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Promote your article – and maximise your impact

Every year another 2 million scholarly articles are published. The sheer volume, and constraints on time to keep up with the literature, mean that inevitably not all of them will be widely read.

Between us, we can improve the chances of your article being found, read, downloaded and cited – of your article and you making an impact.

As your publisher, we will make sure that your article is easy to find by indexing it in all the right places, and by marketing the journal worldwide. As the author and an academic, you already have networks and activities that will be perfect vehicles for simple and effective promotion. You have authority in your field already, so your peers will be receptive to what you have to say.

Should your article have a press release?
Attract busy readers with visual abstracts and summaries
Social media
Top tips to work your article promotion into your every day
Blogging
Your institution
Your contact networks
Academic promotion websites

Should your article have a press release?

If you believe your article is newsworthy, consider writing a press release highlighting why. Focus on new or surprising facts, examples and stories that will attract interest beyond your immediate area of specialty. Drafting this before you promote your article will help you to identify compelling angles, which can then inform everything that you do. A press release is very effective at attracting the attention of bloggers and social media influencers working in your field, as well as the more traditional media.

Some articles make an important contribution to the field but will not attract attention beyond it. Recognizing the nature and potential of your own article will help you invest effort where it’s most likely to be rewarded.

[Read our Press Release Toolkit]

Attract busy readers with visual abstracts and summaries

Short, easy to read/watch distillations of your work are a very effective way of attracting the attention of new readers and funders. Your institution may be able to help you produce these, but if not, our Author Services team will be glad to help. Read more about services and prices.

Plain language summaries
Simplify complex information so it’s easy for readers searching for relevant content to quickly appreciate the contribution of your work. A synopsis in plain language is great for attracting attention and is more likely to be shared than the full article.
[Read more]

Infographics
Good infographics are highly effective at communicating your work succinctly, but the visual appeal also makes them very shareable, especially on social media.
[Read more]

Video abstracts

Can your research be succinctly summed up in 2 minutes? Video is now the most popular content format, increasing engagement on social media, on websites, on blogs and marketing emails.
[Read more]

Social media

If you are active on social media platforms, telling your followers about your article is one of the simplest and most effective things you can do. Social media is relied upon for current awareness, by all academics worldwide.

Tips for promoting on social media

Criteria for posts vary across the different platforms, but what they all share is the need to be relevant, concise and authentic. Your followers are interested in what you have to say as an author posting on a specialist topic. Focus on interesting or unusual statistics or examples and be informal. Making your passion for your subject clear is a great way to persuade others!

We’ve joined forces with social media expert Mark Carrigan to provide this free social media toolkit with advice, tips and discussion on how to use social media for academic purposes.

Want more guidance and practical tips?

Watch our 2 minute video

 

How Sage supports you on social media

Social Media Guide

Reasons to create a social media post

Twitter Guidelines

Facebook GUIDELINES

LinkedIn guidelines

Top tips to work your article promotion into your every day

Are you delivering lectures or seminars? Recording videos, webinars or podcasts for your students? Speaking at conferences? If you answered yes to any of these, great opportunities to promote are just waiting to be acted on. And don’t forget the precursor of social media – listservs are still going strong in many disciplines.

Quick and easy promotion using regular activities

  1. Add a slide to the end of your presentations referencing your article and the journal in which it’s published, including the link so students or conference attendees can find it easily.
  2. What media are you already using to deliver course content to your students? If you generate graphics such as infographics, could you create one to act as a summary of your article?
  3. If you use video or audio, could you record a brief introduction to your work? Focus on interesting facts to win your audience’s attention, and keep the tone informal. ‘Interviews’ between you and a colleague can work well because they feel more interactive and natural. Remember to add these to your university profile page and to LinkedIn if you use it.
  4. Add a note about your article and the journal to your outgoing email signature, so that you will be sharing the news with everyone you email. Remember to include the link to the article page.
  5. Add your article to course reading lists if genuinely appropriate. (And ask colleagues to do so, on the same basis.)
  6. If you know of active listservs in your field, remember to use them to post news of your article.

Blogging

Blog posts are powerful when they succinctly summarize a topic, providing an excellent introduction for potential new readers to your work. You may already write a blog or contribute posts to one in your field. Sage has several blogs too, and welcomes guest posts from authors.

Like video and audio, a good blog article works well on social media at encouraging followers to explore your work. Blogs need a different writing style from academic papers but they can still deliver hard-hitting facts.

Tips for writing blog posts

  1. As a guide, aim for 300 to 700 words.
  2. Break up your post with sub-headings so it’s easy for readers to quickly see the structure.
  3. ‘Top 10’ lists and a Q&A format both provide a simple and engaging structure.
  4. Whet readers’ appetites with interesting or surprising examples or statistics.
  5. Give them ‘backstories’, behind the scenes information about the topic.
  6. Give them an introduction but not a complete summary of your thesis’ conclusions. You want them to click to read the article, not feel that they no longer need to.
  7. Credit your article and journal at the end of the post. Make the post about the topic, not about your article.

Ready to write a blog for us? We have three separate blogs designed to help authors share posts, interviews, features and videos:

Sage Perspectives – drawn from topical research across a wide variety of disciplines. If you'd like to promote your article or book on the Sage Perspectives blog, please submit a pitch using this form.

Social Science Space – focuses on big issues in social science, from funding to impact.

MethodSpace – specific to research methods, including methodology issues and problems.

Blog article tips & ideas

Your institution

Most universities have press offices and a remit to spread good news about the achievements of staff and students. You probably have a university profile page. Many institutions have video and audio recording technology. Could you draw on these resources easily and to good effect?

Opportunities around your institution

  1. Talk to your press office to see if they could circulate a press release. An unusual angle will help make your article newsworthy, so think about how to pitch it to your own press office as well as to other people whose attention and interest you are trying to gain.
  2. Add your article and the journal to your university profile page, linked to the article and to your ORCID profile.
  3. If you’re already using video and/or audio in the course of your work, record a short piece about your work to share on your profile pages and social media.
  4. Check if your library has access to your journal and make sure they know you have an article included.

Your contact networks

You may take your network of international contacts for granted, but the people who know you and your work are guaranteed to be interested in your article. Here is a selection of ideas for harnessing that list appropriately.

Reaching more people starts with your contacts

  1. Write personal emails to academic contacts in your field alerting them to your article and the journal, and including the link. Ask them to consider recommending it to their students and peers if appropriate.
  2. Do you have particularly influential contacts within or beyond this group who may share your article with their networks?
  3. Never email people you don’t know. Aside from Data Protection issues, they may resent the intrusion in their already overflowing inboxes.

Academic promotion websites

These websites all exist to raise the profile of academics and their published work. All give excellent guidance on how you can promote your work, and all of them are free.

  1. Registering a profile on ORCID makes it much easier for people to find you and everything you publish, even if there are other authors who have the same name.
  2. Register for a Web of Science profile (this was Publons, and is now part of Clarivate). Being on this international citation network makes your work more discoverable.
  3. Kudos exists to help academics promote their work and reach a broader audience.
  4. The Conversation is an academic news website proven to increase research impact. Should you pitch your article?
  5. Academia.edu is a social networking service which enables academics to create profile pages and to connect with other users around the world with the same research interests.
  6. ResearchGate is a professional network for scientists and researchers. It helps researchers connect and makes it easy for you to share and access scientific output, knowledge, and expertise.

If you have questions or want further information on any of the above, please contact your editor.