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Increasing the Visibility and Impact of Your Research

The Importance of Visibility and Impact

This guide describes a number of strategies and options for that you can use to actively promote your research. Ultimately, the goal of employing these strategies is to increase the visibility and impact of your work, which will enable you to make the case that you have made high quality, influential, and substantive contributions to your discipline and the larger scholarly community.

While the idea of promoting your own work may feel awkward, the fact is that people need to know about your research before they can read it or cite it. When people read and cite your work, this provides you with opportunities for feedback, collaboration, and future projects, and it also increases your reputation within your field. More practically, making and demonstrating impact is frequently a necessary condition for getting hired, promoted, tenured, or for achieving other forms of career advancement.

How do you increase your visibility?

While there is no foolproof formula for increasing the visibility of your work, there are a number of best practices that should become central to your career activities as a researcher. These include:

  • Presenting your work at conferences (local, regional, national, and international)
  • Attending conferences and society meetings
  • Publishing your work in widely read venues
  • Engaging with the public 

These sorts of activities are fairly well-known, traditional methods of sharing your work and networking within your field. This guide, however, focuses primarily on more recent developments in scholarly communication that allow scholars to take advantage of digital platforms and services to establish a reputation in their field, and actively monitor the impact of their research. These include:

  • Building and maintaining an online identity
  • Making your scholarly work accessible
  • Tracking your scholarly impact metrics

By engaging in these practices, you will be well positioned to build a narrative of your career and your research program. This narrative will be important at many stages of your career, including annual reviews, applications for tenure and/or promotion, grant proposals, and programatic reviews. 

Consultations for Promotion & Tenure Dossiers

The WVU Libraries offer one on one consultations for WVU faculty developing promotion and tenure dossiers. These consultations are also available to non-tenure-track faculty who are developing scholarly and professional narratives for annual files, grant proposals, program reviews, or other career-related purposes. Faculty and researchers are welcome to make these appointments at any point in their careers and tenure clocks. While the tenure dossier is typically put together during the critical year, early planning will position you to make the strongest case (and hopefully avoid critical year stress!).

During your consultation, we will identify the norms within your department, college, or unit and discuss which metrics are most appropriate for your individual situation. We will also establish goals for your narrative, and examine the ways in which you can support these goals. If you are early in the tenure-track process, we will use a backwards design approach, which will begin by identifying what you want to have when you go up for tenure. We will then work on developing a plan for getting there. 

To schedule a consultation, email Jonah McAllister-Erickson, Scholarly Communication Librarian