Practical steps to improve your online academic visibility.
Visibility to-do list
Step 2: Create profile pages
Profile pages increase the visiblility of your academic work online. Besides, they prevent author misidentification.
No matter on which platform you create your profile page, always make sure that your page is up to date. In this way you not only show your most recent output, but you also share important articles from a later date.
The platforms listed below are only a selection. There are others which may be of importance to you or your discipline.
Your Utrecht University profile page is an important channel to make your work at Utrecht University visible. On this page you provide information about your research output, field of expertise, teaching activities and more.
The UU profiles rank highly in Google search results, making it easier for peers, journalists and others around the world to find you online.
See the UU intranet for tips on how to optimally use your UU profile page (UU employees only).
An ORCID iD is a unique and personal identifier for researchers and scholars. It ensures that other research systems and services can identify you. For example, ORCID is connected to several publishers and funders, saving you time filling in your information when you submit an article or apply for funding. Please see our information about ORCID for more information.
ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor Identifier) is an international, non-profit system that sustainably identifies academic authors. You will get a unique and personal ID that connects all your research data and research activities.
Having an ORCID iD increases your visibility and that of your academic research. Besides, it saves time when submitting manuscripts and grant applications or when performing any other administrative tasks.
Utrecht University supports ORCID and advises scholars to use ORCID for their research profile. Read more about ORCID by Utrecht University.
Automatically updating ORCID.
Automatically updating your ORCID iD saves time. Link ORCID to Crossref and DataCite to ensure that your ORCID profile is updated automatically.
*Creating a Google Scholar ID: make sure you have a Google account, go to Google Scholar and click on My profile at the top rightt hand side.
On the other hand, ResearcherID and Scopus Author D are linked to subject-related search engines such as Scopus and Web of Science. It makes more sense to create an ID in these search engines if your academic output is related to their content.
Publons offers you the option to make your peer review activities visible. Publons is linked to ResearcherID. You can add journals to your account which are not included in Web of Science. To do so, use ORCID, Ednote or Mendeley.
Read more in the LibGuide Researcher profiles.
It is useful to have your profile pages refer to one another. Visitors to your pages may easily switch from one profile page to the other. In this way they learn more about you and your academic activities. In addition, you make the best use of your profile pages.
It is often possible to have profile pages link automatically to one another.
Step 3: Join academic social networks
You can improve your online visibility by joining and engaging in several networks.
When choosing a platform you may take several things into account. For instance: is the network organised on a profit-making basis or how easy is it to transfer your details to another network? We recommend you to find out the position of the network, where exactly is the network active?
The academic social networks listed below are only a selection. There may be other platforms which may be of importance to you or your discipline.
On ResearchGate you can showcase your own research, your network, co-authors and fields of interest. Or start a discussion with your peers via the Q&A. You can choose to share full text publications and other output on ResearchGate. Your data and activities on this platform are findable in Google, in addition data on shared publications are findable in Google Scholar.
The library advises you to place your publications as much as possible in an independent repository and to link in ResearchGate to these publications. Always keep in mind the open acces policy of you publisher when sharing your work.
ResearchGate has a few disadvantages: there is a commercial organisation behind it and exchanging information with other platforms is not possible. This means that you can put the full text of your publication in ResearchGate, but you cannot link to your publications in other networks.
Also, the ranking figure that is calculated on the platform, the so-called RG Score, is only based on data and activities within ResearchGate. So it says nothing about the general impact of your research.
Academia.edu is an online platform for researchers. You can showcase your research, your network, co-authors and fields of interest. You can share draft versions of your articles and ask for feedback. On Academia.edu you can share links and/or (full text) publications.
The library advises you to provide links to open access publications (if present). If you cannot link to open access publications, you might consider to place the publication in a repository.
In all cases, keep in mind the open access policy of the publisher in question. Read more about open access.
An advantage of Academia.edu is that your academic work can be found in Google (for instance if someone is looking up your name).
Disadvantages are that the data of publications shared on the network cannot be found in Google Scholar and that exchanging information with other platforms is not possible.
It is also good to know that Academia.edu is a commercial organisation that might use the data you share.
This figure is only based on data and activities on Academia.edu. So it does not say anything about the impact of your research in a broader sense.
Mendeley is not only a reference management tool but also offers options for online networking. To increase your online visibility, you could import your output into Mendeley.
This can be done automatically with your Scopus Author ID or you can do it manually. You can share your own research, your sources, your network, co-authors and fields of interest. Or start a discussion with your peers in Mendeley Groups.
Mendeley also shows an overview of your impact. The impact data are based on information from the Scopus database. This impact figure is more reliable than the calculated figures by Academia.edu and ResearchGate.
The number of users that use Mendeley as a community platform is lower than at Academia.edu and ResearchGate. The network mainly consists of researchers from Science.
Mendeley is offered by Elsevier and provides extra functionalities which must be paid for. This means that also Mendeley is a commercial platform.
Step 4: Use social media, websites & blogs
Social media, websites and blogs are a great way to reach a broader audience. Sharing posts on social media contributes to: promoting your research, increasing he influence of your media appearances, and it draws attention to your participation in conferences etc.
LinkedIn is an online career platform. You can describe your professional career, make contact with others, join groups and share posts. If you switch to another employer, your LinkedIn profile does not change. Other participants may like your posts, share them and react to them.
LinkdedIn is easily found in Google and is a well-known, professional platform. By actively using the options LinkedIn has to offer, you increase your visibility. For instance, by posting messages, reacting to the posts of others and by sharing links to publications.
Twitter is pre-eminently the medium to interact with peers around the globe, to share your work, to respond to news etc. Twitter is popular within and outside the academic world. Others may like and share your posts on Twitter and react to them.
Tweets are often well found in general search engines. By linking to your publications and your activities in research communities you once again increase your visibility.
A personal website gives you a lot of freedom to show others what you like. You are not bound to a certain layout or other restrictions as with other platforms. On a personal websites you can highlight your personality, achievements, affiliations, activities in the media etc.
However, keeping your personal website up to date can be time-consuming.
How well your website can be found in search engines depends on the type of website you choose (for instance WordPress is well included in Google), but also on how actively you present yourself on the website and on how often people search for subjects your research focusses on. The number of times that other websites, or posts on social media link to your website has an impact on its findability.
Blogs are useful to develop different writing practices, reflect on your work, disseminate your work with a wide public and connect with peers. You get to decide yourself when you publish a blog, when your community gets to see your work. You don't depend on publishers or communication staff. For more tips about starting an academic blog please see this page.
A blog is a website where new content in the form of messages is published regularly. The content may consist of opinion pieces, non-specialist articles or reflections on the developments in your discipline.
Just as with a personal website, blogs give you a lot of freedom, but also calls for regular updating and commitment. On the other hand, keeping a blog up to date is easier than in the case of a website.
You decide yourself when you publish a blog, when your community gets to see your work and you are not dependent on third parties. On this page you will find more information about starting an academic blog.
Apart from writing on your own weblog, you can also choose to write for other blogs (the so-called guest blogging). You may only do this only once or on a regular basis. The upside is that you do not have to create your own blog and keep it up to date. Besides, you do not have to find your own audience since it is already there. We advise you to find out first if the blog is easily found and how wide its audience is.
Although YouTube is not very often used in the academic world, videos on this channel may increase the visibility of your work. Think for instance of short knowledge clips or explanations of your work for a wider audience. YouTube videos can easily be found in Google.
Step 5: Publish open access
It is important to share your research openly if possible. Please find more information about open access.
By publishing your articles, monographs, data and code open access you make them more accessible for scholars, professionals and the general public. This can promote the use of your research output.
In case of opening up and sharing data and/or code you provide transparency about your research and allow others to verify your scholarly work and use your data for their own research. This saves time and work in the global research community and gives you the credit for collecting or creating and ordering the data.
Utrecht University pursues integrity, sustainability and transparency in dealing with research data.Find out more about data management.
Persistent identifiers (PIDs) are links that guarantee sustainable access to your publications. They are unique labels which make sure that the object can always be retraced, even if the name or the place where it is stored changes. If you consequently use these links to your work, there is a smaller chance that the reader comes to a dead end. PIDs make sure that readers can find your work and quote it.
The Digital Object Identifier (DOI) is one of the most widely used PIDs for scholarly output. Other examples of PIDs are ISSN and PURL (Personalized URL). In general, almost all academic publishers and repositories automatically provide publications with DOIs.