Connect with Me on your UON web profile

So you’ve put in all the hard work and completed the 20 Days to Research Impact Challenge – well done – but there’s one more thing you should do, just to take advantage of your efforts.

You created a whole bunch of profiles – ResearchGate, Twitter, and LinkedIn, for example – why not have them visible on your UON web profile? This is yet another strategy to effectively increase the traffic between the various satellites of your online presence to their center – your web profile. Nexus makes this possible with a minimum amount of fuss.


The Connect with Me area of your UON web profile hosts a range of research networking and social media links. How do you get these icons onto your web profile? Easy. First, log-in to Nexus and select the Biography tab (top left of screen) from your home page. ‘Connect with Me’ links can be entered into two places.


Links Management

This section of Nexus is designed more for your social networking and blogging profiles. You have the option of entering the following:

  • Facebook
  • Flickr
  • Google+
  • Instagram
  • Personal Blog
  • Personal Webpage
  • Pinterest
  • Skype
  • SoundCloud
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • UON Blogs


Research Identifiers

This area is reserved for your researcher identifiers proper:

  • Google Scholar
  • LinkedIn
  • ResearchGate
  • ResearcherID (your Web of Science identifier)
  • Scopus Author ID


To create the link, select either of the above and simply insert it into the top field, ensuring that you’ve selected the relevant resource from the drop-down menu:

Insert link

NOTE: Please insert only the part of the identifier/address that identifies your individual account.

For example, to enter a Scopus identifier (ScopusAuthorID: 35346290800), you only need to record the numeric component and for a system such as Research Gate ( you would record the identifier Fred_Smith3

That’s it! Keep in mind that the link icons won’t appear on your web profile immediately. They may take up to 48 hours.

Don’t hesitate to contact me ( if you experience any problems with this or if you have any questions.




Day 20: Discover when your work is discussed and shared online

You’re engaging other scholars online; they’re discussing your open access work with you and other researchers; and before Easter break you minted identifiers that’ll let you track your work’s reach on the web. Now comes the fun part: measuring your research’s many impacts.

In today’s challenge, we’ll explore how the services you’ve signed up for–, Google Scholar, Figshare, and so on – and others can be used to track the impacts of all of your research outputs.

Let’s dig in!


Citations are the “coin of the realm” to track scholarly impact, not only for your articles but also your research data, too. You can get citation alerts in three main ways: from Google Scholar, from traditional citation indices, and from newer databases like the Data Citation Index.

Google Scholar Citations alerts

Your Google Scholar profile can be used to alert you whenever your articles receive new citations online. It tracks any citations to your publications that occur on the scholarly web.

If you haven’t already signed up for citation alerts, visit your profile page and click the blue “Follow” button at the top of your profile. Select “Follow new citations” link and enter your preferred email address, then click “Create alert.” Notifications will arrive in your inbox when you receive new citations.

If you want to explore who has already cited you, visit your profile page, and click on the number of citations to the right of the article you want to track citations for:


On the next page, you’ll see a list of all the papers that have cited you, some of which you’ll be able to click-through and read. To increase your full-text access to resources listed by Google Scholar click the Settings icon and use Library Links to see links to some of the University of Newcastle’s subscriptions. Be sure to enter the University’s name correctly though (not as Newcastle University.) And remember, not all academic databases have negotiated to link through Google Scholar in this manner, but taking advantage of this function will certainly increase what you have full access to.


Remember: Google Scholar indexes citations it finds in a wide range of scholarly documents (white papers, slide decks, and of course journal articles are all fair game) and in documents of any language. The data pool is also mixed with respect to peer-review status; some of these citations will be in the peer-reviewed literature, some will not. This means that your citation count on Google Scholar may be larger than on other citation services.

Web of Science

Traditional citation indices like Scopus and Web of Science are another good way to get citation alerts delivered to your inbox. These services are more selective in scope, so you’ll be notified only when your work is cited by vetted, peer-reviewed publications.

Web of Science Indexes high impact journals. They undertake a Cited Reference Search to find citations for books, chapters, and non-Web of Science indexed journals.

However, they only track citations for select journal articles and book chapters – a far cry from the diverse range of citations that are available from Google Scholar.

Web of Science offers article-level citation alerts. To create an alert, you first have to register with Web of Knowledge and create a ResearcherID.

Create your ResearcherID if you don’t already have one.

Next, make sure your preferred database is set to the Web of Science Core Collection (alerts cannot be set up across all databases at once). To do this, click the orange arrow next to “All Databases” to the right of “Search” in the top-left corner. You’ll get a drop-down list of databases, from which you should select “Web of Science Core Collection.” Note: If you access WOS from any of the above UON links this will be the default view, so you won’t need to worry about it.

Now you’re ready to create an alert. On the Basic Search screen, search for your article by its title. Click on the appropriate title to get to the article page. In the upper right hand corner of the record, you’ll find the Citation Network box. Click “Create citation alert.” Let Web of Knowledge know your preferred email address, then save your alert.


In , a citations database you can set up alerts for both articles and authors. To create an alert for an article, search for it and then and click on the title in your search results. Once you’re on the Article Abstract screen, you will see a list of papers that cite your article on the right-hand side. To set your alert, click “Set alert” under “Inform me when this document is cited in Scopus.”

To set an author-level alert, click the Author Search tab on the Scopus homepage and run a search for your name. If multiple results are returned, check the author affiliation and subjects listed to find your correct author profile. Next, click on your author profile link. On your author details page, follow the “Get citation alerts” link, and list your saved alert, set an email address, and select your preferred frequency of alerts. Once you’re finished, save your alert.

With alerts set for all three of these services, you’ll now be notified when your work is cited in virtually any publication in the world! But citations only capture a very specific form of scholarly impact. How do we learn about other uses of your articles?

Page views & downloads

How many people are reading your work? While you can’t be certain that article page views and full-text downloads mean people are reading your articles, many researchers still find these measures to be a good proxy.

Repositories like NOVA provide this information, too, so you can also track the interest in your publications. How many page hits? How many unique viewers? How many times has the journal article made open access been downloaded?


Publisher websites and notifications

Publishers like PLOS display page view and download information for individual articles on their website, alongside other data like citations and Altmetrics.

For PLOS and many other publishers, these metrics are only available on their websites. Some pioneering publishers go one step further, sending you an email when you’ve got new page views and downloads on their site.

Contact your publisher to find out if they offer metrics related to articles you’ve published.

 ResearchGate &

Both ResearchGate and will report how many people have viewed and downloaded your paper on their site.

You can turn on email notifications for page views and downloads by visiting “Settings” (on both sites, click the triangle in the upper right-hand corner of your screen). Then, click on the “Notifications” tab in the sidebar menu, and check off the types of emails you want to receive.

On, the option to receive page view & download notifications are described as “There’s new activity in my analytics (includes “Analytics Snapshot”)”; on ResearchGate, it’s under Scheduled Emails > “Weekly update about my personal stats and RG Score.”


Figshare displays page view and download information on their website, but they don’t send notification emails when new downloads happen.

Social media metrics via

What are other researchers saying about your articles around the water cooler? It used to be that we couldn’t track these informal conversations, but now we’re able to listen in using social media sites like Twitter and on blogs. Here’s how. allows you to track mentions of your work across a range of non-traditional sources. need three things to track the online attention of your scholarly output, as displayed below:


Identifiers they track include: DOI or (which is the persistent identifier given to a record in the UON repository NOVA), or PubMed ID, arXiv ID, ADS ID, SSRN ID, RePEC ID, or URN.

You can see a range of the sources track displayed as colours below:


And an example of how these colours are displayed to represent the amount of engagement with your research output from each source:


Because UON has an account with, you can see altmetrics data displayed as the colourful donut on your UON researcher profile publication page.

Remember: your article needs to be in NURO to show on your web profile.


If you click on the donut, you will see a range of information about where the article was shared and read, including the demographics of the people sharing.


Once you are on this breakdown page, you can also sign up to receive notifications whenever someone mentions your article online by clicking the “Alert me about new mentions” button on the right.

You can also easily install a handy bookmarklet on your browser bookmark bar, which will show you altmetrics information when you are looking at an article on a publisher website.

To install, visit the Altmetrics bookmarklet page and drag the “Altmetric It!” button into your browser menu bar. Then, find your article on the publisher’s website and click your “Altmetric it!” button. The altmetrics for your article will appear in the upper right-hand side of your browser window, in a pop-up box.

If you click on the pop-up box it will take you to a similar breakdown of the altmetrics data as shown above.

The only drawback of’s notification emails is that you have to sign up for a new notification for each article. This can cause inbox mayhem if you are tracking many publications.


There are so many ways to collect metrics for your work; it’s hard to keep up. And even aggregators that attempt to collect these metrics for you into a single place – like – don’t collect everything.

We recommend taking a hybrid approach to staying on top of your impacts: use an aggregator that can collect Twitter, blog, Slideshare, Figshare, etc. metrics into one place for you, like, then supplement any metrics they can’t track with email notifications from specific services (for example, Web of Science or Scopus).


Do some serious thinking about what metrics mean the most to you. And with those metrics in mind, sign up for the appropriate notification emails that’ll keep you up-to-date on your impacts.

Congratulations! You’ve successfully made it through all 20 days of our Research Impact Challenge.

You’re now a web-savvy researcher who’s made valuable connections online. You’re sharing more of your work than you were before, and have found many new ways to get your work to those who are interested. And you’re able to track the success of your efforts, and the real-time impact of your scholarship.

We have really enjoyed editing together and writing these challenges for researchers in the Faculty of Education and Arts at UON, and we have also learned so much. Thanks for joining in!

The 20 Day Challenge will continue to exist on The FEDUA Research Impact Blog as a resource for you to come back to whenever you need.

We will also continue to post about once every two weeks to this blog to give you information, updates, and tips on increasing the communication and impact of your work . However, after a quick wrap-up post tomorrow, you won’t receive further emails from us to update you of new posts unless you “Follow” the FEDUA Research Impact Blog.

You can follow future posts by going to the top of this page and in the right-hand column entering your email in the “FOLLOW BLOG VIA EMAIL” box.

Also, please reach out if you have ideas for future topics you would like more information on in regards to research communication and impact.

Day 19: Make your work permanent and trackable with unique identifiers

Throughout this challenge, we’ve touched on the importance of having persistent identifiers like DOIs for your research.

DOIs – digital object identifiers–make it easy for others to find your work by providing a permanent, unique identifier for each research output. That identifier will always redirect to where your work is stored, even if the URL changes, the journal you were published in disappears, and so on. All you have to do to make a DOI linkable is append “” to the front of a DOI. For example, you can make DOI 10.3109/02699206.2014.956263 linkable by writing it as “”.

DOIs also make it easy to track when and where your research is cited, discussed, shared, bookmarked, or otherwise used across the Internet. DOIs are widely used, understood by most researchers, and well supported by platforms that track impacts across the Web.

Let’s dig into how you can get a unique identifier for articles and other types of research outputs. It will set you up well for our final Challenge, which will cover services you can use to track the impacts of your work using DOIs and other permanent identifiers.

 DOIs for articles & preprints

Many journals issue DOIs for journal articles automatically. So, getting a DOI for your articles can be as easy as publishing with a journal that issues them.

If you’re planning to publish (or have already published) in a journal that doesn’t offer DOIs, that’s okay! You can archive a post-print (as mentioned in Day 13, this is a peer-reviewed final draft of the article that’s not the formatted, published version) of your article on NOVA and receive a unique identifier or in a platform that issues DOIs like Figshare or Zenodo. Here’s how:


Once you have followed the Challenge from Day 13: Submit your post-prints, and your article has been published to NOVA you will see your identifier:


All records published in NOVA have ‘handles,’ however if you haven’t submitted your post-print, chances are your output won’t be available full-text open access; it’ll just be a metadata record with a link to the published version. So don’t forget to submit your post-prints when you have them!

Figshare & Zenodo

All of these services work pretty much the same for issuing DOIs: you upload an article and a DOI is assigned automatically. We’ll briefly walk you through the process here using Figshare as an example.

  • Login to Figshare and click the “Upload” link in the upper-right corner.
  • Upload the article and click the “Add info” link.
  • Add a description of the file (metadata). Be as thorough as possible when describing it; rich descriptions can make it easier to find your article using search engines.
  • Some journals require that you add a statement to the archived post-print. It’s usually something along the lines of: “This is a post-print version of the following article: [full citation pointing to publisher’s website]. It is posted here with the publisher’s permission.” You can usually find the statement on the “Author’s Rights” section of your journal’s website, and some relevant policies can be found on Sherpa/Romeo. If in doubt, check with the team at
  • Make the article “Public” (select the radio button for “Public” immediately to the left of the “Save changes” button.

On the item record that’s now live on the Web, you’ll see your DOI:


DOIs for data

As discussed in Day 11: Get you data cited, you can also get persistent identifiers for research data.

When should you mint a DOI for your data? Natasha Simons of ANDS says a DOI should be applied to data when:

  • The data will be exposed and forms part of the scholarly record (this can be when you’re publishing supplementary data alongside a paper, “opening up” unpublished datasets, or otherwise making your data available to others);
  • The data can be kept persistent (it won’t have to be removed from the repository);
  • And the minimum DataCite metadata schema requirements can be met (you’ll need to provide information on the dataset’s Creator, Title, Publisher, and Publication Year; the Publisher information is communicated by your repository)

As mentioned in Day 11: Get your data cited, you can get a unique identifier for data by using open repositories like Figshare or Zenodo, or by using our institutional repository NOVA.

DOIs for everything else

You can also easily mint DOIs for your slide decks, posters, and even your blog posts if you upload them to Zenodo or Figshare.


Many of the limitations of DOIs are caused by human error. For example, though it’s ideal for your links to your work to use the DOI link (more on that below), you can’t control whether others will actually do it. That’s because research is often shared online using regular, easy-to-copy URLs instead of DOIs.

The best you can do is provide the DOI wherever you share your research output. Citation styles such as  APA 6th include a space DOIs, so make such you include them in your citations so that anyone who shares your work will hopefully see it and follow your lead.

It’s also bad form to create more than one DOI for a research output. So don’t mint a DOI for anything that’s already got one.

The final limitation is that we’re all counting on the publisher or service provider to keep the DOI record up to date with the DOI registration agency (most commonly Crossref or DataCite). And keeping records up-to-date is what ensures that DOIs point to the correct place on the Web (which you’ll remember is useful if URLs change or journals fold).

Most reputable publishers do this, but some publishers and repositories may not be as responsible (for example, as far as we know, ResearchGate do mint DOIs but they don’t have a documented preservation policy). If you’re not sure if the publisher’s archiving policy is up to snuff, ask them about it.


First, mint a Handle (by submitting post-prints to NOVA) or DOIs for your 5 most important research outputs that don’t already have them. Bonus points if some of those outputs are not articles.

Once you have your DOIs, use them:

  • Put them onto your CV alongside your research products;
  • Put clearly-labelled preferred citations that include DOIs into your dataset or software documentation; and encourage others to always link to your review using the DOI resolver link (these are created by putting “” in front of your DOI; for example

Now that you’ve got DOIs for your most important research outputs, we’ll explore how you can use Altmetrics and impact-tracking services like to discover how often they’re cited, saved, shared, discussed, and otherwise reused online.

I am sure you are aware, tomorrow is Good Friday – so we are going to save our final day for when you come back from Easter break. We’ll be back on Wednesday 30 March with how you can discover when your work is discussed and shared online, and a wrap-up of our 30 Day Challenge. Have a great break!

Day 18: Track your scholarly social media and website impact

Throughout this Impact Challenge, we’ve explored many ways for you to get your work to other researchers, the public, and other audiences via the Internet.

To close out the Challenge, we’ll share techniques for measuring the success of your ongoing efforts, starting with basic social media and website analytics.

Social media and website analytics like those provided by Twitter, Hootsuite, Buffer and Google Analytics can tell you a lot about who’s following your work, the potential exposure your work has received, and some limited bits about the diverse uses of your work, beyond simple page views and download counts.

Let’s dig into some easy ways to explore the metrics behind your website and social media accounts.

Twitter Analytics

Twitter’s Analytics feature can tell you not only how many followers you have, but also their demographics and how others are using your tweets. Are your tweets being retweeted or favorited very often? If so, what are the characteristics of those tweets with high engagement rates?

The wealth of data that Twitter provides can help you learn more about the audiences you’re having an impact with (Is your work resonating in the countries whose populations you’re studying? What subjects do your followers care most about? And so on). Here’s how to get started with Twitter Analytics:

  • Login to Twitter
  • Click on your picture in the upper right-hand corner and then select “Analytics” from the drop-down menu

You’ll see four tabs and a drop-down menu across the top:

  • Home: gives you a 28 day summary and highlights of your top tweets by month
  • Tweets: includes the exposure your tweets has received, the general rates that others have engaged with your tweets, and allows you to explore the activity that individual tweets have received.
  • Audiences: breaks down the demographics of your followers, showing a growth chart
  • Events: summary of large media events on Twitter, such as the Sydney Festival.
  • Twitter Cards: found under the drop-down “More” menu, this most useful for advanced academic users who want to promote blog content and rich media. We won’t talk much about Twitter Cards in this chapter; check out this guide for more information.

Let’s dig into the Tweets and Audiences pages.


The first thing you’ll see on this page is a bar chart of the number of Twitter impressions your tweets have received over the past 28 days. Twitter impressions are the number of times your tweets have appeared in someone else’s timeline. You can think about this metric as being akin to the circulation statistics of a journal you’re published in – it’s not the same as readership, but it gives a sense of your overall exposure.


You’ll also see summaries of your average Engagements on the right-hand side of the screen. How often have others clicked on your links, retweeted and favorited your tweets, and replied to you over the past 28 days? And how many of each of these actions have you received per day, on average?

In the middle of the screen, you’ll see a list of your tweets in reverse chronological order, along with their individual number of impressions, engagements, and engagement rate.

You can click on “View Tweet activity” for any individual tweet to get a drill down view of the metrics.

Consider doing an informal analysis of your most popular tweets on a monthly basis. It’ll allow you to see what types of tweets are the most popular with your followers, and you can use that insight to share future links in a similar way.

An easy way to do this informal analysis is to export your Tweet Activity data as a CSV file. Open it up in Excel and use the Sort function to see which of your tweets have the most impressions, retweets, and other types of engagement. You can do this by clicking on “Export data” in the top right-hand corner of your Tweet Activity page.

Beyond Tweet Activity, knowing about your followers is a great way to learn the demographics of your audience and what unexpected demographics you’re reaching via Twitter.


Much of your Audiences page is self-explanatory: How many followers do you have overall, and when did you experience a spike in follower growth? What are your followers most interested in? Where are they located? Who else do they follow? And what’s their gender?


You can compare information about your follower rate to information on your Tweet Activity page to see if any particular tweets or mentions can account for a dip or rise in follower growth.

And demographic information can be useful in other ways. For example, if you’re studying drug use among teens in northern Europe, one way to prove that you’re successful at reaching out to that group would be to dig into your Audience data and see where your followers live; who else they’re following and their interests could give you insight into their age and other demographic information.

Hootsuite & Buffer

If you took advantage of setting up social media automation during Day 10, you may already be familiar with Hootsuite and Buffer. Both have analytics tools you can use to gain insights on all your connected social media. Hootsuite has some basic free tools and more powerful tools you can use if you pay for an upgraded account. From the information I have gleaned from the web, Buffer used to have free tools but now you have to pay to use any social analytics. You can find out more about Buffer’s paid analytics here. Below is an overview of some of the free features Hootsuite offer.


HootsuiteAnalyticsIf you are a Hootsuite user, go to your account and click on the bar graph symbol on the left-hand side of your page.

From here you will be able to choose from overviews of your various social media accounts, or a summary of clicks on web links you have shared. The “ Click Summary” will give you the most insight from a free Hootsuite account.

It provides information on which links received the most clicks, the social media profile where your followers click on the most links, which countries they are from, and the dates that were most popular. All information you can mine to improve engagement with your links!


You can find out more about Hootsuite’s paid analytics products here.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a powerful platform that can tell you a lot about the traffic that your website or blog have received.

A selection of web staff at the University have access to Google Analytics for the UON website, after the completion of this 20 Day Challenge, we will provide you with Google Analytics reports on your UON researcher profile.

If you have a website or blog, it is easy to set-up and gain valuable insights. To get started, you need to sign up for a free Google Analytics account, then insert a small file onto your website that helps track your website’s traffic: how many people are visiting your site, where are they coming from, how long are they staying, what’s the most popular content on your website, and so on.

Hooking Google Analytics up is very easy if you’re running a WordPress blog: here’s a tutorial on how to do it in under 60 seconds.

Google Analytics provides a number of out-of-the-box reports that can be useful for learning about your site’s visitors and the content that’s most popular, including:

  • Audience overview report provides an at-a-glance overview of all the key visitor metrics for your site.
  • Acquisition overview report provides an at-a-glance overview of visitor-source metrics for your site.
  • Behavior overview report provides an at-a-glance overview of the key page view metrics for your site.

Let’s take a closer look at each report.

Audience Overview Report

How many visitors have you received, and where do they hail from? Do visitors from certain countries stay longer on your website? How about visitors who are using a mobile browser versus a desktop browser? Knowing more about our visitors’ demographics can tell us how good of a job we’re doing at engaging certain communities, and also clues like “Are visitors to my website who are using mobile browsers leaving because they’re having a hard time reading on their mobile phones?”


Acquisition Overview Report

Are more people searching for your site than they are being referred to your site from Twitter and Facebook? What social networks are sending the most traffic your way? Digging into this report, as well as drill-down views beneath the “Acquisition” section of the left-hand toolbar, can give you insight into how you might better promote your website or blog using social media.


Behavior Overview Report

What are the most popular pages on your website or blog? Above, is a screenshot of traffic over a month. We see on the bottom right the most popular pages, as well as a summary of traffic just below the overall traffic chart. This can not only tell you the content on your website or blog that’s most eligible for re-sharing on social media as “evergreen content,” but also can tell you whether blog posts aimed at engaging the public are working.


For a comprehensive list of Google Analytics resources, check out KissMetrics’ link roundup.

What these platforms can’t tell you

None of these platforms expose much of the underlying, qualitative data like, “In what context was I ‘mentioned’ on Twitter?” or “What did all those Facebook comments actually say?”

So, be sure to use the data you’re gathering carefully!


Explore your Twitter Analytics data and if you have a Hootsuite account explore the analytics reports available. If you have a website or blog, try Google Analytics. After a few weeks’ worth of metrics have accumulated, dig into the data with these questions in mind:

  • Have there been spikes in engagement or traffic after I shared certain types of content?
  • What do these services tell me about the demographics of my readers, visitors, and followers?
  • How do those demographics differ from what I expected? How are they similar?
  • How might I use the data these sites provide to document my engagement efforts for professional purposes?

Tomorrow, we’ll dig into a key way to make your academic work trackable across the Web: minting permanent identifiers.

Day 17: Get your research to the media: The Conversation


Your next Challenge is to get the word out about your research to the media. Today we will focus on The Conversation – one of Australia’s largest independent news and commentary sites, which delivers expertise from the academic and research community direct to the public. This makes it a great place to start pitching your ideas, and 60% of authors are contacted by other media for follow-up.

Doing so can help you gain wide exposure for your articles. The Conversation boasts a monthly audience of 2.7 million users on the site, and a reach of 23 million through republication. The Conversation welcomes republishing of their articles, which accounts for one reason why they have such a wide reach.

Today we are going to set-up an author profile on The Conversation website, familiarise ourselves with their writing guidelines and brainstorm a pitch.

Create an author profile

Regardless of whether you have written for The Conversation or not, you can have an author profile on their site. This has the added benefit of being another spot to have your optimised web bio, professional image and link back to your UON profile, and this is definitely worthwhile as it’s a low-maintenance web profile that ranks highly with search engines – which we all know by now is important for “Googleability”. Also, editors from The Conversation look through their author profiles when searching for expertise.

Time to sign-up:

  1. Go to


2. Enter your UON email address name and position, as well as education history and set up an account password.

3. Add your web bio, professional image and a link to your UON researcher profile.


How to write for The Conversation

Newsrooms are very busy places and it can be difficult to get the attention of editors with so many deadlines flying at them and an inbox full of article ideas. So it’s beneficial to familiarise yourself with how to pitch to and write for the media outlet that you want to target.

Here are some tips for pitching to and writing for The Conversation, which are written by their editors:

Save yourself time before pitching a story

  • Read before you write. What kind of stories do we cover? Do you think yours would work for a broad Australian and international audience, written and edited in plain English? Have a quick look through The Conversation sections, listed along the top of their site.
  • Have you done a keyword search to check if your issue has been covered? Go to the search box in the top right-hand corner of the site.
  • Is this your area of expertise?
  • Pay attention to what’s going on in the news. What’s being talked about?
  • Do you know something no one else knows? Is it the kind of thing the general public – not just other specialists – might be interested in?
  • Have you discovered something new that significantly changes the way we think about or understand a wider issue?
  • Have you read and could interpret an important, complicated document no one else understands?

An easy way to keep on top of what is published is to subscribe to The Conversation’s morning newsletter. You can quickly scan the headlines, read about new research, and know what others in your field are writing about. The Australian edition of the newsletter goes out to more than 63,000 readers around the world each weekday:

Who are you writing for?

The Conversation’s audience is incredibly broad. While one-in-five of their readers are academics, most are not. Readers include senior politicians and public servants, journalists, business people, students, retirees, and people who are simply curious and have Googled in search of an answer. A third of their readers are from outside Australia. If you do write for them, think of a friend who’s not an expert in your area, and imagine you’re having a conversation with them.

That broad readership means that you can’t assume the editors have expert knowledge. Their job is to ask, “What does that mean? And why does that matter?” because these are the questions readers will ask. The majority of their readers are aged 18-44.

How to pitch like a pro

Save yourself time and energy: don’t send them an already written piece or a journal article. The editors at The Conversation are asked to pitch your ideas at their morning meeting – so it needs to be short, sharp and engaging.

Write a 100-word explanation of your idea, ideally including an example to show why this story matters.

If explaining why your story matters seems hard, try talking about it to someone else, outside your field of expertise. What questions do they ask?

If they were to ask you bluntly, “So what?” – what would you say? That’s the first question readers will be asking in trying to decide whether to spend the time reading your article. If you can answer that “So what?” question well, it gives you a much better chance of your pitch being accepted; more people reading your article; and more people sharing it, greatly increasing your work’s reach.

Once you’re happy with your 100 word pitch, go to, copy and paste your 100 words and select what you think would be the most appropriate section, fill in your details, and hit ‘Pitch idea’.

You’ll get an automated reply explaining when to expect someone to get back to you, and what to do if you don’t hear back from an editor quickly. Each section can get dozens of pitches a day, so they can’t say yes to every pitch.

Most Conversation articles are only 600-800 words, so starting with a clear idea of the most important point(s) you want to cover will save you time, and help the editors give you a quick, clear response to your pitch.

 Agreeing on a brief & deadline

If your pitch is accepted, the editor will send you a brief. It will include a link to your author dashboard, where you can write your story directly into the system. You will be able to discuss this brief/structure of your article with your editor by email/phone.

It’s important to get this mutually agreed brief right before you start writing, to save everyone time. If the article that is submitted is different to what was agreed, it might mean your editor will ask you to revise the piece again. You’ll also agree on a first draft deadline; if you’re not sure you can meet it, please say so.

Writing tips

Start strong; answer the obvious questions

Work hard on the first paragraph to grab the reader’s interest. Start with a short, sharp statement of the article’s essential facts, in no more than two sentences. Start with what’s new, relevant, or surprising. Readers want to know Five Ws: who, what, where, when, why, and sometimes how.

Make a brief sketch of your main points and stick to them. Put the most important information first. This allows readers to explore a topic to the depth that their curiosity takes them (not everyone reads to the end).


Write how people talk. A man should never “disembark from a vehicle” when he can “get out of a car”. Explain complex ideas. Don’t get too technical. Avoid jargon. If you write in The Conversation’s web system you can take advantage of their ‘Readability index’.

The readability rating is based on Flesch-Kincaid readability tests, set at the level of an educated 16-year-old. That’s still higher than many news media outlets (for instance, many newspapers still aim for a 12-year-old level of literacy). But there are good reasons to keep articles that simple: you want to share your expert knowledge with everyone, including people whose first language is not English.


If you make contentious statements, please back them up with research. The same goes for facts and figures; e.g. if you’re saying:

28% of Australians are obese. Reference with online links that readers can click on, preferably to full research papers, but to abstracts or news stories if the full paper isn’t available. The editors will help you add those in. But they don’t use footnotes or endnotes. Ideally, put your reference/web link in brackets beside each statement to be referenced.

Note: linking to your own research papers/ studies within the article when referencing is a great way to up the readership and sharing of your work online.

How to end

The last sentence should aim to summarise or reiterate the point made in your opening paragraph. Or you could raise the question of what should happen next.

Check you’ve stayed within the agreed word count, typically 600-800 words.

Headline tips

You can leave it to your editor to write a headline, but if you want to do a first draft the following tips can help:

  • Keep your headline simple and direct – it should be seven to 10 words at most, with the most relevant and important words at the start.
  • Avoid puns and “smart” headlines. Instead, aim for an accurate and engaging label that neatly summarises the content.
  • Names of people, things and places are good. Don’t abbreviate these.
  • Aim to employ active verbs, which lens muscle and emphasise the “actor” in the story, i.e. “Aspirin cuts cancer risk” or “WikiLeaks reveals flaws in government legislation.”
  • Think of the ways to distinguish your article from others. Is this a breakthrough? Does it answer an important question or solve a puzzle?
  • Would you read it? Remember, you are writing for an online readership. Ask yourself what keywords you would use in a search to find your story. Assuming you find it, would you then feel compelled to read beyond the headline? If not, try again.

Multimedia: images, graphs, videos & more

Photos, videos, tables and graphs can bring a story to life – so if you have any of those, it’s worth mentioning that in your pitch and in discussions with your editor if the pitch is accepted. The Conversation have a Multimedia Editor, who may also be able to help with interactive features for your story.

 What’s next after you submit for editing?

When you’re done, hit the ‘Submit’ button. This will email your editor to let them know you’re done.

Final approval – from The Conversation and from you

Once your editor is finished revising the article, they’ll send it back to you for approval. Respond to any questions or suggestions the editor has. Review the text, photos, captions and headline to make sure they’re all accurate. To see how the article will look when published, click ‘Preview’ at the top of the page.

If you want to make further changes, let your editor know you’ve done so. They are happy to keep reviewing the article until you are both happy with the content. When you are, hit ‘Approve’ in the top right corner of the editing page.

Note: They won’t publish until you have approved the story and filled in a disclosure statement.


Talk to your editor about when your article will be published. Some articles go online quickly, others may not be published for a while.

 The Conversation will always respect any embargoes periods you specify.

When your article is published, send it around to your contacts and share on your social media channels. Also, share the possible publication date with UON media ( and FEDUA Research Communication Coordinator ( ahead of publication, as we’ll also be able to share your work through social media and the UON website.


Keep an eye on the comments section of your article on the day it is published to see if there are any important questions you want to answer, or discussions you’d like to be involved in. Staff from The Conversation actively moderate comments – but if you see any comments that concern you, you can hit the ‘Report’ button at the end of the comment, which will alert their site moderator and your editor.

Measuring your readership

On your author dashboard, you can see how many people are reading your article, where in the world it has been read, the latest tweets and comments on it, and where your article has been republished.

These metrics are increasingly being used in formal university Key Performance Indicators as a measure of public engagement.

Media follow-up

You may get calls from other media to do follow-up articles or interviews, which can have a great effect on increasing the reach and public impact of your work. If you haven’t been interviewed before, talking to the University media team can be a good place to get tips (

But whether it’s talking to journalists or to the general public, you can apply many of the tips from this Challenge. Don’t forget to clearly answer “So what? Why should people care about this?” even before you’re asked – that way, there’s a good chance you’ll get people’s attention and keep them listening.

Many of the authors on The Conversation have been approached not only by news media, but also by respected journals, prospective students, new academic collaborators and even new research funders.


Your homework today is to brainstorm a pitch for The Conversation. Start by doing a keyword search of your topic areas on the website. Is there anything already written? Can you continue the conversation by adding a new idea?

Following the steps above on pitching, write your 100 word pitch.

If you are happy with your idea and would like to write an article for The Conversation in the near future, go to

If you would like a second opinion or further advice, you can forward your 100 word pitch to

Great work!

Only three days to go of the 20 Day Challenge, and we are wrapping it up with techniques for measuring the success of your ongoing efforts, starting tomorrow with social media and web analytics.

Day 16: Stay up-to-date on your field

Today, we’re going to set-up alerts for subject areas. These alerts will send the newest research into your inbox, with very little effort on your part.

You’ll set-up email alerts for, Google Scholar, and Mendeley that will keep you abreast of the newest research in your field.

Login to and search for a subject area in the top search bar. As you begin typing, you’ll notice suggestions populating the short-form search results:


When the subject you’re interested in appears, click on it to head to the subject page. On the subject page, click the “Follow [subject]” button on the right-hand side of the screen.


Next, you’ll need to make sure you have emails enabled for these alerts. Head to Account Settings > Email Notifications. Under the “Papers” section, select “There are new top papers from my News Feed (“Weekly Digest”)”:



You can use Mendeley groups to stay up-to-date on publications posted to groups, which are often a peer-filtered recommendation that sometimes finds articles that you wouldn’t otherwise discover.

Login to Mendeley; select “Groups” from drop-down next to the search box in the upper-right corner, and type your research interest into the search box. A list of related groups will appear in your search results:


On the group page that’s most relevant to you, click the “Join this group” button to start receiving updates:


Now, every time you login to Mendeley, updates from your groups – including recommended papers – will appear in your newsfeed.

The final step is to set up email notifications, so you don’t have to return to Mendeley to get updates on new recommendations. Click the drop-down menu next to your name in the top right-hand corner and go to: “Settings” > “Notifications” in the upper-left corner of the screen, and under the Group Notifications section, select the email notifications for “Someone posts an update or a comment in a group” are selected:



On your preferred social networks – Academia, Google Scholar and Mendeley – sign up to receive disciplinary recommendations and recent publications in your inbox for at least three topics.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s challenge: Getting your research to the media: The Conversation






Day 15: Establish your expertise with Open Peer Review


Peer review is another area in academia that’s got a lot of untapped potential for demonstrating your impact.

New forms of peer review – open peer review for journals, post-publication peer review, and peer reviews written on sites like Publons – can help you establish expertise in your discipline. They turn anonymous service to your field into a standalone scholarly product, and also communicate feedback on published work to your discipline much more quickly than letters to the editor can.

Open Peer Review was borne of the idea that by making author and reviewer identities public, more civil and constructive peer reviews will be submitted, and peer reviews can be put into context.

And Open Post-publication Peer Review builds upon that by allowing anyone to publish a review of an already-published paper, whether on their blog or a standalone peer review platform like the History Working Papers Project. After all, why should official reviewers be the only ones allowed to share their views on a paper?

In today’s challenge, we’ll explore your options for writing Open Peer Reviews, talk about ways you can make your reviews citable and discoverable, and share tips for documenting your peer reviews on your CV.

Traditional peer review

For a very long time, publishers favoured private, anonymous (‘blinded’) peer review, under the assumption that it would reduce bias and that authors would prefer for criticisms of their work to remain private. Turns out, their assumptions weren’t backed up by evidence.

It can be easy for authors to guess the identities of their reviewers (especially in small fields). And yet, a consequence of this “anonymous” legacy system is that you, as a reviewer, can’t take credit for your work.

Sure, you can say you’re a reviewer for the Journal of Social Work, but you’re unable to point to specific reviews or discuss how your feedback made a difference. That means that others can’t read your reviews to understand your intellectual contributions to your field, which–in the case of some reviews–can be enormous.

Shades of Open Peer Review

In recent years, researchers have increasingly called for an Open alternative to traditional peer review. This has manifested in journals adopting Open Peer Review (OPR), researchers taking to their blogs to review already-published work, and the proliferation of Open and Post-publication Peer Review sites like Faculty of 1000, PubPeer, and Publons. Each shade of OPR has its advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a closer look.

Open Peer Review for journals

Here’s how Open Peer Reviews work, more or less: reviewers are assigned to a paper, and they know the author’s identity. They review the paper and sign their name. The reviews are then submitted to the editor and author (who now knows their reviewers’ identities, thanks to the signed reviews). When the paper is published, the signed reviews are published alongside it.

Journals including the International Journal of Humanities & Religion and the Open Library of Humanities require or allow Open Peer Reviews.

Participating in journal-based OPR can be a good way to experiment with OPR as the author, journal, and reviewer alike officially sanction it.

One drawback to this type of Open Peer Review is that journals sometimes do not provide permanent identifiers for the reviews themselves, making it difficult to track the reach and impact of your review rather than for the journal article you’ve reviewed.

Third-party Open and Post-publication Peer Review sites

In the past few years, a number of standalone, independent peer review sites have emerged. These sites allow you to review both published and under-review papers on their platform.

These sites also allow you to create profiles showcasing your peer reviews. Some sites like Publons also issue DOIs for reviews, making them citable research objects.

Blogging as Open Post-publication Peer Review

In this type of Open Peer Review, academics take to their blogs to share their thoughts on a recently published paper or preprint. These reviews can run the gamut from highly technical reviews oriented towards other researchers to reviews written for a more general audience (like Mike Eisen’s post).

A major advantage to blogging your Open Peer Reviews is that you don’t have to have permission to do it; you can just fire up your blog and start reviewing. But a downside is that the review isn’t formally sanctioned by the journal, and so can carry less weight than formal reviews.

No matter what type of Open Peer Review you opt for, if it’s got your name attached to it and is available for all to read, you can use it to showcase your expertise in your area of research.

If you don’t have a blog, you could create an Open Peer Review on ResearchGate.

Write an Open Peer Review

If you’d prefer to go the journal-sanctioned Open Peer Review route, choose to review for journals that already offer Open Peer Review. A number of forward-thinking journals allow it.

To find others, use Cofactor’s journal selector tool:

  • Click “Peer review,”
  • Select “Fully Open,” and
  • Click “Search” to see a full list of Open Peer Review journals

Note: As you will see if you do a search for Open Peer Review Journals, at this point in time most are science titles but this will change as Open Peer Review becomes more popular

Alternatively, you can write your peer review on a stand-alone post-publication peer review platform like Publons or others we mentioned above. Find a platform that works for you, sign up for it, and start reviewing!

And if you choose to do Open Post-publication Peer Review through your blog, just logon and start reviewing!

Get citations and altmetrics for your peer reviews

Once your Open Peer Reviews are online, you can discover citations, shares, discussions, and bookmarks of them if they’ve got permanent identifiers that are easily trackable. The most common ID that’s used for peer reviews is a DOI.

There are two main ways you can get a DOI for your reviews:

  • Review for a journal like PeerJ or peer review platform like Publons that issues DOIs automatically
  • Archive your review in a repository that issues DOIs, like Figshare

When you’ve got your DOI, use it! Include it on your CV (more on that below), as a link when sharing your reviews with others, and so on. And encourage others to always link to your review using the DOI resolver link (these are created by putting “” in front of your DOI; here’s an example of what one looks like:

Elevate your peer reviews

Peer review may be viewed primarily as a “service” activity, but things are changing – and you can help change them even more quickly. Here’s how:

As a reviewer, raise awareness by listing and linking to your journal-sanctioned reviews on your CV, adjacent to any mentions of the journals you review for. By linking to your specific reviews (using the DOI resolver link we talked about above), anyone looking at your CV can easily read the reviews themselves.

You can also illustrate for others the impacts of Open Peer Review by including citations and Altmetrics for your reviews on your CV. More on reporting Altmetrics and citations later in the Challenge!

If you decide to do open peer reviews mostly on your blog or standalone peer review sites, you’ll likely not want to list them under Service to journals, per se, but instead perhaps under Outreach or more general Service to your field.


A big concern for early career researchers and graduate students lies in openly criticising senior researchers in their field. What if there are retaliations? Anonymity would protect these ECR-reviewers from their colleagues.

Yet as Mick Watson argues, any retaliation that could theoretically occur would be considered a form of academic misconduct, on par with plagiarism – and therefore off-limits to researchers with any sense.

We think that you’re the best judge of whether or not a peer review could have unintended consequences, and suggest that you go with your gut when deciding to make your review open or not.


Your assignment for today is to research which channel you would like to peer review through from any of the above. Explore Open Peer Review for journals, Third party Open Peer Review sites you could use, or maybe you have a blog or would like to start out on ResearchGate. Then, find an article you would like to review and get to it! If you’re new to reviewing or unsure how to go about writing a free-form peer review as a blog post, here are some guides to help you get started.



Day 14: Claim your ORCID ID


By now, you’re pretty prolific online – you’ve got a great web profile, lots of social networking profiles, data, and articles to your name. But which name is that?

There’s a lot of potential for confusion and mistaken identities in scholarly publishing. You might share a name with other, similarly named researchers or you might have changed your name at some point during your career. How are others supposed to know if they’ve found the right you?

Luckily, some smart people have been working to make name disambiguation easy.

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 1 million researchers have ORCID IDs so far, 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.

Setting up your ORCID profile will help you claim your correct, complete publication record. In this challenge, you’re going to claim your ORCID ID so you can automate the collection of your work and related metrics in a future challenge.

Here’s how to get started with ORCID.

Step 1. Claim your ORCID in under 30 seconds

First things first: logon to and sign up for an ORCID account.

At this step in the process, you’ll add very basic information like your name and email address, choose a default level of privacy for your profile, accept ORCID’s terms of use, and click “Register”.

If your name is already in the ORCID system, you’ll then be prompted to claim an existing profile or make a new one.

Congrats! You now have an ORCID identifier. And now you’re on your way to having an ORCID profile, too.

Step 2. Fill out your ORCID profile

Next, you’ll fill out your ORCID profile so that others can verify who you are, and also learn more about you. Here’s what to add:

Links to your UON profile and other web profiles

First, add links to your UON researcher profile, Academia, ResearchGate, Google Scholar, LinkedIn, and Twitter, and any other websites where you’ve websitesgot a scholarly profile.

On the left-hand menu on your main profile page, click the pencil “Edit” icon next to “Websites.”

In the fields that appear, add links to the professional profiles you’ve created so far as a part of this challenge. Describe each link adequately enough so your profile’s viewers know if they’re going to click a Google Scholar link vs. a ResearchGate link, and so on. Click “Save changes” when you’re done.

Import your publications by connecting other scholarly identifiers

Any type of scholarly output you create, ORCID can handle.

Whether you are a traditional scientist, who writes only papers and the occasional book chapter, a cutting-edge computational linguist who releases datasets and figures for your thesis, or an art professor, you can import your works using ORCID, as well, using ISNI2ORCID… you get the idea.scopus

To connect to other identifiers and indices, from your main profile page, scroll down to the “Works” section and click the “Link Works” button. Then you’ll be prompted to connect to the services of your choice.

Once you’ve connected your profiles, your works will be imported automatically to ORCID. If you’ve connected another scholarly identifier like your Scopus Author ID, a link will appear in your left-hand menu bar.

Complete your personal information


Finally, add your key-word optimised bio by clicking the pencil symbol next to “Biography”, then make your way through education credentials and employment history that might not have imported when you connected other services.

Under each section, click the “Add Manually” button, fill out as much descriptive information as you’re comfortable sharing, choose the level of privacy you’d prefer under the “Who can see this?” section in the upper right of the pop-up box, and then click “Add to list” to commit it to your profile.

Step 3. Complete your publication record

It’s possible that not all of your publications and other works will have imported. You can add them in three ways:

  1. Manually by clicking the “Add Work Manually” button under your Works section and adding the publications one-by-one.
  2. Importing works from your Mendeley profile using the Mendeley2ORCID service. Just login with your ORCID ID in the top-right corner of the screen, approve a sync with Mendeley, and your works will be imported to ORCID.
  3. Batch import your works using the BibTeX import button. You can export your works from Mendeley, EndNote, and many other reference management services in BibTeX format, then click the “Link BibTeX” button under the Works section of your profile, upload your BibTeX file, and you’re done!

If any duplicate records were imported with the Mendeley sync or BibTeX import, you can delete them by clicking the trashcan icon next to the duplicate work’s title.

Step 4. Connect ORCID to the rest of your online life

You can connect your ORCID account with websites including Web of Science, Figshare, and many others.

Once they’re connected, you can easily push information back and forth between services–meaning that a complete ORCID record will allow you to automatically import the same information to multiple places, rather than having to enter the same information over and over again on different websites.

And new services are connecting to ORCID every day, sharing information across an increasing number of platforms–repositories, funding agencies, and more!


ORCID is still a relatively basic service. You cannot edit incorrect entries, automatically detect and remove duplicates, or export your profile information in BibTeX, JSON-LD, or other researcher-friendly formats.

ORCID also has gaps in its coverage. It doesn’t find all of your publications, all of the time, and connectable third-party services like Scopus don’t always, either. That means you might have to manually add some works and information to your profile, same as you do for ResearchGate, Google Scholar, and all other scholarly profiles.

Note: UON signed up to ORCID in late 2015 and the Australian ORCID Consortia was launched in Canberra in February of this year. Being an organisational member will allow the University to embed ORCID identifiers into our research information systems, such as NURO, which will make tasks like managing your publications a whole lot easier. We will keep you updated on this, here on the FEDUA Research Impact Blog.


Your job for today is to make sure your ORCID profile is complete. Check over your Works list to be sure all of your scholarly outputs are present; add grants you’ve received in the Funding section (some funders’ grants can be automatically imported); and connect your ORCID profile to your other scholarly profiles on the web. (At the very least, add a link to your UON researcher profile, your LinkedIn and Google Scholar profiles, and connect ORCID to other scholarly identifiers like your ResearcherID if you have one.)

You should also make sure that your scholarly linkages work both ways. Copy your full ORCID (hint: it’s your profile URL that’s got a long, 16-digit number in it) and paste it into your, ResearchGate, Google Scholar, LinkedIn and other profiles. At the end of the 20 Day Challenge we’ll ensure that all the hard work you’ve done to establish identifiers and profiles is reflected on your UON researcher profile by taking a closer look at the ‘Connect with Me’ section of Nexus.

Tomorrow, we’ll explore how you can turn peer reviews into an opportunity serve your discipline and build your brand as an expert in your field.

Day 13: Submit your post-prints

Day13_NOVAToday, we’ll expand on self-archiving your articles to cover how you can make your author final version manuscripts or ‘post-prints’ fully available online.

NOVA: accessible, searchable, and discoverable

We’ve been talking a lot about how Open Access leads to increased exposure of your research and benefits your impact. And rightly so, it’s a sure way of doing this. Now we’re going to look at how you can take advantage of NOVA, UON’s dedicated Open Access digital repository. NOVA is a research repository, so we’re looking at material of a scholarly nature. Have a look at a more detailed list of what material is appropriate for inclusion in NOVA.

We’ve been talking a lot about how Open Access leads to increased exposure of your research and benefits your impact. And rightly so, it’s a sure way of doing this. Now we’re going to look at how you can take advantage of NOVA, UON’s dedicated Open Access digital repository. NOVA is a research repository, so we’re looking at material of a scholarly nature. Have a look at a more detailed list of what material is appropriate for inclusion in NOVA.

Below is an example of a journal article that has been made available full-text through the deposit of a post-print. All the metadata for the record is present, together with its unique, persistent identifier, known as a ‘handle,’ (e.g. but the presence of the attachment at bottom-left is what we’re really talking about here. This means the article can be downloaded as full-text by anybody, regardless of where they are. No need for expensive subscriptions. No need for institutional affiliation. More readers = more impact.


Publication versions: pre-print, post-print and publisher

Now that we’ve got you thinking about getting more of your work available Open Access and full-text in NOVA, the next thing to look at is the different versions of your publication. Think about the life-cycle of a publication: different stages of its life can be made full-text in repositories like NOVA, depending on copyright policy. The copyright policy of who you publish with determines what version of your publication might be able to be made available.   We understand this has the potential to be very confusing, so here’s a summary of these stages so we’re on the same page:

Pre-print: this is the bare-bones version of your publication. Think of it as the ‘working’ version. The main thing we need to know here is that this is the version before peer-review and it lacks the authority and robustness of a peer-reviewed journal. Some publishers do allow these versions to be published to repositories, however NOVA does not utilise them, so we’re going to concentrate on the next version – the one that has the capacity to make the most difference for you and your research.


Post-print: You’ll note from this image of a post-print article that it looks pretty much like a word document, which is indeed what it is. The big difference between pre- and post-prints is that this one is the version after peer review; it therefore incorporates changes made in the peer-review process.

Post-prints are therefore exactly the same as full published versions content-wise. The only difference is they do not include a publisher’s formatting, logos or pagination.

Crucially though, it’s the version before publication, which means it can be deposited and archived in repositories like NOVA as full-text – depending on copyright and any embargo periods.

Embargos are a definite draw-back, but if you think about Open Access after a delay or Open Access not at all, we’re sure you’ll agree that the wait will be worth it.

You’ll look at publishers who allow post-prints in today’s homework.


Publisher version: this is a publisher version of an article. It’s the final stage in your publications life-cycle. The ‘official’ version, if you like. The problem with these versions is that many publishers will not allow them to be deposited in repositories, which means that unless you’re the author, you’ve got a subscription to the journal, or you’ve got the advantage of some other kind of institutional subscription, you won’t be able to access this. For you, that really limits who can read your work and, therefore, who may cite your work.

You can see that this version differs from the post-print in the way it’s formatted and also by the publisher’s logo – its stamp of ownership.

We learned in yesterday’s challenge that some publishers have Open Access models that mean their versions can be made full text in repositories like NOVA. In this case the NOVA team will have ensured this version is attached to the publication when it is published to the repository.

Homework: deposit your post-print

Step1: Think of some journal articles you’ve published over the last few years and search Sherpa/Romeo for the publisher’s copyright policy. You can search by title, publisher, keyword or ISSN. If you have the ISSN this will be the quickest route to what we’re looking for.


You can see that for this journal the publisher allows the post-print to be archived. Search Sherpa/Romeo until you find a journal you’ve published in that gives you a green tick against post-print. Also look to see whether you can archive the publisher’s version PDF!

Not all journals are indexed by Sherpa/Romeo, so if you can’t find yours, don’t despair. UON has a team of people experienced in navigating the stormy seas of copyright:

Contact the NOVA support team:

Contact the Copyright Officer:

Step 2: Once you’ve identified that you can use the post-print version, you need to locate the post-print of the article itself. Do you make a habit out of archiving these versions? If so, it should be easy. If you’re having trouble maybe try any co-authors. It has to out there somewhere!

Step3: Submit your post-print version to NOVA to begin the publishing process. There’s two ways to go about this. But before you do anything you should search NOVA to see whether or not your article already has a metadata (not full-text) record in the repository.

On the NOVA landing page select browse across the header.


Search by either the title of your article or by your name. The title search option is by far the most direct way, but you might also like to have a look at which of your work is already in NOVA.

If you do locate your article in the results, unless you’ve already submitted your post-print what you’ll see is a metadata only record. You can now increase the visibility of this article exponentially by submitting your post-print and make it fully accessible. To do this email your post-print to and the repository team will begin the process of making your article available full-text. They may ask you a question or two more but at this point we’re almost there.

If you don’t locate your article in your NOVA search, the metadata record is yet to be published. If this is the case you can definitely still email your post-print but you’ll speed up the process by completing the Nova Resource Deposit Form. Don’t forget to attach your post-print. Once you’ve submitted your article you’ll receive an automated receipt for your reference. Make sure you keep this as it can be used in any further correspondence with the NOVA team. Once the deposit is complete expect to hear back from the team – they’ll either give you the good news or advise on any embargo period applicable.

If you experience any problems submitting or if you have any questions, contact the Research Repository Manager:

We covered a lot of ground today, I know! But it’ll be worth it. Today’s activity may have been to submit one journal article post-print, but keep this process in mind and, in the future, submit as many post-prints as you can.

The NOVA team will be able to provide you with expert advice on which post-prints of yours can be made available – including conference papers, and to a lesser extent, book chapters. Building a healthy relationship with NOVA is one sure-fire way to increasing the visibility of your research.

Tomorrow: ORCID identifiers to collect and claim your articles, datasets, and more.

Day 12: Publish Open Access for more citations


Yesterday, we talked about ways you can “open up” your datasets. Now let’s do the same for your publications!

An open access approach to the dissemination of research and scholarly outputs facilitates the free exchange of information and worldwide communication of the University’s research and scholarship. Major national and international competitive research funding agencies have adopted mandatory open-access policies based on the expectation that publicly funded research outcomes will be made publicly available. The Open Access Guideline […] supports and promotes the dissemination of research findings in an international open-access environment through the lodgement of metadata describing research findings and/or post-print publications into the University’s institutional repository.  – UON’s Open Access Policy

Publishing in Open Access (OA) journals is a great way to make your work available for all to read, and it has the added advantage of getting you more citations, views, Mendeley readers and Twitter mentions. What’s not to love about that?


And while publishing in Open Access journals is a really effective way of maximising your readership, it is also important to note that Open Access publishing is now mandated by certain funding agencies as it is seen as being in the best interests of all stakeholders involved. Open Access publishing of ARC & NHMRC funded outputs is now compulsory. Find out more about these policies from the Australian Open Access Strategy Group.

In today’s challenge, we’ll discuss some advantages and drawbacks to publishing your work Open Access, and share tips on how to publish OA.

Open Access publishing: wins and fails

Open Access publishing has some great advantages to it, and also some drawbacks that are important to consider. Let’s break down some of the arguments.


  • More citations: Open Access journals can get you more citations, as numerous studies have shown.
  • More readers: A 2008 BMJ study showed that “full text downloads were 89% higher, PDF downloads 42% higher, and unique visitors 23% higher for open access articles than for subscription access articles.” These findings have been confirmed for other disciplines, as well. And a recent study by Euan Adie at showed that Mendeley readers were higher for OA articles, too.
  • More altmetrics: The same study found that Open Access articles also receive more tweets than toll-access journals.
  • More access for those who need it: there are plenty of people who might need access to your studies – scholars from small institutions, researchers in developing countries and community researchers like activists, members of charity organisations and school teachers. One of the most commendable aspects of OA is the increased accessibility to research institutions and scholarly publishing for everyone, regardless of budget.


  • Lack of prestige: It’s a sad fact that reviewers for tenure and promotion often judge the quality of articles by the journal of publication when skimming CVs. And unfamiliar titles in the publications list can sometimes lead to some serious career consequences. Article-level metrics can be an answer to this problem, though – a highly cited paper is still highly cited, no matter where it’s published.
  • It can be expensive: many Open Access journals that have adopted the Gold model charge publication fees that cost anywhere from $75 to $4300, making OA publishing a non-starter for underfunded researchers.  Gold Open Access is more prevalent in the US. The Australian market, at least for most of FEDUA’s disciplines, has really embraced Green Open Access.
  • Your colleagues might not see your paper: if you publish in anything but the top journals in your subject area, chances are that your colleagues won’t be aware of your paper’s existence. It’s hard nowadays for your colleagues to follow all the new developments in your field, so if you choose to publish OA, it might take a little legwork on your part to get them to notice your article.

We think that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks, especially given the pace with which academia is changing to embrace Open Access. But it’s understandable if you’ve got career concerns.

Luckily, there are ways you can make your articles OA without having to publish in a lesser-known OA journal, let’s take a look:

Which Open Access approach is best for you?

There’s more than one way to be Open Access. In addition to the popularly-known “Gold” OA route – publishing in an Open Access journal – you can also self-archive your traditionally published work (“Green” OA) or pay a fee to a traditional, subscription journal to make your paper open access (“Hybrid” OA). Here’s what you need to know about each:

Gold Open Access

Many Gold OA journals like International Journal of Child Care and Education Policy require that authors pay a publication fee or “article processing charge” upon acceptance for publication. Not all Gold OA journals require a fee however, and some publishers offer fee waivers for those who need financial assistance. With some careful planning, you can also cover Gold OA publishing fees by writing the expected fees into a grant budget.


Green Open Access

Green Open Access is the practice of publishing an article as you normally would in a subscription journal, combined with the practice of archiving an accepted manuscript, which is then published on your website or an institutional repository and is available freely online. It’s a popular option for those who don’t want to pay Open Access fees, but it has a major drawback: embargo periods.

Often, publisher restrictions mean researchers have to wait a year or longer to make their work available via Green OA, leading to major delays in the dissemination of their work. As mentioned previously, Sherpa/Romeo guide is a great way to discover what your journal’s embargo policies are, or you can email or


 Hybrid OA

Some subscription journals will allow authors to pay a fee to make their paper Open Access, even if other papers in the journal are not. This practice is known as “Hybrid OA” publishing. Hybrid OA journals allow authors to both publish in a journal that is recognised by their peers, while also reaping the benefits of OA publishing. But such fees can be expensive for authors and institutions alike, who may also be paying to subscribe to the journal. An uptake of 1-2% suggests that hybrid OA publishing isn’t a popular option.

Creative Commons

While many publishers may not have a blanket Open Access policy they do sometimes allow OA publishing with a Creative Commons licence. Creative Commons is an international non-profit organisation that provides free licences and tools that copyright owners can use to allow others to share, reuse and remix their material, legally. Creative Commons Australia is the affiliate that supports Creative Commons in Australia and administers the Australian Creative Commons licences. Sound your publisher out about Creative Commons licences to see what their position is, or speak the NOVA team, who may be able to liaise with publishers on your behalf:

Open Journals System (OJS)

The UON library maintains and provides support services that aim to promote Open Access publishing within our research community. This is another option you might want to look into. OJS journals are hosted and managed here and are effective working models of open online publishing that are available to you. Some examples include Popular Entertainment Studies and International Studies in Widening Participation.

If you’re interested in learning more about OJS journals, contact

Grant application budgets & fee waivers

If you decide to go the Gold or Hybrid OA routes but need some help meeting the publication fees, you still have options.

 Grant application budgets

Open Access publication fees can often be built into grant application budgets including ARC DPs, DECRAs and LPs. Given that more and more funding agencies require public access to the research they fund, they’re becoming increasingly amenable to covering such costs. For example, costs to cover the “publication and dissemination of Project outputs and outreach activity” are allowed in the ARC DP and DECRA schemes. You should identify which OA publications you will be targeting and include an amount to cover the costs of at least one publication of this type each year (if appropriate to your field of research) and justify in terms of speed to publication and increased readership. Check for similar allowances in the funding rules and guidelines for other schemes to see if OA fees are an eligible budget item.

Fee waivers

Some Gold OA publishers will waive their publication fees for authors who can document financial hardship. Check with your publisher as to whether such waivers are available, and what the qualifications are for applying.

 Mapping your path to Open Access

The Australian Open Access Strategy Group (AOASG) has produced this great chart on Open Access journal options, which will help you get your bearings on the path to publishing in an Open Access journal and maximising your readership.


Note: You can also find out more about the how and where of publishing in Open Access journals in the University Library’s Open Access guide.


Today’s homework is mostly planning for the future. Unless you’ve got an article in the hopper, waiting to be published, you’ll do the following with future publications in mind.

  1. Research Open Access journals in your field: the best place to start is the Directory of Open Access Journals’ listings. You can also focus on Australian Open Access journals. This is a well-maintained, authoritative resource and is curated with quality in mind.
  2. Discover your Green OA rights and make your older research available: look up the journals where your most important papers were published on Sherpa/Romeo. Do they give you the right to self-archive your paper? If so, prepare for tomorrow’s challenge by locating your author final version manuscripts or ‘post-prints’ – don’t worry if you’re unsure of what these are, we’ll talk you through it tomorrow – in preparation for submitting them to NOVA where they’ll be made Open Access – a sure step toward increased impact!

See you tomorrow for Depositing your post-prints!