online colleagues. There are a number of different social media tools such as Twitter, Instagram, Blogs and LinkedIn. Whichever tool(s) you use it is important to identify who your audience is, engage with them by asking questions, speaking up about issues that interest you and use eye catching images, videos or visualisations. You don’t need to spend a long time keeping your social media accounts up to date but you do need to be willing to write and check your account(s) regularly.

7. Track when your research is being used

Keeping up to date with who is discussing, citing or sharing your research is important. You can use this type of information on CVs and when applying for funding/jobs etc. To check who is citing your work you can look at your articles on sites such as Web of Science, Scopus or Google Scholar. If you are an early career researcher it may be more appropriate to use Altmetrics. Altmetrics looks at who is talking and sharing your research on places such as social media, in news outlets and on course syllabi. For more information on Altmetrics have a look at our Altmetrics pages.

The Research Support team run regular workshops on increasing the visibility of your research focused on different faculties, book online here (N.B. currently for postgraduate research students only, let us know if you would be interested in similar sessions for research staff).

Further reading


RDN Lightning talk – Open Research Leeds (@OpenResLeeds): networks, metrics and #openresearch

These are slides for a lightning talk next week at the Research Data Network in York:

N.B. Altmetric data (slide 9) – I ran all DOIs available from IRUSdata-UK against the API on 22/06/2017, available in this Google sheet.*

Note that not all repositories appear to expose DOIs in a manner that is currently available to IRUSdata. In addition, several repositories do not differentiate types of DOI (i.e. DataCite DOIs assigned to a dataset vs publisher DOIs pointing at an associated journal article.)

* Instructions how to do this available at

On metrics

Research Data Leeds is now being tracked by and by IRUSdata-UK which means we can begin to actively contribute to Jisc’s R&D Project – Research data metrics for usage.

Currently any social dissemination from RDL can euphemistically be described as “extremely limited” with the only activity so far having been posted by yours truly:

We needn’t be too disheartened however given that the emphasis thus far, at Leeds and elsewhere, has been on developing infrastructure and policy, identifying and promoting best practice.

It’s also perhaps not that common for researchers to disseminate their datasets independently from their papers (or to cite others’ data?) and we should take the lead in dissemination, promoting data as a primary research output in its own right:


Research data by its nature is esoteric, and tribology (the science and technology of interacting surfaces in relative motion) is unlikely to be of wide general interest. Nevertheless there is a great deal we can do to increase the chance of discovery by specialists, by building and interacting with appropriate networks for example (a search for #tribology on twitter indicates there’s a potential networked audience) and by optimising repositories and their metadata.

One aspect to this is another Jisc project, the UK Data Discovery Service (UKDDS) which Leeds has contributed to and which is now in phase 3, during which Jisc plan to add additional research data collections into UKDSS from UK HEIs and Data Centres and also get everyone involved with the Research Data Metrics for Usage project (see recent post from Jisc’s Chris Brown).

As of yesterday we are now one of 20 repositories that have installed a plugin which pings the IRUS server with a defined OpenURL string every time an item is downloaded from the repository, and which complies with the COUNTER code of practice (thanks to Paul Needham at Cranfield for his help with this.)

Participants are listed here along with a link to the respective repositories and break down in terms of software as follows:

Platform No. of repositories No. of items Downloads to Dec 2016 Downloads in Jan so far Total downloads
DSpace 4 489 6,909 736 7,645
EPrints 11 1,668 40.667 3,705 44,370
Fedora 1 194 7,839 853 8,692
Figshare 4 149 4,806 609 5,415

It will be a little while before I can get any meaningful download stats for Research Data Leeds and in the meantime I’ll explore data for other repositories; it will also be interesting to run doi’s against the altmetric api to see if there are any high scores among them (using the method described here