How to be noticed as a researcher: an intro to Research Visibility

Welcome to this blog post on research visibility! As a member of the Research Support Team at the Library, I help researchers develop the skills they need to successfully publish their work and excel in their research career. This includes providing support on a wide range of areas including open access publishing, copyright, online research profiles, and, of course, research visibility.

If you are new to the idea of research visibility or want a quick refresher, this is a great place to start and to find further support.


What is meant by “research visibility”?

Research visibility is all about how easy it is for others to find and read your research outputs, and connect with you as an expert in your field.

There are some obvious ways to improve research visibility, for example, promoting your work on social media or publishing open access so more people can freely read it.

But there are other things you can consider from the outset of writing your papers that can help improve how visible they are when you finally get them published, for example, knowing what journal you would like to publish in so you can tailor your writing for their audience.


Looking through glasses to clarify unfocused text.

Why is research visibility important to me?

Good research visibility is crucial to your success as a researcher. Increasing the visibility of your research and you as a researcher can help:

  • Increase the number of citations and amount of engagement your research gets
  • Ensure you’re properly credited for your hard work & establish you as an expert in your field
  • You to find collaborations with other researchers & keep on top of advances in your area
  • Make it more likely that non-academic channels may pick up your research (e.g. news outlets, government agencies, charities, educators, etc.)

Many of these things will have a direct, if subtle, impact on your career, usually by opening up more opportunities for you.

Being more visible means that people will know to come to you for your expertise and want to work with you more. And, of course, if your work is more visible, more people will be able to reuse and build upon it.


Tips for increasing your research visibility

Here are 5 simple ways you can start to increase your research visibility:

  1. Connect with other researchers – this can be in-person at conferences and networking events, or on social media. Twitter is a great platform for finding other like-minded experts. As is joining the Newcomers Network here at the University of Essex (more info below)
  2. Share your work broadly when it’s published. Don’t be afraid to tell people about what you’ve written. This is where tip 1 can be a great benefit. And self-cite where relevant – keep eyes on all your work as you progress through your research topic and career.
  3. Set up your online research profiles. These are great ways to connect your research together and for people to find you. There are many available – the University recommends at least creating ORCID and Google Scholar profiles.
  4. Choose a journal that has an audience that is best suited to your research. You can save a lot of effort by going to where your audience already is and ensuring that your work is easily found and read by them. This also means adapting things like the title and keywords to better suit the audience and your chosen outlet.
  5. Don’t forget about your data! Publishing your data as well as your final research can help build connections and gives people more to find that links back to you and your expertise. We have a guide on citing data here.

These tips are just some quick things to think about now. Chris Greer, the Pro Vice-Chancellor Research, wrote a blog sharing his expertise and giving some more detailed thoughts on how to increase your research visibility, so be sure to check that out too!

Pile of multi-coloured books

Where can I get more support to increase my research visibility?

Focus: Research Visibility week

15 – 19 May 2023 is our Focus: Research Visibility week. Throughout the week, we’ll be hosting training events specifically tailored to help you improve your research visibility. These events are great opportunities to connect with fellow researchers and staff at the university and start building your networks. We’ll also be highlighting the guides and support offered by teams throughout the year from across the University.

Some highlights of the week include:

You can find more information about the week on the library website here.

Good Practice: Increasing Research Visibility and Reach booklet

We have recently launched a new version of our Good Practice: Increasing Research Visibility and Reach booklet. This guide highlights some of the best ways you can increase your research visibility from the very start of planning your research all the way through to after publication.

You can access a digital version of this booklet here or you can contact the Research Support Team via ressup@essex.ac.uk for a physical copy.

The Newcomers Network

The Newcomers Network is a network for early career researchers here at the University of Essex. In this context, this is quite a broad term that includes PhD students, post-doc researchers, newly appointed lecturers, and research fellows. But you are welcome to join if you feel you are in the early stages of your research career, even if you don’t quite fit these categories.

Many training sessions and other opportunities are offered exclusively through Newcomers. The best way to stay up to date with what’s going is through the Newcomers mailing list. We will send opportunities through as they arise and you can send enquiries to your peers to connect and collaborate.

Research Support Team at the Library

The Library’s Research Support Team also offers a wide range of training and guidance on research visibility. As well as helping to run the Newcomers Network, we also have extensive guides for researchers on the Library’s website including one specifically for research visibility.

Here is one of our video guides on citations and research visibility:

If you want to ask a question or book a 1-1 meeting with one of the team, you can email us at ressup@essex.ac.uk. We’re happy to answer any questions you have about research visibility or other research topics, such as publishing, copyright, and open research.


What should I do next?

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