Editorial

Dissemination beyond publication

The mantra ‘publish or perish’ has meant disseminating work in peer-reviewed literature. Digital has changed the way readers access content and has created a need to disseminate work widely for maximum impact. Research metrics used internationally to evaluate research are now based on the number of citations of a paper.

The mantra ‘publish or perish’ has meant disseminating work in peer-reviewed literature. Digital has changed the way readers access content and has created a need to disseminate work widely for maximum impact. Research metrics used internationally to evaluate research are now based on the number of citations of a paper.

Dissemination of literature can take many forms and is a responsibility shared by journal publishers, editors and authors. Authors need to understand the strategies available, to make informed decisions about what might be achievable and appropriate in each situation.

The most basic strategy is search engine optimisation: use of appropriate and common keywords in the title and abstract that allow search engines to easily identify the paper. Journals can assist in this optimisation by having their content indexed in leading electronic databases.

It takes trial and error to see what works in your clinical or academic area to get your papers noticed

When a paper is newly published, authors can spread the message via social media such as Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn to reach those who might not engage in the nursing literature. ‘Tagging’ in your message enables readers to retweet it. Providing the DOI or other live links to your paper enables them to locate the document. Where copyright rules allow, putting full-text pre-publication versions of the paper in an institutional repository can enhance accessibility.

Most universities and health services have media units that can help authors spread the message beyond academia and directly to the health consumer. Information disseminated this way must be presented in a format and style appropriate to the target audience. Listing the citations of your publications on your profile page and/or on ResearchGate or LinkedIn increases their visibility and the likelihood that they will be identified in internet searches.

Disseminating beyond publication is a relatively new undertaking and is being met with varying success. It takes trial and error to see what works in your clinical or academic area to get your papers noticed. Using the tools that monitor the exposure of a paper across social media and talking with others about what has been successful can maximise publication reach. This is good for the author and publishers in optimising citation rates, and for health consumers who can gain from the advances in knowledge.

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