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Advice for Published Journal Authors: Now is Not the Time to be Shy

By Robert Morris Campbell, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Biomolecular Screening (JBS) and Dean Ho, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Laboratory Automation (JALA)

Campbell

Campbell

Ho

Ho

Congratulations! Your original scientific research has been published (hopefully in JALA or JBS). Now…don't just let it sit there. Spread the word!

 

Authors today can have a tremendous impact on how their papers are discovered and used throughout the scientific community. Standard tools such as MEDLINE/PubMed, Google Scholar, JALA Online and JBS Online will always be primary vehicles for scientific searches, but many new opportunities now allow authors themselves to increase awareness and citations of their published work.

Following are a few ideas for your consideration.

For Starters

The very basic of the basic steps is to at least share the news of your published paper along with a link to it via e-mails to your personal and professional contacts, especially those who may publish similar papers and be interested in citing your work. Post your news (with a link!) on your personal Facebook page, Twitter account and LinkedIn profile. Include a request that your friends, fans and followers share the link with anyone and everyone they think might be interested in the topic. Don't be shy – it's not about tooting your own horn; it's about sharing information with people who may be interested and appreciative.

Join social media groups to reach beyond your personal networks to connect with others who share your research interests and priorities. You can start by joining the SLAS groups at LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. There are also SLAS LinkedIn subgroups for targeted interest areas such as Automation Quality Control or Stem Cells and Primary Cells. From there, browse around to find and join other online networks related to laboratory science and technology, such as the Drug Discovery & Development Network, Laboratory Robotics Interest Group (LRIG), LIMS Forum and American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists. You also may want to explore broader-based groups, such as MyNetResearch, Academia and Academici.

When you post to groups, phrase your announcements in ways that appear helpful or newsworthy. Don't say "hey, I published a paper and here's the link!" (you can say that to your friends and coworkers!). Instead, say something more like "for anyone interested in a new way to achieve XYZ in your lab, you might be interested in the paper I recently published in Journal of XYZ called "ABC and XYZ." Or better yet, keep your eyes open for opportunities to respond to questions posted to the forums by other members, and include a helpful reference to your paper in your response.

Make Headlines

Prepare a news release about the importance of your paper's topic and how your work furthers the scientific community's research goals. Focus not on the fact that you published a paper, but on the achievements of the work itself, what's new about it, how it may impact your field and others, and why other researchers should be interested. Academic institutions, companies and government laboratories often have specific media departments that exist to help researchers develop these releases.

Send your news release via e-mail to a carefully selected list of editors at print and online publications who publish similar announcements and whose readers likely would find your work interesting. Consider also sharing your news release with your company or university newsletter and your hometown newspaper. For examples of how news releases can be formatted, visit the SLAS Newsroom at SLAS.org.

Contribute to Knowledge Networks

Create a new page or contribute to an existing page in the SLAS LabAutopedia wiki or perhaps in Wikipedia. Make sure you mention your published research and/or include a link to your published paper in the references section.

Start a Blog

Establish a website that shares information about you, your research, links to papers published by you and others, and links to other related information and websites that like-minded visitors would find interesting. This doesn't need to become a part-time job; you don't need to commit to daily or even weekly postings. For examples, go to SLAS.org and take a look at The Lab Man Blog and Podcasts or explore SLAS Member Burkhard Schäfer's AnIML Blog or John Johnson's Realizations in Biostatistics Blog. Many popular tools for creating websites and blogs are open access and available at no cost, including Google Blogger, WordPress and Tumblr. These sites also offer instructions, helpful ideas and advice, as do other sites such as Bloggingtips.com and The Original Blogger Tips and Tricks.

Use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, news releases and personal e-mails to announce the launch of your new blog; then continue to promote your blog by announcing new blog postings via these same channels.

Step into the Spotlight

Present your work at a related scientific conference or meeting, such as SLAS2013 or a regional chapter meeting of the Laboratory Robotics Interest Group, and be sure to mention your published paper in your biography and handout materials. For poster presentations, make reprints of your work available to visitors. For a frequently updated list of nonprofit conferences and events that are related to the laboratory science and technology community, take a look at the Events Calendar at The Market Place at SLAS.org.

Lights, Camera, Action!

Consider creating an informational video or slideshow on video about the topic of your paper to post to YouTube. You may even want to enlist help from a friend to stage a question and answer interview about the your work and the paper you published. If your paper was published in JALA or JBS, let SLAS know so it can be added to JALA Online, JBS Online and perhaps even the SLAS or SAGE Publications YouTube Channels. And just like your blog, use social networks, news releases and e-mails to alert and attract viewers.

Keep it Coming

While you're busy promoting your most recently published papers, we hope you'll also be working diligently at preparing your next scientific manuscript for publication. JALA and JBS are SLAS's official peer-reviewed scientific journals, and are the leading journals in the field of laboratory science and technology. JALA and JBS both accept original, previously unpublished papers from SLAS members and nonmembers on an ongoing basis. For complete details, including instructions for authors and access to our online manuscript submission portals, visit SLAS.org.

In the meantime, enhance your research by taking advantage of JALA Online and JBS Online to view full text articles from past and present issues (now optimized for mobile viewing!); preview articles in press; save searches; and create search alerts, table of contents (TOC) alerts, and citation alerts.

If you have questions about JALA or JBS, please do not hesitate to contact SLAS Director of Publishing Nan Hallock.

April 9, 2012