While most in the STEM fields don’t like having the word social attached to their work, sometimes social media can be just the right way to make a scientific impact, especially in today’s interconnected world. Now not every project or paper will warrant the use of Web 2.0 techniques but in the right case they will help you accomplish the scientific impact you’ve dreamed of.
Basic Civilian Services: Get Your Message to the Public
Facebook: Seems personal I know, but add the right spin and your existing social networks will help get the message going.
Google+: Similar to facebook, but more search engine friendly, your public posts will quickly find their way over to those looking to learn more on google. It also offers a great alert service to stay up to date by scraping the web for updates on your favourite research topics.
Twitter: A powerful tool when used right and a waste when used wrong. Keep the message clear, provide links and get into #tagging, meta information is the way to get your findings found in influential circles.
LinkedIn: The professionals social network, a great way to connect with all those in industry and also a great place to host a dynamic C.V. with links.
Reddit: Where do researchers go to waste their time? Reddit of course! But it’s not just all fun and games, posting your work to the right subreddit is some of the best targeted marketing you’ll ever get for your work.
Niche Networks: Your Peers Probably Care too
ResearchGate: The Facebook of research, it lets you upload and index all your work in a nice visual fashion, keep tabs on downloads and views, and get your networking on with your peers, while also getting alerted about their latest pubs.
Academia.edu: Similar to research gate, but appealing to a larger academic audience, search engines love it and the detailed analytics are a great way to trace impact.
ORCID: A centralized researchers ID that lets you index all your work under your name. It’s quickly becoming the identifier of choice for many scientific journals.
Alternative Metrics: Impact Factor is Dying
Google Scholar: Google’s great, there’s no denying the power of their search engine, so why not have it devoted to your accomplishments and serve as a central index for your all your publications and patents, while also serving as a great way to see next-gen metrics (including citations) and see how you compare to the competition.
Altmetric: Metrics at the journal level don’t mean much these days, why not see how your articles hold their own ground across the web. A great compliment to traditional metrics.
ImpactStory: An emerging publication indexing service. Simple User Interface.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is an emerging practice and being a cutting edge researcher, the last thing you want to do is fall behind. By thinking like a computer algorithm, you can drastically increase your research’s impact. Some of the best SEO practices come in choosing your title and accompanying key words. You want them to cover as many combinations as possible of someone searching for research on your topic.
Centralize Your Research
Every network needs a hub, so why not create your own centralized index? Add a bit of SEO magic and you’ll be getting your research as much traffic as your publishers do on your own website. A domain based off your name can usually be purchased for around 10 dollars a year.
About.me: A good starting place to let people know a bit about you and your work. Free and paid options.
WordPress: The most empowering web tool out there. You can create and host your own site all by yourself with no coding knowledge required. Plus you can use it to blog and share across your existing social media. After you get into it you’ll be surprised about just how many of your favourite sites (whether personal or corporate) utilize this powerful system. It also has a range of free and paid options.
Avoid Predatory Publishers: Open access is a great science movement, but you’ve always gotta keep your eye out for invitations to write that seem a little strange.
Keep an Eye on Retractions: Ever read an article that was to good to be true? Maybe it was, never hurts to check.
Note: Also distributed on my Frontiers Blog.