IWA Publishing

IWA Publishing company logo

“We believe that the work we do can only be successful when we work together with the people closely working in the field.”

margarita lygizou, head of sales and marketing

Established in 1998, and a wholly owned subsidiary of the International Water Association, IWA Publishing spreads knowledge about the world’s most valuable resource, helping to improve global health and well-being.

It publishes a portfolio of 17 peer reviewed journals and 850 books, along with other information resources.

Supporting researchers is at the forefront of IWA Publishing’s strategy, and is something that the team is trying to do with every single aspect of the work they do. A core aim is to be as close to their researchers as possible; listening to the concerns and celebrating the successes.

Key points

  • IWA Publishing adopted the Altmetric Badges and Explorer in 2018
  • They use the data to monitor the attention for their articles, inform marketing strategy, and increase dissemination of their research
  • Altmetric data has also given them the opportunity to work more closely with their authors – supporting them in their own outreach efforts
  • Without Altmetric, it would have been too time-consuming and technically challenging for the IWA team to gather and use these data in a consistent way

“These lists [of articles that have received attention] are often very helpful to our researchers, who are short on time.”

margarita lygizou, head of sales and marketing

Using Altmetric to drive publication and author engagement

IWA Publishing started using Altmetric in 2018 – showcasing the attention its publications are receiving to authors and external audiences via the publicly-displayed Altmetric Badges, and adopting the Altmetric Explorer for internal analysis of the data.

In the Explorer, IWA Publishing can filter and report on the attention data for their publications. With over 132 million mentions of almost 15 million publications in total, the Explorer provides a powerful tool for helping IWA Publishing’s teams to understand how their research is being received, which channels are driving that attention, and how their publications compare to others in the same fields.

Amongst the marketing team, Margarita says, they are regularly using the Explorer to receive automated daily reports and keep abreast of changes in engagement levels. They also use this data to highlight the articles that have been in the press or policy papers to authors, creating a list of articles that have been prominent.

“These lists [of articles that have received attention] are often very helpful to our researchers, who are short on time.”

As well as identifying which articles are gaining traction, having Altmetric makes it easier to find where researchers are talking about their work. Following that, the team can help amplify the author’s efforts, and share their work further with the rest of the community.

This, says Margarita, enables them to play an active role in supporting their authors – discussing the dissemination options available, executing outreach and campaigns together, and reporting on the results.

The automated collection and aggregation of this data, Margarita notes, is particularly useful because they are a very small team and having a centralised place where they can see how their articles are performing beyond citations has been great.

“In the past, we were able to track our articles on Social Media and big press outlets but we were not able to see regional press, policy papers and all the other outlets Altmetric is tracking. This has given us a better global view of our content, something we would not have been able to do before.”

Understanding which of their research is attracting the most attention and why is also helping IWA Publishing teams to shape future strategy – providing insights they can use to create better, more effective marketing campaign.

Future applications

Margarita and her team will continue to use the Explorer to support their authors and refine their marketing activities – all with the aim of furthering high quality water research.

They’re also keen to use the Explorer to understand in more detail which articles in related disciplines
are attracting a lot of press attention, with a view to tracking trends, identifying potential authors, and informing their own publishing and engagement plans.

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