It’s been at least six months since my last blog post, while it might seem like a long time, it’s always amazing to look back and reflect on what I have accomplished during this time. I don’t really want this blog post to sound like my end of year “speech”, however this past year has been amazing, action packed, fun-filled and downright breath-taking. As the curtain call on the year I wanted to take some time to pen my thoughts and reflect on my achievements over the past year. I don’t really want to dump everything in to this one post, so the plan is to undertake a series of blog posts. In the first instance I want to talk about a subject very close to my heart, “analytics”. The biggest achievement this year was the successful validation of the first BSc Business Data Analytics course at Huddersfield Business School. It was a rigorous process but the course was passed with zero conditions and five commendations!
As academics we spend countless hours, days and weeks developing papers which we hope will one day make a difference in the world. One metric that is often used to measure this difference is article citations. The more citations a paper can gather the higher the impact this can have on the career of an academic. However for many academics once they submit their paper and it has been has accepted for publishing they sit on their laurels and expect citations to come rolling in.
In the brave new world of the internet this is no longer the case. With so much data and information out there, getting your paper seen is becoming increasingly difficult. Academics need to understand that they are competing for citations in a global marketplace, the competition is fierce. Hence this blog post looks at the process of Academic SEO, which is the application of marketing principles to rank your research higher in the popular search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing), and hence increasing the chances of your research being found and cited.
Some of you may have already heard of a new web-based service called Kudos. The main USP of the software is to help academics develop awareness and greater impact of their research through the main academic (Academia.edu, researchgate.net) and public social media engines (Twitter, Facebook). It is aimed at researchers, publishers and institutions and is free to register.
So what are the facts behind the marketing buzz. Here are my views on the advantage and disadvantages of this unique software and how useful I really think it is in helping to develop awareness of your work.
Twitter as a tool has become somewhat of a cultural icon. Over the years since its inception it has morphed into a powerful tool that has caused enormous change from the Arab spring to viral pictures of cats. It has shown itself to be a useful tool across various different industries and disciplines and has caused a huge amount of disruption in areas such as print media. The same industries such as print media now also use twitter to keep it touch with members of the public for up to date information, pictures and videos and news that are occurring in real time.
In my view there is also great scope to use twitter for research, however one of the biggest issues many researchers and academics have about this medium is how can you possibly say anything of relevance within a 140 Characters. This is quite a challenge for many academics!!
When starting my PHD a few years ago (2009) one of the first challenges I encountered was the problem around reference management. My original plan was to store all my references in a Word document, and to amend and edit the document as and when needed. However as the research expanded and my reading increased this quickly became unmanageable and unsustainable. Hence it became important to develop a reference management process. I looked at quite a few different tools but mainly Mendeley and endnote.