The reputation of a scholar can make or break their ability to receive funding from sponsors, get published in reputable journals, and obtain coveted job positions. But that reputation relies on research that makes an impact, which is becoming more difficult to do in the highly competitive field of academics.
To have your work considered impactful, you must meet standards that seem to be ever-increasing as trends change and bibliometrics adjust to new methods of data collection. One way that researchers are taking action to drive their own work to greater impact is by implementing campaign strategies. These are action plans in which the researcher markets their work to optimize its academic impact.
Implementing Campaign into the Research Process
In the past, once your research was published, you simply moved on to the next project. Today, though, researchers are encouraged to continue to work on their finished experiment after publication through methods that get their outcomes into the spotlight and the hands of more readers.
Because of the predominance of electronic publishing avenues available with the Digital Era, researchers who don’t campaign often find their work, once published, becomes lost in the endless vortex of cyberspace. These “invisible” articles cost a lot of money for the experiment to be completed and required hard work and effort from those involved in the work.
When your published work generates little to no interest, funders may think twice before offering to source your next experiment. It makes sense, economically. They want a return on their investment and if your articles are frequently published with no impact, they’ll turn to someone else who can get them better results.
Part of this is finding a researcher who is interested and passionate about campaigning for their coverage after their work is published. Through awareness campaigns, scholars put themselves on the forefront of the cause they are advocating for, getting their name, face, and research out into the world and thereby bringing greater attention and impact to their work.
Challenges and Strategies to Campaign as a Researcher
Campaign strategies are complex. They require forethought, planning, and flexibility in order to pack the maximum punch in the shortest time, under the tightest budget.
It’s not enough to find a campaign venue and pull together an audience. You have to know where you want to campaign at, who the audience should consist of, what you’re going to say, and how you’re going to handle any problems that arise.
Because of the intricacies of a campaign strategy, there are people who can be hired to guide you through the process. This is a good idea if you are new to campaigning or are not quite confident yet in what to expect.
In general, there are some basic strategies to include if you want to optimize the academic impact of your work, like:
● Researching ahead of time about the different academic campaigns around. There are many ways to perform a marketing campaign, but academic versions have their own unique twist to them. Observe how other scholars are treating their campaigns. What about the methods they use appeals to you? Which methods do you want to avoid?
● Consider the date carefully. You don’t want to wait too long before campaigning and have other research come out that trumps yours. But you don’t want to jump into it right away before your book has a chance to hit the shelves.
● Know your target audience. If you’re a scholar who doesn’t get out into social situations too often, this is a critical part of the strategy for you to work on. Your audience is probably going to consist of people outside of the academic realm and you’ll need to know their basic demographics so you can decide what you want to say and how you should say it. Don’t talk down to them and be demeaning, but talking over their heads in scientific terminology can cause them to feel inferior anyway and cause you to lose your chance to explain your work further.
● Optimize your campaign. If you can secure your research sponsor into advertising for your campaign, you may be able to market it beyond limited avenues such as social media. Optimize your campaign as best as possible so what you are offering is seen quickly in a few words.
These strategies, as well as your own key speech as the keynote speaker in your campaign, can optimize the academic impact of your research findings and help you generate a higher impact rating.
Using Impactio as Part of Your Campaign
An overlooked part of campaigning is ensuring you have the right tools to get your message out. Impactio’s platform, designed for experts like you, helps you get your research put together in professional PDF documents and web pages that you can use along your campaign.
With Impactio, scholars can insert their work into premade templates, create charts, graphs, and tables out of their citation and publication data, and seamlessly send the finished product out for publishing. Once your work is published, Impactio shows you the citation indicators that drive your impact rating, and you can watch these grow after your campaign is in progress!