With the multitude of online communication channels available it is essential for researchers to manage their online reputation and effectively plan their online promotion and public engagement tactics.
We recently hosted a webinar where we invited two experts in the field of scholarly reputation management to share their knowledge and guidance for effectively planning an online outreach strategy.
Managing your online profile
Jason Steinhauer is a public historian and Director of the Lepage Center for History in the Public Interest at Villanova University. As a public historian, his work is focused on public engagement and how history resonates with the public in particular.
To effectively manage your scholarly reputation online, Jason recommends researchers think about their ‘Scholarly Brand’. To do this he advises considering five key factors:
- Differentiation – How are you different to what’s out there? For academics, this is most commonly your expertise.
- Attributes – How do you present your attributes? Are you fun and engaging? Jason recommends being consistent in how you present yourself and your work online. It’s also important to decide on what type of personality you want to convey to your audience when promoting your research.
- Relationships and interactions – How do you interact with your readers? Will you reply to everyone who comments about your work online or a select few? Will you focus on one particular online channel or many?
- What type of ‘brand’ do you want to be – Your audience must see your work as useful and informative. This should be reflected in your online communications and be part of your brand.
- Be aware of how you’re being seen outside of academia – It’s important to be aware of how you and your work are being received outside academia, as well as amongst your colleagues – things like altmetrics can help with this. Make sure that you are credited when your research is used – that your name is included in the reference and that the original version is linked to where possible.
Planning your reputation for your career
Jon Tennant is a palaeontologist and Director of Communications at Scienceopen. Jon spoke about how many researchers today often don’t spend their whole career in academia and the importance of planning their online reputation as a whole when preparing to pursue other career paths.
Jon advises that researchers embrace collaborative tools like social media and demonstrate a commitment to making their research open. A number of studies find that there are many benefits to publishing open access, particularly for career advancement and boosting the number of readers and citations published research can receive.
Jon then went on to recommend a number of tools he uses for managing his online reputation. These include:
- Twitter – An essential device for promoting research and networking. Jon gave an example about his experiences documenting visits to international museums on Twitter whilst he was traveling. Researchers from the University of Edinburgh became interested in what he was posting and eventually got in contact which lead them to collaborate on a research project together.
- Publons – Jon uses this platform to track the peer review work he has done and, by doing so, is able to demonstrate his contribution to the scholarly community.
- Impactstory – A crucial tool for measuring how much his research has been shared online.
- Altmetric – Jon uses Altmetric’s data to get an overview of who is viewing his research online and who’s using it. He also uses these insights for networking with other researchers and building collaborative partnerships.
- ScienceOpen – As well as working at ScienceOpen, this is where Jon hosts the research he has published online. Along with various analytical tools, Jon uses the platform as a search engine where he can go to find work by other researchers in his field as well as making his own work more discoverable.
If you’re interested in learning more about managing your online reputation, the full webinar, along with the speaker’s slides, can now be downloaded here.