10 easy ways to make sure your article gets read

Kris Bishop 
Marketing Manager
Reposted from Wiley Exchanges Blog.
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Ways to make sure your work gets read

It’s been estimated that over 50 million scholarly articles have been published globally (Jinha, 2010) since the first journals were launched over 400 years ago and that the number of articles published increases by about 3.3% annually.  So in this expanding sea of research, how can you increase the chances that your article and your audience will connect? Here are some suggestions…

1.      Set The Stage (SEO): Think about Search Engine Optimization as you write, referring to SEO guides as needed (example of SEO guide). Once your work has been accepted for publication, ask your editor or publisher what other resources are available for authors. For example, the Wiley Author Services site provides production tracking information so you know when your article will publish, instructions on how to nominate up to 10 colleagues for free access when your article does go live online, and more. (Related Exchange: “Search Engine Optimization and Your Journal Article: Do You Want the Bad News First?”)

2.      Use Those E-Alerts: Once you have the official link to your article, you can start sending it around, so get notified the minute your article goes live online by registering beforehand for email alerts from the journal your work is going to be published in (example: Register for Wiley Table of Content Alerts). Many publishing companies offer this service and you can almost always adjust your preferences or unsubscribe at any time.

3.      Reach Out to Your Media Relations Office: Send a description and the link to your article to your communications or media relations office so they can raise awareness through your organization’s official outlets.

4.      Share It On Social Media: Share your article on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or other social media platforms. Engage with colleagues and professional society social media accounts, especially around annual conference time. If you are using Twitter, remember that one article does not need to equal one tweet. Summarize the key points over a series of tweets if the content warrants it. (Related Exchange: “Sharing Science: How Social Media Can Help Break Down Disciplinary Boundaries”)

5.      Wikipedia: One of the first places many people look for substantive information is Wikipedia, so try finding a Wikipedia page on a topic related to your article, log in or register, and add content and your article link as a reference. Check Wikipedia’s guide page for more info on how to use the site.

6.      Email It: Send an email with a brief note and the article link to those three or four colleagues in your organization who would be curious to see what you’ve been working on. Do you already have a half-written email about something else? Add a “P.S.” line and a link to your new article at the bottom of the next few emails you write to contacts in your field.

7.      Tell Your Librarian: Most librarians want to promote the work of their institution members through their own networks and social media outlets, so let them know you’ve got something to share.  Your librarian can be your best marketer.  (Related Exchange: “How We at NTU Libraries Engage Our User Community”)

8.      Update Your Faculty Webpage/CV: Add the article title and link to your faculty or professional webpage, especially if there is a “Recently Published Works” or CV section.

9.      Talk It Up: Don’t forget that original form of social media – the conversation. Come up with a few quick, simple phrases to message what your article is about to other people, whether they are waiting for a session at an academic conference or in line for lunch. In 60 seconds, how would you explain what your article is about to someone in a different field of study?

10.   Blog It: Post a description and link to your article on a relevant blog or listserv in a primary post or “comments” section. See below for a free publicity opportunity along these lines. (Related Exchange: “Beyond Our Monkey Metaphor Quota: An Evolutionary Conversation on Blogs, MOOCs, and Other Silly Words”)

 TRY TIP #10 RIGHT NOW: The best research has the potential to cross subject areas when communicated well, so here’s a free chance to experiment with sharing your work with a wider audience. In the “Comments” section below, post a brief description of an article you’ve published, adjusting for a non-specialized audience. Don’t forget to include a link so we can check out your work!



 Jinha, A.E., 2010. Article 50 Million: An Estimate of the Number of Scholarly Articles in Existence. Learned Publishing, July 2010, pp. 258-263.

Search Engine Optimization and Your Journal Article: Do you want the bad news first?

SEO-pic-300x253Here’s the bad news about search engine optimization and your paper:  it’s going to mean a bit more work.

Yep.  It’s not enough that you hustled for funding, figured out who your co-authors would be, conducted the research, wrote the paper, decided where to submit it, hoped that it would be accepted, made necessary revisions, and waited anxiously for it go up online.

Nope.  Now, before having your article posted online you have to make sure that your article is prepared for the real world: the digital world.     You need to ensure that your paper is search engine optimized.  To quote Zhang and Dimitroff: “Search Engine Optimization (SEO) … is the process of identifying factors in a webpage which would impact search engine accessibility to it and fine-tuning the many elements of a website so it can achieve the highest possible visibility when a search engine responds to a relevant query. Search engine optimization aims at achieving good search engine accessibility for webpages, high visibility in search engine results, and improvement of the chances the webpages are retrieved.”(1)

Except, to put a filter on it, replace the word “webpage(s)” in the quote above with “journal article”.  A little daunting, no?

Now here’s the good news:  it’s worth the effort.  After all, why go to all the toil of authoring an article if your research is going to be buried on page 275 of Google or Google Scholar’s search results?  Scholarly information is increasingly more accessible online, but not inherently more discoverable.  Employing SEO can leverage a paper so that it has better odds of being at the top of search results, and, therefore, better odds of being read and even cited.  Moreover, if you are publishing open access, you will also be getting the best value for your (or your funder’s) money if your research is easily accessible via search engines.

“Isn’t that the journal’s (or publisher’s) job?” you might ask?  Well yes and no.  Journals and publishers need to make sure they do everything they can to optimize their online platforms so that search engines can easily crawl and index content.  58% of all traffic to our online platform, Wiley Online Library, comes from search engines (predominantly Google and Google Scholar).  And publishers need to actively promote journals and featured content in a crowded online space.  However, they do not have ultimate control over the discoverability of content at the article level. You do.

So what do you need to do?  We’ve created an SEO for Authors tips sheet to give authors an at-a-glance guide to optimizing their papers.  Here are some highlights:

  • Carefully select relevant keywords
  • Lead with keywords in the article title
  • Repeat keywords 3-4 times throughout the abstract
  • Use headings throughout the article
  • Include at least 5 keywords and synonyms in the keyword field
  • Link to the published article on social media, blogs and academic websites

A lot of this boils down to selecting appropriate keywords (i.e. search terms) and using them frequently and appropriately, because, “Generally speaking, the more often a search term occurs in the document, and the more important the document field is in which the term occurs, the more relevant the document is considered.”(2)

This shouldn’t be a completely daunting process or even that much additional work.  It is really about being more mindful, as you are writing the paper, of how users will search and find the published version online.

Happy Optimizing!

By Anne-Marie Green,
Marketing Manager


1. Zhang, Jin, and Alexandra Dimitroff. “The Impact of Metadata Implementation on Webpage Visibility in Search Engine Results (Part II).” Information Processing & Management 41.3 (2005): 697-715.

2. Beel, Jran, Bela Gipp, and Erik Wilde. “Academic Search Engine Optimization (ASEO): Optimizing Scholarly Literature for Google Scholar & Co.” Journal of Scholarly Publishing 41.2 (2010): 176-90.

Article level metrics: Painting a fuller picture

AltmetricsArticle level metrics (ALMs) have become an important tool to establish a more complete picture of the impact of individual papers, distinct from the publication in which they appear.  While more traditional measurements – such as citations and usage – assess the scholarly visibility of a paper, alternative metrics are emerging to measure social visibility by tracking online conversations around scientific articles. [1]

As part of our continued commitment to providing content based services to users and authors, Wiley has launched a trial of ALMs on a number of journals. Partnering with Altmetric, we will be running a six month trial on both subscription and open access journals including Advanced Materials, Angewandte Chemie, BJUI, Brain and Behavior, Methods in Ecology and Evolution and EMBO Molecular Medicine.

 Altmetric tracks social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and blogs, newspapers, magazines and online reference managers like Mendeley and CiteULike for mentions of the scholarly articles published in the journals.

Altmetric creates and displays a score for each article measuring the quality and quantity of attention that the particular article has received. The Altmetric score is based on three main factors: the number of individuals mentioning a paper, where the mentions occurred (e.g. a newspaper, a tweet) and how often the author of each mention talks about the article.

 Alternative metrics, such as the ALMs provided by Altmetric, help calculate the immediate and specific impact of an individual article rather than just relying on traditional benchmarks such as the journal’s impact factor.  Wiley will be undertaking further pilots before rolling out enhanced metrics across more journals.

For authors, alternative metrics enables them to better understand the social impact of their individual paper in real time and for journal editors, alternative metrics can help to quantify the full extent of their publications’ visibility and reach.

Our journal publishes articles that are among the most highly accessed and cited in scientific research,” Dr. Peter Gregory, Editor in Chief, Advanced Materials explains. “We want to provide readers with access to our research through all channels, with authors enjoying a prominent social media presence and excellent coverage in the global news and science media. It will be interesting to review the Altmetric data as it becomes available to better quantify journal article impact.”

 1: Article-Level Metrics a SPARC Primer by Greg Tananbaum