Research Impact: Opening up the impact of your work

As part of Open Access Week, we are exploring ways to increase our research impact by opening our research.  Making our research more inclusive and open not only helps disseminate our work, but can also help us justify and quantify future requests for funding or research investment.

Stated simply, maximizing your research impact can be organized around three step:

  • establishing and monitoring your scholarly presence
  • optimizing your dissemination and discoverability
  • tracking the impact of your work

Establishing and monitoring your scholarly presence is the crucial first step. The problem of author name disambiguation can be addressed by being the same, standard, and consistent.  Consistently use the same variation of your name along with the standard version of your affiliation on all your works.  You can also sign up for an ORCID iD, a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes you from other researchers and integrates throughout your research workflow.

Optimizing your dissemination and discoverability primarily centers around journal selection.  In general, you want to publish in a journal that will give you the biggest impact (and be most discoverable), but you also want to retain your rights to be able to use or post your work in other places.  SHERPA/RoMEO is a searchable database of publisher open access policies from around the world that provides summaries of self-archiving permissions and author rights on a journal-by-journal basis which can help you select the right journal.   But keep in mind that your research is more than just your published articles. Publishing supplemental information (SI) in discoverable and citable places, like open data repositories, also increases the impact of your work.

Once you have consistently identified and broadly disseminated your work, you can begin to track its impact.  Bibliographic metrics can track the author level, as well as the journal and article level. Tools like Web of Science, Scopus, and Google Scholar calculate an h-index that measures both the breadth and depth of your citations. Additionally, altmetrics look at a range of sources to capture the “buzz” surrounding your publications and are more immediate than bibliographic measures. PlumX provides a dashboard of altmetrics to help you visualize and track your impact.  It is also integrated into the Dartmouth Digital Commons, Dartmouth’s open repository!

These are just a few things to consider to help optimize your research impact.  For more information and assistance, contact your liaison librarian or the Scholarly Communication, Copyright, and Publishing Program


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