When a new graduate finishes their higher education program with their degree in hand, they are not automatically designed as a scholar. This is a process that usually takes years of consistent hard work, regular research publications, and impactful outcomes. The quantity and quality of the academic’s work eventually lead them to the coveted title of scholar and the benefits that come with it.
Because of the significant advantages of being a highly qualified scholar, such as the track to tenure and more time in the research field with less time in the classroom or better positions, the impact of a researcher is important to their career. But the measures used to determine this value rating have adapted and evolved, even over the last few years, as technology has given us more abilities to streamline these findings. As an academic, it’s important for you to understand the methods used to determine your research impact over the lifecycle of your career.
What Does the Research Lifecycle Include?
Although all research is different, every type contains basic components to them that a researcher must contend with to take a project from start to finish and into the analysis of measurement of impactfulness and value. The steps in the process consistently include these sections:
● Planning for the research that needs to be performed through areas such as review of current literature available, determining the need for collaboration in all or part of the project, figuring out which resources you will cite from, making sure your work falls under the realm of ethical and compliant, and attempting to find funding.
● Beginning the project through setting data you’ll need to analyze, visualizing the data and completing the analysis process, storing the data on a secure platform, and evaluating the outcome.
● Creating the article and preparing it for publication through programs like Impactio, where the information is incorporated into professional formatting and layouts.
● Following the publication by staying abreast of how the work is preserved and disseminated, watching citation metrics, and campaigning for the research if necessary.
All of these layers are involved in a successful research outcome if high impact is to be obtained by the academic.
Factors Used to Measure Impact
So much of how impact is determined is gathered from electronic sources through altmetrics. These are formulas that measure the numbers from a journal article: how many times the article was downloaded or shared, how many comments it received, and how many times someone cited it, either in their own work or in a social media outlet.
Part of these numbers come from factors such as:
● How many social media sites the journal was cited on and how many times it was discussed
● How many times it was used as a reference in another article
● Whether it was recommended by social sites used by others to garner suggestions
● If it was backlinked to from a blog or other electronic articles
Since the academic has no way to control these factors, it’s important that they do what they can to optimize their research before it is sent out for final publication.
Ways a Researcher Can Proactively Increase Their Impact
As you plan and prepare to publish your work, it’s important to consider things like search engine optimization and other factors that will help you reach a wider audience for maximum impact. Keep these factors in mind to be proactive in your preparations:
● Publish your work in a journal that already has a strong social media presence. This gives your work the added opportunity to be considered in this factor of altimetric algorithms.
● Consider creating your own social media following for your research work. Keep this separate from any personal accounts. Professional platforms used for networking include LinkedIn and Twitter more so than Instagram and Facebook.
● Include external linking in your own article if you are exporting a web page to the publisher rather than a PDF document and are publishing electronically.
Digital information, when used strategically to optimize your work, can be a great way to improve your research impact over the scholastic lifestyle of your career.
Use Impactio to Enhance Your Work’s Impact
Creating professional work that is optimized and ready for publication is essential in the lifecycle of your research project. To do this, it’s necessary to have a program that makes optimizing easy and streamlined, like Impactio.
Impactio gives you access to a community of researchers, lets you build your own academic profile, and follow citation map tools after publication. Between the ease of inserting your text and citation data into their templates and the tools to follow citation indicators, everything you need to enhance your work’s impact is found in Impactio!