Everything you wanted to know about Research Impact (but were afraid to ask): a Handbook for Social Science Researchers and more

Welcome back everyone to what promises to be another eventful year. Change is certainly upon us here at the Faculty of Education and Arts, with the newly formed School of Creative Industries taking shape, bringing with it a cohort of researchers from the disciplines of design, communication and natural history illustration. It’s great news and can only contribute to an increasingly dynamic and interdisciplinary research environment. So a special welcome to all concerned here, in particular.

Things will also be heating up during the year as preparations for the next ERA (Excellence in Research Australia) 2018 get well and truly underway – combine this with the inaugural Engagement and Impact Assessment Pilot (EIAP) , which will involve multiple disciplines from FEDUA, including history; philosophy and religious studies; education; creative arts and writing plus language, communication and culture – and what you get are some busy but hopefully instructive times ahead. Both of these exercises demand a whole lot of reporting responsibility. However they will present us with a valuable opportunity to present and perhaps redefine the research threads within the Faculty. What’s new? How are we engaging with industry, with the ever important digital sphere?  You’ll hear more about this soon, but I will say that the measurements involved relate directly to many of the concepts we’ve been talking about in this blog since it started nearly a year ago. Speaking of which, we’ll continue to do our best to bring you informative and relevant posts on impact and research communications throughout this year as well!

To start on this we will ease you back into the fray after what was hopefully a relaxing Summer break. Followers of this blog will be aware of the LSE Impact Blog. Today’s post will give you the chance to have a good look at one of their truly valuable and comprehensive resources (if you haven’t already). The Handbook, Maximizing the Impacts of your Research  was produced with Social Science researchers in mind but I think the content is equally relevant and applicable across the breadth our disciplines. It’s a veritable Bible of ideas, strategies, tips and discussion around what Research Impact is and how it might be achieved.

As always, we encourage you to follow this great blog. Here’s what they had to had to say about it when it was first made public back in late 2011 as part of a consultation process:

Included under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

“There are few academics who are interested in doing research that simply has no influence on anyone else in academia or outside. Some perhaps will be content to produce ‘shelf-bending’ work that goes into a library (included in a published journal or book), and then over the next decades ever-so-slightly bends the shelf it sits on. But we believe that they are in a small minority. The whole point of social science research is to achieve academic impact by advancing your discipline, and (where possible) by having some positive influence also on external audiences – in business, government, the media or civil society.

For the past year a team of academics based at the London School of Economics, the University of Leeds and Imperial College have been working on a ‘Research Impacts’ project aimed at developing precise methods for measuring and evaluating the impact of research in the public sphere. We believe the our data will be of interest to all UK universities how to better capture and track the impacts of their social science research and applications work.

Part of our task is to develop guidance for colleagues interested in this field. In the past, there has been no one source of systematic advice on how to maximize the academic impacts of your research in terms of citations and other measures of influence. And almost no sources at all have helped researchers to achieve greater visibility and impacts with audiences outside the university. Instead researchers have had to rely on informal knowledge and picking up random hints and tips here and there from colleagues, and from their own personal experience.

This Handbook remedies this key gap and opens the door to researchers achieving a more professional and focused approach to their research from the outset. It provides a large menu of sound and evidence-based advice and guidance on how to ensure that your work achieves its maximum visibility and influence with both academic and external audiences. As with any menu, readers need to pick and choose the elements that are relevant for them. We provide detailed information on what constitutes good practice in expanding the impact of social science research. We also survey a wide range of new developments, new tools and new techniques that can help make sense of a rapidly changing field.

We hope that this Handbook will be of immediate practical value for academics, lead researchers, research staff, academic mentors, research lab leaders, chairs and research directors of academic departments, and administrative staff assisting researchers or faculty team leaders in their work.”

Download the Handbook in PDF format

Good reading!


Making an impression online: how to build your digital presence and increase your research impact

Research isn’t just global – it’s digital. To make an impact in research you need to have a consistent online presence.

The good news about building your online persona is that consistency counts, so once you’ve got all the basics in hand – you can just work at sharing them across a range of platforms. Think about how you wish to be viewed, and start building your professional persona. Here are the basics:

Your highlights on the web

If you’re a researcher at UON, the Research and Innovation communications team can help enhance your web presence by crafting a professional highlight story. Simply set aside 30 minutes and the team will come to you for an interview and photo shoot.

A highlight story is an easy-to-read overview of what you’ve done in your career – and what you’re focussed on in your research. It should give people an idea about what inspires you, and what your aims are.

It may cover:

  • Your Undergraduate degree and what inspired you to study.
  • Post grad degrees – what helped your forge this research course.
  • Mentors – who helped you make an impact along the way.
  • Areas of interest – rather than honing in on a specific research topic we like to keep it as broad as possible to open possibilities for collaboration.
  • Key career milestones and projects.
  • What’s next? Where will the next five years take you?


above: a recently published highlights story on Professor Cathy Coleborne

Once the article is written you’ll receive a draft copy to edit and approve before anything goes live. When it’s live it becomes a great resource for collaborators to learn more about you and your research.

If you’re a researcher at UON contact us  to set up your highlight story.

In the picture

A quality high resolution head and shoulders picture is essential for all researchers. Use it across all your online platforms so that you’re recognisable and professional. Ensure your image is web-optimised and 300dpi jpeg, 250px high by 150px wide.

It’s worth getting a professional to take a good headshot. They know what’s flattering, how to find good locations and how to get the lighting just right. Keep it simple and look to set up a ‘Profile Pic Photo shoot’ with a few colleagues and get in touch with the Research Comms team (as above).

Be prepared. Work out what you do and do not like about photos of yourself. Get out your phone and snap off a few selfies – you’ll work out which angles do and don’t work and find your most flattering angle. Dress in smart work clothing – but keep prints (particularly stripes) to a minimum. Bold, bright colours work well if that’s what suits you. Otherwise classic or neutral shades work just as well.

Brief bio

Can you describe who you are and what you do in 150 words? Get practicing. A good biography is brief, succinct and around 150 words. Distil your work down to the ultimate essence: Your title, location, and a brief description of your research using the main keywords.

Include a link to your university profile, and any professional social media accounts. Read bios in conference papers or online to see what works, and what doesn’t.

Get social

Are you on twitter? Sign up now. No, it’s okay, I’ll wait…

Twitter is the single-most effective tool for researchers to find collaborators, build networks and share their research. Once you’ve got your profile set up, it’s time to find your tribe. And don’t worry, they’ll be on there. Search for researchers in a similar field to yourself, then scroll through their ‘following’ and ‘followers’ lists to find like-minded researchers.

Be a caring, sharing person on Twitter. Don’t just share your work, share the work of colleagues, collaborators and people you’ve never met who are doing something interesting. Cultivate a Twitter feed that’s vibrant and interesting and gives a great understanding of who you are and what you do.

Again, contact Research Communications team and we can organise a twitter seminar for 5 – 30 people – in just 30 minutes.

Follow the leaders

The best way to succeed online is to assess what others are doing and work out why they’re doing it well. A well-optimised online presence makes you more attractive to collaborators, to those awarding grants, and for promotion.

Look to the leaders – those who get the grants, forge the collaborations and seem to be in the news. Search them on Google and check out what comes up on the first and second pages – then look to replicate it.

And don’t forget, we’re here to help!

A big, big thanks to our guest blogger for this post. Linda Drummond is the Research Communications Coordinator for Research and Innovation Division at UON. She curates their wonderful Twitter account @UON_Research, so get following. This account is a prime example of successful and forward-thinking Tweeting for research impact.

Last post for the year! I will be back in 2017, along with my colleague, Jessie Reid. Enjoy the break, everyone!


Building an impact literate research culture: some thoughts for the KT Australia Research Summit

Very interesting post based on the author’s presentation at the current Research Impact Summit. If you’re a Slideshare user the accompanying slides can be downloaded here.

With the ERA Engagement and Impact Assessment on the horizon, Julie Bayley’s experience, drawn from the UK Research Excellence Framework 2014 is valuable. Definitely some key points made here, so take note:

Thanks, Julie!

Julie Bayley

I was delighted to be asked to speak at the KT Australia Research Impact Summit (November 2016). In my talk, I discussed many of the challenges of introducing an impact agenda into the academic community, and how impact literacy can help. An extended version of my slides are here, but let me talk through the key points below.

Consider impact. A small word. A simple, standard part of our vocabulary meaning influence or effect. But go from (small i) impact to (big I) Impact, and you’ve suddenly entered the domain of formal assessment and causal expectations. Arguably the UK have been the first to really take the Impact bull formally by the horns through the Research Assessment Framework 2014, but of course efforts to drive research into usable practice are far from unique to this little island. Whilst every country is rich with learning about how knowledge best mobilises within its own context, the…

View original post 1,003 more words


Collaboration: what do you think?

Acknowledgement: this post draws from Jenny Delasalle’s The Research Whisperer post, “How do you find Researchers who want to collaborate?” Used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Research collaboration has never been more topical. Institutions are including it in KPIs; it’s figuring within metrics data and within an increasingly global and digital environment it’s becoming a very important figure. The potential  positives of  collaboration are hard to ignore: the wider, more dynamic your network, the stronger the output. Indeed, it’s being viewed as a significant driver of research quality.

Or as Jenny Delasalle, Librarian and editor of the Piirus blog, describes: “Contacts and collaboration are increasingly important to researchers. From the sparking of early ideas, to co-authorship which increases outputs and helps authors to reach new audiences, and on again to partnerships with organisations or industry which offer sources of funding and routes to impact: collaboration activities are increasingly seen as a part of research excellence.”

So what do researchers themselves think about collaboration? In late 2014 Piirus  a not-for-profit service provided by the University of Warwick, which is a networking resource  with a focus on promoting collaborative opportunities within the global research community, conducted a survey involving over 300 researchers across the globe from a variety of disciplines. The aim was to get some insight and opinions about networks and collaborations and what researchers are interested in (or willing) to share in online platforms such as Piirus, from the primary source – researchers.

Here’s what they found:


We’re very interested to know what you think about these issues. Do any of these conclusions resonate with you? Are you surprised with any? Do you personally disagree? And if so, where and why do you differ?

Let us know via the comments section here or via Twitter to @EdArtsUON or join the conversation by tagging #collaborateUON.


Impact Notice Board #2

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 and the wider community.

Research Impact Summit

Knowledge Translation Australia is a Melbourne-based organisation that aims to provide researchers and institutions with:

” … specialised training solutions and support that enable them to translate research evidence into real life impacts, that in turn increase opportunities for recognition, collaboration, and research funding. We achieve this goal through our unique training methods, expertise in knowledge translation, personalized hands-on service, and dedication to providing real solutions to meet each client’s individual needs and goals.”

They’re coordinating the Research Impact Summit, a  free online event, featuring over 20 speakers with considerable professional and academic experience involved in sessions across the following themes:

  • Knowledge Translation;
  • Implementation Science;
  • Collaboration & Engagement;
  • Dissemination, and;
  • Research Impact.

Some key characteristics the organisers are appealing to include:

  • Researchers wanting to improve engagement with industry.
  • Early career researchers that want to get ahead of the rest, stand out, and create a big impact from research.
  • Those that want to hear about the tools, tips, tricks, trials and tribulations of bridging the research to practice gap.

Sound interesting? You can register here.

I think you’ll readily agree that the current research environment, with its push toward not only creating and measuring impact, but the ways and means we narrate or demonstrate the impact of research, raises a need for well-informed, positive discussion in this area.

This e-conference could be well worth your time.

You can contact info@ktaustralia.com with any queries.



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 tinyurl.com/DHslack 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 whatisdigitalhumanities.com.

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 literaturegeek.com 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
http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2016/07/13/using-slack-to-support-a-geographically-dispersed-community/  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.