Carlos V. Melo
Researchers focus on publishing scientific articles to avoid “perishing” but often forget to promote their research. When overlooking this task, scientists run the risk of getting lost in the crowd as new ideas inevitably become diluted in densified co-citation networks with the exponential increase in the literature. However, rather than following marketing strategies riddled with meaningless platitudes, researchers should adopt evidence-based strategies for promoting their research. By connecting with their scientific community, maximizing their research visibility, developing their online presence in social media, and reaching out to traditional media outlets, scientists stand out in the crowd.
For this purpose, researchers may first connect with their scientific community through online collaboration tools and messaging boards, peer-to-peer file-sharing websites and databases, resource pooling and virtual mentorship platforms, in addition to presenting and networking at conferences. Second, maximizing research visibility requires enhancing scientific writing skills, including narrativity, publishing open-access articles and using search engine
optimization, as well as sharing raw data and preprints and recording video summaries. Third, developing an online presence in social media, beyond designing a laboratory website, involves measures as brief as posting links to articles on Facebook or short announcements on twitter although researchers who enjoy writing may also consider contributing to scientific blogging platforms such as Springer Nature Communities. Lastly, reaching out to traditional
media outlets by writing a lay abstract, brief research statement or newsletter and contacting the journal editor or the media relations department also helps researchers promote their research among the public, especially key opinion leaders and policymakers.
Combining these strategies with methods for tracking their impact, namely assessing online reach, following output metrics, and honing virtual networking strategies, not only boosts citation counts but also raises the profile of a researcher.