1. Publish strategically
- Choose the right journal
Publishing in high quality journals which are read by others within your discipline is the most well established and important method of sharing your findings. You will target different journals at different stages of your career. To find out if a journal is relevant, peer reviewed and also whether/where it is abstracted and indexed,check Ulrich’s web, an online directory of periodicals, purchased by the university and available via FindIt@Bham.
- Use the right keywords
If you’re looking for scholarly information, on the web, or in a citation database, keywords tend to be the retrieval tool of choice. Think about the title of your paper and the words you use in your abstract. Does it contain the ‘agreed terminology’ of your research area; will it be found by other researchers?
- Use the right address
Publication address standardisation will ensure that your work is correctly attributed to University of Birmingham. Check the publisher guidelines before submission, but include details on department,school, college and university address.
- Use ORCID
This non-profit organisation provides researchers with a unique identifier and a transparent method of linking research activities and outputs to these identifiers. ORCID is unique in its ability to reach across disciplines, research sectors, and national boundaries and it cooperates with other identifier systems. UoB now has institutional membership to ORCID.
2. Monitor and verify research indicators
- Understand citation analysis
University of Birmingham has access to two important subscription databases which provide tools to analyse journal and author ‘bibliometrics’. These are Web of Science (Clarivate) and Scopus (Elsevier). Both are available via FindIt@Bham.
- Know the Research Skills Team
The Research Skills Team will support researchers at every stage of their career and at every step of the research process. This includes advice on bibliographic management using packages such as Endnote and also advice on how to use the citation tools mentioned above.
3. Be open to new publishing models
- Begin by making sure your profile on PURE is up to date
PURE is an institutional database which aims to bring together all research information from the University of Birmingham in one place. With researchers, their publications and projects, esteem and impact all gathered together in PURE, it provides an accurate single source of information on the research activitiy and capability of the University. PURE supports the creation of CVs which will automatically update when you enter new publications, activities etc.
- Embrace Open Access - put your work online
Make use of UBIRA UoBs institutional repository and self-archive as much of your work as possible, enabling the widest possible exposure of your work. You can check the 'Funders and Authors compliance tool' FACT to find out what you are permitted to do. Most publishing policies will allow you to archive a version of your work in a repository,usually the author accepted manuscript/postprint, so do keep these. Make sure as much as possible of the research you have done in the past is available online too. This will improve its discoverability and will ensure your work is found, read and ultimately cited. A number of studies suggest that this results in an increase in citations ranging from 20% to 500%.
- Go to the Open Access pages for more information on Open Access publishing models, UBIRA and Pure.
4. Be social
- Use social media
Disseminate your thoughts and findings using a blog and tag (keyword) your posts appropriately to garner maximum hits on search engines. Use hashtags effectively to help people find your tweets and broaden your network of followers. Kudos is one useful tool for describing your research in lay terminology, disseminating it and seeing how many mentions you generate.
- Use academic and professional social networks
Register with services such as Academia.edu and LinkedIn and follow other people in your field. They will also begin to follow you.
- Update the web
Periodically check that your personal webpages, including your publications lists, are current.
- Remember to raise your profile retrospectively
If you are just beginning to make use of social media, don’t forget to mention work you have already done.
- Engage in conversation
Don't be tempted to simply promote your work; also take part in debate with your followers.
5. Manage your research data
- Consider your file naming conventions
Ideally filenames should allow you to identify the content of the file without opening it. Think about using version information, and the ordering of the elements within a filename, e.g. YYYMMDD allows chronological ordering of the files.
- Back up your data
Make multiple copies. Keep copies in different places, and automate the process where possible. This will save time and mitigate against data loss due to accident or incident.
- Complete a Data Management Plan (DMP)
This will help you to consolidate your requirements and plan processes for protecting the data and preserving the data for future use. You may also be required to do this by your research funder. Use the DMP Online tool to write and edit your plan.
- Describe your data using metadata
Adding details of your data to PURE will enable the metadata to be generated automatically and harvested by search engines. Effective metadata will help other users to find your data, and can result in increased use of your data, and citation of your work, increasing your research impact.
- Compile documentation to support users of your data
This will ensure that your data is given appropriate context inclusing who created it, when and why, description of the item, methodology and methods, units of measurement, definitions of jargon, acronyms and code and references to related data. All of this will enhance the usability of your data and increase its impact.
- Share your data
Storing your data in a repository and linking it to your research outputs will allow other researchers to verify the work you have done, enable them to build on your work and enhance your academic reputation.
Library Services offers an introductory online course in Research Data Management