Publishing safe and smart with Think > Check > Submit

The potential impact of your research is open to many variables. It’s also measured in many different ways. We’ve talked a lot about these factors in this blog. Right now we’re going to think again about where you publish because you’ll all agree that this determines success, exposure and credibility in no small way. Trusted, proven connections between your work and who and where it is disseminated are so valuable, but what if you haven’t built these yet? What if you’re looking for other options? If this is the case, caution is required.

Think. Check. Submit is a relatively recent campaign campaign produced with the support of a coalition from across scholarly communications in response to discussions about deceptive publishing. The rapid expansion of – especially – digital publishing options has brought with it a range of concerns and this resource is designed to help researchers identify trusted journals for their research. Simplicity is the watch-word here. A quick, concise and well considered go-to.

So lets look at the stages of their checklist:


Are you submitting your research to a trusted journal?

Is it the right journal for your work?

  • More research is being published worldwide.
  • New journals are launched each week.
  • Stories of publisher malpractice and deception are on the rise.
  • It can be challenging to find up-to-date guidance when choosing where to publish.

How can you be sure the journal you are considering is the right journal for your research?


Reference this list for your chosen journal to check if it is trusted.

  • Do you or your colleagues know the journal?
  • Have you read any articles in the journal before?
  • Is it easy to discover the latest papers in the journal?
  • Is the publisher name clearly displayed on the journal website?
  • Can you easily identify and contact the publisher?
  • Can you contact the publisher by telephone, email, and post?
  • Is the journal clear about the type of peer review it uses?
  • Are articles indexed in services that you use?
  • Is it clear what fees will be charged?
  • Does the journal site explain what these fees are for and when they will be
  • Do you recognise the editorial board?
  • Have you heard of the editorial board members?
  • Do the editorial board mention the journal on their own websites?
  • Is the publisher a member of a recognized industry initiative?
  • Do they belong to the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) ?
  • If the journal is open access, is it listed in the Directory of Open Access
    Journals (DOAJ) ?
  • If the journal is open access, does the publisher belong to the Open Access
    Scholarly Publishers’ Association (OASPA) ?
  • Is the publisher a member of another trade association?


Submit if you can answer ‘yes’ to most or all of the questions on the list.

  • You need to be confident your chosen journal will have a suitable profile among your peers to enhance your reputation and your chance of gaining citations.
  • Publishing in the right journal for your research will raise your professional profile, and help you progress in your career.
  • You should expect a professional publishing experience where your work is
    reviewed and edited.
  • Only then should you submit your article.

As you can see, Think. Check. Submit’s checklist leaves little to chance. We think it’s a comprehensive guide that you can return to when considering where to submit your research. We’ve talked about publishing for impact in detail before, but this list is broad and practical and designed to guarantee your work doesn’t disappear into silence. Keep it handy.

All checklist content has been drawn from Think. Check. Submit. A big thanks to them for putting this together.

Learn more about Think. Check. Submit.



A Digital Humanities Community

Digital humanities. Is this you?

If you’re a humanities researcher working in this year, 2016, then it’s extremely likely that you’ve heard of the term and a pretty good chance you’re actually working within it, or collaborating with with someone invested in this field.

The Australasian Association for Digital Humanities speaks about digital humanities as being the:

application and theorisation of computing to develop greater understanding of complex cultural and social phenomena. This includes employing and designing tools for data analysis, formats and approaches to support new methods of inquiry, and ensuring the preservation of digital records and cultural heritage.

Quite broad, as you will note. And, by definition applicable to – and across – many ‘traditional’ fields in a manner that encourages interdisciplinary collaboration. So whether you’re a sociologist, a linguist, a designer or a literary theorist, there’s a chance someone’s working on a form of software or application that could open up and assist your methods of research in really positive ways.

With this in mind I’m going to turn to a recent post by Dr. Amanda Visconti, who focuses on how a disparate digital humanities community are using a platform – Slack -to communicate and collaborate, and how you can get involved. Here it is:

I’m a member of the digital humanities (DH) community—we’re builders, tech users, teachers, and thinkers around digital tools exploring literature, history, and other cultural heritage fields (stuff like 3D printing for archaeology, text analysis of historical memes in newspapers, and interfaces that let readers interpret and discuss challenging novels). One of the more recent ways we communicate is via a Digital Humanities Slack.

Slack is a digital platform (web or desktop/mobile app) much like a set of chatrooms for a team of people: you can chat in real-time, and create ongoing “channels” (chatrooms) around specific themes or topics (here’s a good overview of what Slack is/how to use it). Slack is a bit different from chatting you might have done in the past, in that it’s set up to integrate with a variety of web services that help in project management, website monitoring, social media, and other needs of business teams. Because Slack is built with limited teams from inside one business in mind, we needed to use Darrel Herbst’s Slack invite script to instead allow anyone to sign up.

The Digital Humanities Slack is open to anyone with a curiosity about DH and/or related interests (e.g. digital libraries, museums, and archives)—those interested just visit to join. Absolutely no DH expertise is required, and we have several specific channels devoted to DH beginners, students, job seekers, and asking all kinds of DHy questions.

The DH Slack was created in October 2015 after a suggestion from Ed Summers, and was built by the channel creation and chatting of its members. Nine months later (as of July 6, 2016), we have:

  • 700 members (84% of which have used the Slack over the past two weeks)
  • 67 “channels” (chat rooms devoted to specific topics)
  • 21.3k messages sent
  • About 60% of messages are on public channels, with the other 40% being DMs
  • 180 files (shared code, documents, screenshots…) have been shared and stored on the Slack
  • Loading screen messages that quote definitions of DH from a variety of practitioners (thanks to Matthew Lincoln), and when someone types “what is the digital humanities”, a bot responds by pointing you to the 800+ definitions for DH over at

Channels (chat rooms) are user-created, and the names of channels are represented with a pound sign and no spaces (#DHteaching). The current channels cover

  • socializing and academic community information (e.g. #hottopic for chatting about current DH issues like the latest LARB interview, and channels to share upcoming conferences and job opportunities)
  • regions and languages (e.g. a Spanish-language channel, channels for DHers in Baltimore, the Bay Area, and Tennessee)
  • academic fields (e.g. people working in libraries, museums, publishing, and environmental humanities)
  • getting started in the digital humanities (e.g. a place to ask for tutorials to learn specific skills, a channel for talking about what being a DH student is like)
  • specific DH methods and practices (e.g. visualization, linked open data, coding, crowdsourcing, machine learning, teaching DH)

plus a #meta channel to discuss the DH Slack community itself.

Slack is a comparatively new platform for DHers, who have been blogging and using Facebook and Twitter as part of their intellectual life almost since those platforms began. For example, I use Twitter to share blog posts on my in-progress work and teaching; hear about others’ blog posts, projects, and publications; discover potential project collaborators and mentors (including people who don’t work in academia); and as a backchannel to share and discuss conference presentations in real-time.

We’re still figuring out how Slack can be useful: Can it allow different kinds of conversations than Twitter? Can we use it to teach and support people interested in DH who don’t have mentors geographically near them, or who aren’t inside academia? Like Twitter, Slack allows coexisting formal use (posting job opportunities, discussing theories) with informal socializing (which is really part of professional work, since it lays good foundations for future collaboration and problem-solving). Interesting uses of the DH Slack I’ve seen so far include:

  • A user creating a channel around their specific research interests, and chatting in that channel as a sort of live-blog of the different approaches they’re trying and how they address issues as they arise (other Slack members can read or ask questions in the channel, too)
  • If an interesting discussion on Twitter starts to feel stifled or miscommunicated because of Twitter’s size constraints, moving the conversation to the DH Slack allows more freedom while also keeping the conversation semi-public (it’s more public than moving to an email conversation, but anyone wanting to follow the conversation does need to join the DH Slack first)
  • Mentoring and socializing: I’ve seen Slack members walk each other through fixing a coding bug or suggest lesson plans, and we use the #weeklies channel for weekly sharing around a fun theme (e.g. what’s a book that changed your way of thinking?)
  • A user sharing a digital humanities method tutorial, then offering to be available on the DH Slack for a certain evening to answer any questions about the tutorial (with the idea that people are encouraged to try working through the tutorial, knowing they will have help if they get stuck or have a question)

We’ve collectively discussed the design of our community, deciding by lazy consensus issues like whether we should keep a permanent archive of all messages sent on the Slack, or keep things ephemeral (check out for a discussion and more examples of that collective community design). Our evolving code of conduct lives here, and Slack members are encouraged to suggest additions or changes via #meta. We’re dedicated to a harassment-free experience for everyone, with a particular reminder that dismissing or belittling lack of DH, tech, or other experience (e.g. answering questions with links to Let Me Google That For You) is not allowed. This code helps us set expectations for behavior and promote the Slack as a safe and welcoming space for everyone. With the code and open community design discussion in place, we’re finding that Slack works pretty well at supporting a broad, geographically dispersed intellectual community!


Visconti, A. (2016) How the Digital Humanities are using Slack to Support and Build a Geographically Dispersed Intellectual Community. LSE Impact Blog  13 July 2016 (accessed 07.10.16).

Image courtesy of  Gustavo da Cunha Pimenta



Publishing for impact: considerations

Let’s all agree on one thing: in an ideal world, there would be an accurate, proven resource that’d tell you where to publish your research for the utmost impact. The fruits of your hard work, the hours of research condensed into that journal article would then reach the maximum readership and everyone would be on that lauded road to heightened research impact.

Now let us return to the reality.

Deciding where to publish your research in a crowded, competitive environment is difficult. You may have built trusted relationships with certain journals and editorial teams that have proven successful but I’m sure you’d all be on the lookout for new options. Options that yield exposure.

Wherever you go and whoever you ask there will be opinions given about where to publish your research and for what reason. Invariably these opinions and findings will run into conflict because the factors we bring into play when attempting to evaluate impact outcomes need to be assessed differently. How are we measuring impact in this context? What are our indicators? Do traditional indices of impact cut it in the age of ‘Alt’ metrics and digital space? How and why do considerations alter within different disciplines? How do we define disciplines? It can be a problem of comparing apples and oranges in the search for a common language.

There is no gold index, but let’s consider a few of the options out there.

ERA journal rankings: the ERA 2010 collection produced a scheme of rankings which divided journals, along strictly ERA-defined Field of Research (FoR) code based, definitions. These ranking have been used since as an authority with greater or lesser credentials, depending on your source of information.

Trying to unpack the methodology employed here becomes problematic. Are we talking metrics-driven rankings or is peer-review privileged, or is it a combination of elements? In any event, the Australian Research Council abandoned future rankings lists and the 2010 version becomes more dated by the day.

Other rankings indexes rely exclusively on metrics  to arrive at that magic impact factor. The impact factor has been discredited in some quarters as representing a false measure of prestige. However you look at them they will at some point figure in calculations relating to your published research. Either by you, or by those evaluating your work.


Scimago’s  SJR journal rankings use metrics to neatly stack your publishing options. There’s no doubt that SJR rankings are referred to  as shorthand when evaluating research impact, both by researchers and the developers of research data software, but what it really boils down to is how applicable is it to you and your research?

So do metrics lie? A citation might be a citation, but there’s more than meets the eye. A journal waaaay down the list might be just right for you because publishing in it means you reach a specialised group of peers you wouldn’t otherwise. This reveals one of the problems with journal ranking systems: how do we define discipline? Are we talking applied research or basic research? Depending on your field, there’s a world of difference, both in the research itself and the publishing options to disseminate that research.

Journal rankings like Scimago also place HDR students and ECRs in a difficult position. Looking at that list of top ranking journals in your field could well be demoralising. You’ve got next to no chance of having your paper published. But you’re  a PhD candidate currently working through some research and that journal sitting at 458 on the SJR list for your field is the perfect fit for you at this stage of your career. It’s all relative.


Google Scholar Metrics  also provides a list of journal rankings that can be filtered by disciplines. Scholar’s rankings are based on the h-Index, a measurement that has attracted a lot of interest in the world of research impact since it was first presented publicly in 2005. You might be familiar with your own personal score, as generated by Scopus, Web of Science or Google Scholar. If not, it’s calculated using a formula based on your highest cited paper, total citations and total publications and has a reputation of being a reliable quantitative measure.


With all this in mind I’d like to turn to some recent thoughts by Professor Patrick Dunleavy of the London School of Economics, who blogs excellently about all manner of research impact. Prof Dunleavy put together Thirty one things to consider when choosing which journal to submit your paper to in his Medium blog, Writing for Research. I encourage everyone here to check his work out in general, but I’m going to reproduce the ’31 things’ below as they seem to be to be a clear and very insightful summary of the many different factors – as we’ve discussed – that present themselves when considering where to publish for exposure and impact.

This is Prof Dunleavy’s attempt – though he does credit Stefanie Hauser’s book, Multi-dimensional Journal Evaluationas a significant inspiration – to move beyond a sole reliance on the impact factor in favour of a more versatile approach to evaluating the appeal of a journal.  The factors are grouped into five categories, beginning with scope:


The second category concerns how your research is reviewed:


We then move on to the all-important question of Open Access:


The fourth area refers loosely to the submission process:


Lastly, we get to questions about impact:


We hope these questions and answers help point you in the right direction when planning where to submit your research. They will remain here as an available resource and guide to publishing for impact.




Get the most out of grey literature

Grey literature is the term used to describe information that may be difficult to find, not conventionally published and not easily located using more usual means, such as academic databases and search engines.

GreyNet International defines grey literature as “a field in library and information science that deals with the production, distribution, and access to multiple document types produced on all levels of government, academics, business, and organization in electronic and print formats not controlled by commercial publishing i.e. where publishing is not the primary activity of the producing body.”

The important thing to remember is  for any research to be truly comprehensive, the researcher needs to consider searching more than just conventional sources, i.e. commercial databases and search engines.

The approach to discovering grey literature varies from discipline to discipline. Let’s look at some general examples now so you get the idea.

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation’s (CSIRO) repository. It contains records of more than 80 years of CSIRO research, some of which won’t be discoverable by any other means.

Health researchers recognise that any thorough evidential base must include grey literature. Andrew Lyons-Reid gives an interesting example of grey literature in palliative care in his blog, What is Grey Literature?

The CareSearch team discovered that the conversion rate of Australian palliative care research to publication was less than 20 per cent. To remedy this, the CareSearch team did extensive searching and created The CareSearch Palliative Care Knowledge Network.

Closer to home for FEDUA researchers is this one:

If you’re an historian researching railway heritage in Australia, consider searching the Sydney Trains website for links to repositories or historical rail organisations. Once located,  search their collections.  The Sydney Trains website contains 11 links to such organisations, offering a wealth of information that you wouldn’t find in databases.

An advanced Google search will allow you to customise your search and will offer a different set of search results. To do this, limit your search by file type; limiting your search results to .pdf or .ppt files will often uncover previously undiscovered resources. This can be done in two ways.  In the normal Google search box, you can limit by file type by including the following phrases in your search: file:.pdf or file:.ppt

Although developments in traditional sources like academic databases means more resources are being indexed, there is still a need for researchers like you to consider alternative areas to investigate.

So now that you’re more familiar with grey literature, in future posts we’ll feature more about it – the search is already on for that hidden goldmine that fits what you do just right. Stay tuned.

A special thanks to Liaison Librarian, Fiona Neville, for this post. Many thanks, Fiona!


Impact Notice Board #1

**** Today saw the last day of this month’s Twenty Days to Research Impact Challenge. Congratulations to all our participants. How did you find it? I’ll be in touch with you in the near future to gather some valuable feedback. ****

The Notice Board

From time-to-time we’ll be using the Impact Notice board to advertise current and upcoming opportunities geared toward the interests of this blog. You’re busy and you can’t catch everything, so hopefully you’ll hear more about some of the host of interesting and rewarding activities, training sessions and seminars going on here at UON. So here’s a couple of options that are on the horizon.


Twitter Seminars

Regular readers of the blog will know how fabulous a tool we think Twitter is. You could, and I wouldn’t be the first to, argue that there’s no more valuable tool in the field of Social Media when it comes to promoting your research and placing yourself in the middle of a relevant community.

So whether you’ve never tweeted a jot, or you’ve been beginning to sound the call and are looking for some tips, look out for this:

Linda Drummond, Research Communications Coordinator in Research Services can provide a one hour Twitter seminar for beginner and intermediate levels for UON researchers.

Beginner Sessions

Bring your laptop and a high resolution head-shot and you’ll leave the session with a professional-looking twitter account and a knowledge of the basics.

You’ll learn:

  • How to set up your Twitter account
  • What to Tweet and when
  • Who to follow
  • What a hashtag # is
  • How to live-Tweet at events

A beginner’s session is perfect for anyone who’s interested, but doesn’t understand why or how to use Twitter.

Intermediate Sessions

You’ll hone your twitter skills:

In this follow-up to the beginner sessions you’ll learn about using videos, how to target specific markets and hone your twitter presence. This seminar can take place 2 – 3 months after the beginner’s session and is suitable for those with a good working knowledge of Twitter.

We’re testing the waters right now to see who and how many of you are interested in what Linda is offering, so you’ll probably receive an email in the very near future with more detail. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to contact me if you’d like to be part of one of these sessions, or Linda if you have any further questions.


Kudos Educational Researcher Webinar – Wednesday 31st August 2016

We haven’t talked much about Kudos here, but it’s definitely another resource worth your attention that is attuned to research impact. It’s free and it’s easy to use.

In their own words it’s “more than a just a networking site, and more than just a publication listing. It is a toolkit for explaining your work in plain language and for enriching it with links to related materials. Kudos also provides a unique one-stop shop for multiple metrics relating to your publications: page views, citations, full text downloads and altmetrics. When you explain, enrich and share your work through Kudos, we map your actions against these metrics in charts that show you which activities are most effective when it comes to increasing the reach and impact of your work.”

Increase and evidence the impact of your published work

Kudos is co-hosting a Webinar that will be well worth signing up for. it’s in association with Altmetric, ORCID and Thomson Reuters (the folk who bring you Web of Science), and will give you hints and tips on how to promote your work effectively, measure current reach and how to further increase the impact of your work (reach, altmetrics and citations) – all in one place.

Find out more and register.



Watch this space for more.




*** Before we take a look at some recent ORCID developments at UON I want to acknowldege our participants in the second round of the Twenty Days to Research Impact Challenge right here on this blog. I’ve spoken to a couple of you – I hope the rest are enjoying this challenge. Happy Friday. End of the first week! Take a well-earned break and regroup for the next set of challenges.

So …

We’ve talked about ORCID and the benefits of getting yours before, but for those of you who’re new to this blog and are perhaps unfamiliar with ORCID, a re-cap is in order.


ORCID IDs are permanent identifiers for researchers. They protect your unique scholarly identity and help you keep your publication record up-to-date with very little effort.

ORCID was founded in 2012 as a non-profit organisation comprised of publishers, funders, and institutions like Nature Publishing Group, Wellcome Trust, and Cornell University. Over 2 million ORCIDs are in circulation do date, and the number continues to grow.

In April 2015 the NHMRC and the ARC released a joint statement, which encourages all researchers applying for funding to ensure they have prepared an ORCID. This is another, very good reason why you should claim your ORCID. For you, it will help when you’re applying for that much-needed funding from the ARC for your next big project. While for the ARC the benefit is in consolidating, linking and reusing your ID, publications and grants for administrative purposes.

And here’s a video from the good folk at ORCID.

What is ORCID? from ORCID on Vimeo.

What can ORCID do for me?

  • Connect a researcher to their research activity and outputs
  • Provide a unique and persistent author/researcher ID
  • As an ISBN is to a book, an ORCID is to a researcher
  • Helps you to claim ownership of your work
  • Assert statements about yourself based on your ORCID, i.e. linking to, identifying with your ID
  • Name disambiguation –common and similar names
  • Over-time will save time and effort as organisations adopt (integrate into their systems)


Where do I use an ORCID?

  • submitting articles to a publisher
  • grants submissions
  • conference presentations
  • datasets
  • research systems (more on this in a moment)
  • media engagement
  • websites, blogs, etc.
  • CV
  • email signatures



One of the best things about ORCIDs are how they cement your relationship with your current institution. This enables secure assertions about connections between people, places, and contributions that everyone can benefit from. Research in digital spaces is becoming a more crowded space by the minute, so anything that strengthens the link between you and your work has to be a positive.

Let’s look at NURO, for instance. You already know that using this system effectively increases the visibility of your research. If your paper or chapter is in NURO, it’s on your UON web profile and out there for the world to see.

Now NURO and ORCID speak to each other.

Register and configure your ORCID via NURO (how to)

What this means at this stage is NURO will auto-claim publications of yours that are indexed in Scopus or Web of Science, meaning more of your research is connected to you and promoted at UON. A time-saver and a perfect example of how ORCID can be a real string in your bow.

A special thanks to Vicki Picasso, Senior Librarian Research Support, who recently presented on the UON ORCID implementation.




Finding your community with Twitter: Case Study


We’ve touched on the value of Twitter as a tool for promoting your research and its potential impact value in general, but today we are going to focus on a specific example of this in action. We’re going to look at our targeted efforts to promote Professor Hugh Craig’s recent PhD Scholarship and how – with just a little bit of focus – we had the Bard himself, William Shakespeare, tweeting about it.

Twitter 101

We know Twitter is an excellent tool for spreading the word; the length and breadth of your potential audience is practically limitless. So providing you know a little bit about your audience, you can enlarge it a whole lot more while you learn more about it. Expanding your audience on Twitter opens up your network and creates more room for positive exchange too, so there’s every chance you’ll learn more about your field. Wins all round.

Summing up

So while we’re on Twitter, let’s just touch again on the most effective ways to use it. If you’re following these principles you’ll be attracting new followers and will keep them engaged over time.

  • Be brief: Twitter has precise parameters that encourage brevity, so you won’t be writing a novel here anyway, but be as concise as you can. Try to focus on a specific event, publication or whatever it is you’re tweeting about – don’t try and do too much with your Tweet.
  • Link: Ensure you include links in your Tweet. Steer people to the source, whether it’s a blog post, a seminar you’re giving or a journal article you’ve just published. Twitter is a very useful tool not only for sharing information and content, but for promoting that content in a way that drives your audience to the core of it. Twitter might appear to be all surface, but it is an excellent gateway to the real content.
  • Use visuals: where relevant, images and videos will give your Tweets added appeal. According to Twitter, people are three times more likely to engage with Tweets that contain images or videos.
  • Use relevant hashtags #: hashtags are a powerful and essential Twitter currency. They will allow you to expand your reach and tap into relevant conversations. Think of them as keywords that are relevant to your work. Using hashtags astutely enables you to join a wider conversation. Search for hashtags your self (more on this in a bit) and appear in the results in the searches of others.
  • Ask / reply / retweet: being an active, effective Tweeter isn’t a monologue. Ensure your respond to questions put to you (you can join any conversation by mentioning someone using their account name – @name), ask questions of others and retweet, with or without comment, Tweets that are of particular interest. Being active in these spaces will broaden your community. It’s all about engagement, really. Twitter can function as a fertile forum; a sort of digital village green, very, very effectively.

Targeted Tweets

Once you know your audience and have established a presence within a community, Twitter will work for your research profile. No doubt about it. But taking the right steps are crucial. There is a lot of activity on Twitter. It’s torrential. And your Tweets can quite easily be lost in the Tweet roar, so the only answer you get is a resounding echo. Obviously, this is not what we want. You need to Tweet with purpose. You need to Tweet in an informed way.

In order to target your audience, before anything else, you need to know:

  • what conversations they are involved in
  • who they are

A good way to answer these questions is to utilise Twitter’s search function. Like any search function, this is only as good as you make it. It is quite broad, in that it operates primarily on a keyword logic, but it has some very useful filters. Let’s get started.


From your Twitter account find the search window toward the top right of screen. Now there are plenty of methods to search on Twitter, which will uncover all sorts of things. As I mentioned, we’re operating on a Keyword principle, so if you enter one or more keywords and search you will get hits based on matches in Tweet content. This simple strategy could yield some interesting results, but more than likely you will end up trawling through a lot of irrelevant content, especially if your keywords are broad. Let’s get a little more specific.

Find what your audience is Tweeting about

One of the best strategies for promoting your work on Twitter is to place it within a relevant and healthy discussion. How? Use the search function to find conversations that are of interest and are likely to increase engagement with your Tweets and thus, your work. #youthunemployment #homeschooling #climatechange. Try it.

The best thing about this method of searching is focus. Talk to who you really want to. Smart hashtags are excellent links that will lead those who are interested, invariably, to what they are searching for. They are excellent for short-term events like conferences, where a very specific conversation thread can be pushed, but they work well for ongoing conversations as well.

Find who your audience is

Your Twitter community will consist of those with a shared interest, right? Identify them by searching and filtering by account.

Twitter Target 2

When this “Australian Cinema” search is filtered by account we get plenty of interesting results including bloggers, publications, publishers, professional associations and writers. Try this out too, you might identify some valuable contacts who you can follow and engage with. New contacts breed more contacts.

“Speak to it, Horatio” – the network in action

When we set about Promoting Professor Hugh Craig’s PhD Scholarship we did a couple of things. First we said, very briefly, what it was and linked to the story on the UON website. We also included 4 hashtags to open the conversation, based on the specifics of the Scholarship (#Shakespeare, #LiteraryStudies, #ComputerScience and #Statistics) and directed the Tweet toward some key members of this community:

  • @dnmcinnis (Shakespeare scholar based at the University of Melbourne)
  • @ALSjournal (Australian Literary Journal)
  • @Wwm_Shakespeare (the Bard as 21st Century Tweeter)
  • @EnglishWarwick (English department at the University of Warwick)

After a little bit of searching, we concluded each of these had something to offer as a voice in a dialogue we were attempting to initiate.

The Tweet resulted in some very positive results.


David McInnis retweeted. This opened up the topic to his and our community.

Even better …


It was retweeted by William Shakespeare and exposed to his 106,000 odd followers. And that’s what we’re talking about here: enlarging the scope of a conversation.

With a touch of targeted Tweeting, shortly after we had gathered 10 retweets (some by people with a large number of followers), 25 likes and 31 unique visits (learn more about Twitter analytics) to the UON PhD scholarship web page – a great result for such a specific topic!

After things had wrapped up, Professor Craig duly reported some quality prospective applications.




Blog it yourself with UONBlogs

So you subscribe to this blog – or you’re reading this post – then you know what a blog is. At least. Great! You know what one is and in an age that has witnessed the rise and rise of social media, digital networking and content marketing, you’ve probably been told on more than one occasion you should have one. But why, right?  We’re going to start thinking about how a blog – yours or one you contribute to – can work in your favour to increase your research impact.


First things first, though. Let’s get some context.

Blog = Web Log

A brief history of the humble Blog begins when the term was coined sometime, way back last century, in 1999. Jump to 2011 and there were over 156 million blogs out there. A rapid rise to popularity, any way you look at it. Blogs have been compared to diaries, and they have and continue to be used in this way, but what really sets the concept apart and makes it a success is the way it gives you not only a voice among the online crowd, but the potential for a massive audience.

As you know, a blog is made up of ‘posts,’ which make their way directly to your online readership (your ‘followers’) with a relative directness and immediacy that is difficult to beat. All the major blogging platforms have their quirks; their pros and cons, but what they all share is a design that enables you to communicate in a concise manner – and this, I’m sure you will all agree, is very important. One of the most common complaints directed toward social media and other online activity is that it takes up a lot of time.

So you’re blogging about your research and opening up platforms for discussion, but you’re not writing a rigorous essay or extended piece – that hard work is already taken care of in your journal article or chapter – you’re simply promoting your work in a different context to a potentially, much wider audience. With this in mind, make sure you take every opportunity to use this exposure; point readers back toward your work – if you can’t see the connection between blogging about your research and your research impact, this is it. In a nutshell. The mantra is: the more people read your work the more chance it has of being cited.

The great thing about blogs is your posts don’t have to be a burden but they have a permanency or a longer life-span than something like a tweet, which gets buried rather quickly in the torrent of Twitter activity.

Blogging about research and blogging with increased research impact in mind is all about finding and extending your community. We’re talking about quality posts, not frequent posts.

Let’s sum-up: blogging and why it works

  • It’s quick
  • It’s public
  • It’s an ideal signpost
  • It can be read, tracked, cited and contested
  • It’s ideal for presenting the core of your research – the ‘take away’ element
  • It bridges disciplines and promotes collaboration
  • It’s free and easy

UONBlogs: right at your fingertips


UONBlogs are a series of individual WordPress blogs that are coordinated right here at UON by a couple of key movers and shakers within Research Services and IT. The initiative was launched a couple of years ago and it’s always been driven by a commitment to the idea that any group or individual, regardless of their expertise or profile, should have every chance to promote what they do. So if you’ve ever felt like you’d like to explore blogging but didn’t know where to start, this is your chance. It’s good for UON and it’s good for you.

Who can get one?

You can get one of these blogs with a minimum of fuss if you’re at UON. There’s no catch other than signing a very straightforward form and committing yourself to keeping your blogging professional and focused on your research and research-related activities.

A quick glance at the blogs currently in action reveals a healthy and varied blogging community: history, urban and regional design creativity, digital music, sustainability and more.

How do I get started?

You can get the ball rolling by a simple email to You’ll be asked a few questions and get a basic rundown of the WordPress platform following this and you’ll be on your way. What do you want to call your blog? Who’s involved? And what are you going to do with it?

Let’s have a look now at one of the more active and effective UONBlogs to see how you might use one to promote your research.



Professor Victoria Haskins’ UONBlog, “Anzac: Her Story” is a good example of how to use a blog to supplement and bolster the profile of your research. Victoria has been posting in a way that successfully extends the scope of her research and increases the breadth of her readership. And this can only be a good thing. In her words, the blog:

“is based on research that I’ve been doing on the history of Australian women’s experiences of the Great War, as part of my NSW Centenary of Anzac Commemoration History Fellowship. It’s where I will be posting stories about different individual women whose stories of life during WWI have captured my imagination. I think these stories deserve to be shared more widely.”

What makes this blog successful (the stripped back, attractive look also helps) is the way Victoria uses it to really zero in on one strand of her research interest. This results in a focus that incorporates the key strengths of this format: succinctness and relevance in a small package. The blog does everything to activate the wild-fire like growth that is typical of online networks. Followers beget followers, word spreads and there’s every chance you’re attracting more readers back to the source – your papers themselves.

Next, we’ll move on to some useful blogging tips that will help you find your feet here.


Blogging for research impact

  • Take advantage of the web as network: ensure you use some of the other platforms we’ve talked about on this blog. When you post a blog, promote it on Twitter or Facebook. This is where you get the chance to channel and direct traffic. So get that link out there.
  • Be clear on who you are and what you do: context is a must. While the need for this is obvious if you’re posting as part of a multi-author blog, it’s also important if you’re authoring a solo blog. Your readers may lose interest if they’re not able to easily identify you as an author and where your work is being published or archived. It really pays to include a Bio page (Victoria’s blog, which we’ve already looked at is a good example) and the URLs or handles which will guide readers to  where your work is published or accessible.
  • Try writing blogpost versions of your journal articles: take a little time to repackage your hard work in a summarised version. It’s the best advertising your journal article can get.
  • Talk to your readers: a big positive to blogging is its capacity to promote and foster healthy debate. Encourage people to comment and respond when they do. Also, do this yourself. Share, talk, and connect. Link to the work of others and contribute to a community of mutual advantage.
  • Keep it simple: don’t lose sight of what you’re attempting to achieve with your blog – promote your work. By all means, try some things and get it looking like something you’re happy with, but don’t get fixated by the design. Most blog platforms organise your posts in chronological order, which is a huge advantage because what is most recent and in many fast-moving disciplines, timely, will be what the casual reader will encounter first. You can always classify your posts into different categories, but you’d do well not to put anything in place that’s going to bury your posts in a maze of links.


If you were on the fence, hopefully we’ve convinced you. There’s no doubt that blogging has the potential to make a positive contribution to your research impact. And if you’re still not convinced, don’t think of blogging as a distraction to your real work. Think of it as an activity that can complement it.

Blog away!


Make a video abstract for your research


Video abstracts are another option for presenting your research to the world. They are a great way to explain your work to the public and researchers outside of your field. To paraphrase, they’re like value propositions on steroids – your research and toil condensed and re-packaged.

A 3 – 5 minute video will allow you to sum up what you’ve accomplished and documented in a journal article and, crucially, why it’s important to the world. You can use video abstracts to illustrate the concepts and experiments explained in your article, and to “introduce viewers to the methods you have used in your research and engage with your audience in a more informal manner,” explains IOP Press.

The rise of video abstracts has been driven by specialist scientific publishers, however they are being adopted by an increasing amount of publishers, many of which will be of interest for researchers like yourself, working in other disciplines outside the scientific community, such as Emerald, Taylor & Francis and Elsevier.

Today we’re going to walk you through the basics of creating a video abstract for a journal article: how to write a script, record the video using commonly available equipment, and share your video to get maximum visibility for your research.

Step 1: learn what makes a good video abstract

Let’s take a look at some different approaches to video abstracts:

‘Thrilling Affects: Sexuality, Masculinity, the City and ‘Indian Traditions’ in the Contemporary Hindi ‘Detective’ Novel’

Public Health and the Pandemic of Violence Against Women

Wavechasers and the Samoan Passage

Situational Nationalism: Nation-building in the Balkans, Subversive Institutions and the Montenegrin Paradox

Creating cultures of excellence: Strategies and outcomes

So, whether we’re talking about production values, structure, graphics, succinctness or clarity – what makes video abstracts good?

Wiley explains:

The best video abstracts tend to answer at least two of the questions below:

  • What does your article cover?
  • What are the implications for future research on this topic, or where would you like to see the field go?
  • How can your article be used in a teaching context?

Viewers need to know how your research is relevant to their lives, their universe, or the advancement of knowledge in your field.

But you can’t just say anything in your video abstract. Aim to keep your video simple and short, refrain from using jargon, and – if possible – tell a story that’ll hook your viewers within the first 30 seconds and keep them watching until the end.

With these principles in mind, let’s get started!

Step 2: gather your equipment

The basic equipment you’ll need will be readily available to most of you:

  • A computer, webcam, and microphone: Many newer model laptops now come with webcams and microphones built-in. If you don’t have one, maybe try a colleague or a friend. You can also use a desktop computer with a standalone webcam and microphone, if need be. And if you plan to do a simple video abstract (like the point-and-shoot video featured above), a smartphone that can record video will do in a pinch.
  • Video recording software: If you’ve got a late model MacBook, the pre-installed QuickTime Player Software can be used to create a simple screencast and iMovie can be used to edit any videos you create. Otherwise, check out Lifehacker’s list of best screenwriting software for the top Windows and Mac options.
  • Something interesting to say about your research: video abstracts are only as good as the stories they tell. No amount of production value can make up for a dispassionate explanation or remoteness from the viewer’s own life, experience or knowledge. In the next step we’ll share some research-backed tips on how to communicate your results. But first things first; you need the seeds of the story from which this video abstract will bloom.

Once you’ve got all that together, it’s time to choose a format and write your script.

Step 3: choose your format

Do you want to do a point-and-shoot video that’s simply 2 minutes of you describing your paper and its significance?

Would you prefer to structure your video abstract like a lightning-talk screencast, with you explaining slides and videos that illustrate your points from off-camera?

Or maybe you’ve got an amazing story to go along with your study, and some supporters in marketing that have a lot of time and money to help you make a splash with a killer movie trailer-style video? Maybe not, but it can be an advantage to think about all the shapes something like this could take. Big ideas can be scaled back according to your means and still work.

The format of the video you’ll create will likely be dependent upon what equipment and technical expertise you have on hand. While your script will be dependent upon your video’s format.

So, catalogue what you’ve got available and decide upon a format. Because we’re getting to the good stuff next: your video’s script.

Step 4: write the script


You’ll use your script to narrate the story of your video. It doesn’t have to be written out, word-for-word; if you’re comfortable ad libbing, a simple outline will do. But you’ll still need to plan ahead on what you’re going to say, to some degree.

Create an outline

Your outline should follow a basic structure:

A problem statement

What question was unanswered before you began your research, and how did that affect the viewer’s life or the advancement of knowledge in your field? (“We know substantial social changes are reshaping youth identities across regional centres, but we wanted to talk more about how young people are responding to them.”)

A one-sentence explanation of how your research addresses a problem

Using as simple language as possible, describe the results of your study and what bearing it might have on a solution to the problem statement. (“After extensive research into contemporary discussions of place and social change, we saw how the responses of young people were conclusively shaped by identity.”) Both this explanation and the problem statement should fit into the first 30 seconds of your video.

An in-depth explanation of your study and results

Now you can dive into the detail, setting up the story of how you conducted your study – the types of methods you used or data you collected and analysed – and the specifics of the results you found and what they might mean. Remember to refrain from using jargon unless absolutely necessary, and explain any jargon you do use.

Reiterate what the problem is, how you solved it, and what it means

In the final few seconds of the video, you’ll remind the viewer of the problem or issue your study has addressed, and bring it back home to explain what bearing that has.

Invite the viewer to become a reader

Very important. If the viewer’s made it this far into the video, they’re likely hooked on what you’ve said and want to know more. Use this opportunity to point them to your journal article or post print, where they can read the full story.

Build your outline into a solid script

Once you’ve got a solid outline, you’ll need to decide if writing a full script will be useful for the video.

If you’ve decided to do a point-and-shoot video, an outline of your talk is probably your best bet. It will keep you on your main talking points, while avoiding sounding stiff or over-rehearsed.

Doing a lightning-talk screencast instead? Use your outline to create a slide deck, and then write out what you’re going to say, word for word, so you can read it while doing the screencast.

If you decide to write a full script, keep in mind that 120-150 words roughly translate into a minute of video. You’ll want to keep your video to 3-5 minutes, so plan to write a script that’s 750 words or less.

Need some inspiration? A great example script can be found on

Step 4: record your video abstract

If you’re recording your video abstract for sharing on a publisher’s website, you’ll need to do so with their guidelines in mind. So be sure to double-check their limits on the video’s length, quality, and how and where it’s shared.

If you’re creating a point-and-shoot video or a movie trailer-style abstract, pay close attention to the quality of sound and lights. Videos that are difficult to watch won’t get many viewers.

And if you’re creating a lightning-talk screencast video, keep Videobrewery’s advice in mind:

Keep dialogue to between 125 and 150 words a minute. And while you might be able to speak 200 or more words per minute on your own, keep in mind that the voiceover needs time to breathe, allowing viewers to absorb what you’re saying (this is especially true if the content is particularly dense or technical in nature). Machine gun fire dialogue quickly overwhelms viewers, causing abandonment and decreased comprehension.

Once your video has been recorded, you can choose to edit it with your video editing software. This is a good opportunity to remove your tangents and flubbed lines, but it might require you to learn a new skill. Sometimes, it’s just easier to record a second (or third, or fourth …) take instead.

One final option that’ll make your video stand out: add intro and outro music that’s licensed for reuse, which can be hunted down on the Internet Archive for free or purchased cheaply from somewhere like AudioJungle.

When you’ve finished recording, buy yourself a drink! You’ve just accomplished a pretty big feat: video-enhanced public outreach.

Now let’s get your video to the public!

Step 5: upload the video

Two popular platforms for video sharing are YouTube and Vimeo. Both can be used to track views and likes for your video, and allow you to copy-and-paste simple codes to embed your video in other websites. Neither offers long-term preservation, so you might consider backing up your video abstract on Figshare or a similar service.

YouTube is free and easy to use, but it has its drawbacks: they reserve the right to place ads on and alongside your videos.

Vimeo is also fairly easy to use and offers a well-designed, ad-free viewing interface. Its main drawback is that you have to pay for video uploads greater than 500 MB in size. You can disable comments and allow viewers to download your video, if you wish.

What to include?

When you upload your video, be sure to include a descriptive title (one that matches your article is ideal), a 2-3 sentence description of your video abstract’s content, and a full citation to your paper (including a link to a freely-accessible copy of its full text, whenever that’s possible.)

Step 6: promote your awesome new video abstract

Now that your video is online, let’s get it some viewers!

Some good places to share your video on the Web include:

On the article or chapter homepage: if the journal allows it, embed your video next to the written abstract for your paper. That way, potential readers get a more engaging glimpse of what your paper’s about, beyond what appears in the written abstract.

On your UON web profile: we’ve talked before about the advantages of using your profile as a home base for your work and career, so it’s the ideal place for any video abstracts you might put together.

Your blog: share the video along with a link to your publication and a transcript of your video, adapted into a blog post. (More on blogs and how to get one next post).

Twitter and Facebook: these social media platforms were practically made for sharing video with the public. Share a link with your next update and both platforms will automagically embed it for your followers and friends.


Your video abstract doesn’t have to be made with Academy Award glory in mind. It’s simply another option for presenting your research to your peers and the world. The real plus is that the form has the capacity to engage a wider audience and contribute to what this blog is all about: research impact and how to increase it.



HDR web profiles


We have had quite a few questions recently from academic staff about how their PhD and Research Masters students can promote their  work on the UON website, especially from those with student members in their Research Centre or Group. Fortunately, with the recent introduction of a new profiles management system, Nexus, it has become possible for PhD and Research Masters students to create web profiles, which are near identical to standard staff profiles.

Below is a brief overview of the similarities and differences between staff and student profiles.


  • As you can see, the HDR web profiles look very similar to the others. There are two differences:
    • Because they’re not employed by the University ** they won’t receive any data from the HR feed. This feed normally produces the qualifications section on the Career tab, which will display a list of qualifications. However, HDR students do have the option of including details of their Honours or Masters, for example in the Biography, which we’ll get to soon.
    • The header on HDR profiles will include a name and a generic description: ‘Research student.’ At this point this description is the default and we can’t create anything more specific.
    **If an HDR student does have a current staff contract they also have the option of creating a standard web profile. However, a number of HDR students have already chosen to go with their student profile as this is viewed as ‘more stable.’ They might get short, casual appointments, but their PhD could have more longevity. Note: If you do opt for a staff profile, you will need to use your staff ID to login to Nexus.

How to setup a student web profile in just two easy steps

  1. Log into Nexus

HDR students can use their student number and password to access the system.


The above screen will greet you upon login. Select the Biography (highlighted – top left of screen). This is the primary section of the system you’ll be interested in.


Now we’ll get to work:

First, upload a photo by selecting the ‘change picture’ option (above). This should be a square image – ideally 111px X 111px.

Once saved, this image will appear within the header of your activated profile – as we’ve seen with Bryce’s. You may change this at any time, just remember to save.

The vertical menu at the far left of screen offers the following options:

Expertise: enter research keywords, which will display in alphabetical order on your profile. These appear on the Career tab of an activated profile.

We’ve already spoken about Academic qualifications.

Professional Experience: create desired entries for positions you’ve held, within and outside of academia. This appears on the Career tab of an activated profile.

Links Management: enter a wide range of links to your social media / digital networking accounts, which will appear in the Connect with Me section on your web profile sidebar (see above). Options include: Facebook, Flickr, Google+, Instagram, UONBlogs, personal websites / blogs, Pinterest, Skype, SoundCloud, Twitter, and YouTube.

Fields of Research: enter up to three of your six-digit FoR codes and allocate percentages for them. Find a complete list of the codes here. FoR codes identify your research and are very important for those of you who are publishing, especially for reporting exercises such as ERA (Excellence in Research Australia). These appear on the Career tab of an activated profile.

Biography: this area is very customisable, with options for images, hyperlinks and more. Please understand ‘Biography’ as a loose term here. You can use this area to promote your work in any way you see fit. It appears on the Career tab of an activated profile.

Teaching: used to enter courses taught. These appear on the Career tab of an activated profile.

Research identifiers: enter your researcher IDs for Google Scholar, ORCID, ResearcherID, Scopus ID, ResearchGate, LinkedIn, and Academia.Edu. These will appear in the Connect with Me section on your web profile sidebar (see above).

Groups & Centres: have your memberships to UON research groups and centres represented on the Research Networks section of your profile sidebar. Note that this needs to be done at an administrative level, so if you’re a member of something like Newcastle Youth Studies or Detective Fiction on the Move, let the Research Unit Communication Officer know.

The other tabs (across the top of page on your Nexus home page) give you options for creating records for things like funding and projects, should these things be applicable. You can learn more about these tabs in the Nexus User Guide.


Any publications you have will be represented on your web profile only if they are captured within NURO, the University’s research publications management system. So if you are publishing you’ll need to familiarise yourself with this system – it’s a must. Here’s the User Guide.

2. Get your profile activated

Once you’re satisfied with the content in your Nexus account you need to get your profile activated. This is simple. Just email Once I’ve done what I need to do, I’ll notify you and send you your activated web profile URL.


Once your web profile is activated you can login to Nexus at any point and add or edit content without the need for further approvals. Just be aware that there will be a delay before any changes update on the web. Under normal circumstances everything will have updated within 48 hours.


 NURO is the University of Newcastle’s research publications management system. Publications data captured in NURO is used to populate online researcher profiles and for research data initiatives such as the annual Higher Education Researcher Data Collection (HERDC) and Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA). Publications in NURO are automatically harvested from online databases, including Web of Science, Scopus, PubMed and Europe PubMed Central. Publications not located in these databases can be manually entered into the system by researchers. NURO automatically searches the databases at regular intervals, or after you change your search settings.

If you’re new to the NURO system, login to NURO and download a copy of the user guide, then take some time to familiarise yourself with your NURO profile. Adjust your search settings or create a record for a recently published chapter or conference paper.

You need to use NURO efficiently to ensure the complete breadth of your research and practice is represented on your web profile. Remember: if it’s not in NURO, it’s not on your profile.