Research Visibility Problems and How to Overcome Them
Academic Publishing Research

Research Visibility Problems and How to Overcome Them

Arpit Sinha

Writing a journal article requires tremendous effort. But despite all the hard work, sometimes you may not get the readership you deserve, hurting your citation count.

It may happen due to various factors — from paywalls, limited interest in the topic, poorly optimized content, etc. Researchers cannot afford to take these factors lightly. Research visibility must be prioritized right from the outset.

From an institutional perspective, impactful academic research leads to more collaborations with other institutions and increases institutional visibility.

To help you get started, we’ve listed the most common obstacles that prevent your article from being seen and how to overcome them.

What is research visibility?

According to the University of Kwazulu Natal: Academic research visibility is about where you are publishing and who is citing your work. It is usually measured using the article impact factor. The number of times that citations are made for articles that are published by the journal. Publishing in international journals and the field of science also enrich the prominence of an article.

Research visibility problems faced while writing

Summarizing tons of information on a complex topic into a research paper is already challenging. But then you have to deal with journal selection, plagiarism, among other things. This makes the task all the more complex. Moreover, if you take your eyes off the ball at this stage, your research visibility may suffer.

Let’s review how you can overcome these problems and ensure that your research visibility doesn’t take a hit.

1. Journal selection

Finding a journal that is the benchmark in the research niche and builds awareness of the research paper is a big challenge. But on the other hand, study shows that journals flooded with submissions have very high rejection rates.

Following are the steps that help you pick the right journal for you:

  1. Create a list of the journals available
  2. Gather insights about the journal's peer review process
  3. Review the author's instructions
  4. Make sure the journal matches your needs
  5. Identify the impact of the journal

2. Plagiarism

Researchers suffer from plagiarism either knowingly or accidentally replicating from a source with no acknowledgment. But it could have severe consequences — the authors and the institution's reputation may go for a toss, and it may even result in legal disputes.

Tips to bypass plagiarism in a research paper:

  1. Always use plagiarism checkers
  2. Use a bookmarking tool to keep all your reference links in one place
  3. Make it a practice to provide references to your sources
  4. Paraphrase the content carefully (only in unavoidable cases)

3. Lack of clarity in the content

Are you getting the message through? A report published by the University of Western Australia says that "A piece of writing is clear when your ideas are presented in a precise and concise manner so they can be understood easily."

The paper should reflect your efforts to bring simplicity to that particular research topic. Some factors that negatively impact the clarity of the research paper are, using complex words in a single sentence or grammar mistakes.

Research visibility problems faced after publishing

The post-publishing phase is equally crucial to research visibility. There are enormous numbers of research papers published every week. That means the competition to capture the reader's attention is high.

Here are different visibility problems you may want to work on after publishing.

1. Keyword selection

Poor keyword selection can hamper your article's discoverability. When non-relevant and low-volume keywords are used, it becomes difficult for search engines to find your articles. Moreover, it will negatively affect your citation count.

Here are some tips to make the best use of keywords for your article:

The first 65 characters of your title should contain important keywords related to your topic.

  • When you submit your article, include keywords to help readers quickly search for your article. You can identify keywords by either thinking about the way others search for articles. Using MESH terms, or Scopus subject keywords, are good ways to identify keywords.
  • Use Google Keyword Planner, Google Trends, or rank checkers to find popular keywords or search terms relevant to your subject matter.

2. Reach of the publication

A well-written article loses its potential if it fails to reach the target audience. The web presence of the article takes a hit if it is hidden behind paywalls or if it is not being talked about on social media and popular research blogs.  

Keeping the article Open Access is an effective way to enhance reach and engagement. Studies show that OA (open access) articles earn seven times more downloads and 50% more citations than non-OA articles.

Here are a few ways you can enhance the reach of the publication.

  • Spark conversations and debates around your research topic on social media.
  • Participate in relevant podcasts and webinars to discuss and break down your research topic.
  • Create YouTube videos detailing the progress of your research and the main highlights.
  • Find questions pertinent to your research topic on QnA forums such as Quora and Reddit, and answer them.
  • Find conferences, talk shows, and other avenues where you can discuss your findings.
  • Write blog posts about your research journey and key findings on your personal website.

Conclusion

We hope the article helped you understand how various factors could hinder the visibility of your research paper. Now it is time for you to apply these best practices and improve the discoverability of your articles.

Before You Go,