Nassef is the founder of Co-IRIS (International Relations and Islamic Studies Research Cohort), PHISO (Philippine International Studies Organization), and DSRN (Decolonial Studies Research Network). He works on interdisciplinary research between Islam and International Relations (particularly, comparing Muslim governance with the nation-state system), and explores Muslim polities in Southeast Asia.
Theaimof scholarlyresearch is to makea contribution to the existinghuman knowledge. Still, many scholars are awareof valuable articles thatare rarelycited in the academicliterature. Theinnovative advances delayedbythecumulative research impact lost cannot be accuratelycalculatedat this moment. Probablyeighty years from now, futurestudies willpresent detailed insightsinto the causes and consequences of early 21th century’s increasedscholarshipfragmentation.
Alargenumber ofyour peers (mostof them outsideyour specific areaofresearch) haveamillion and one reasons to do somethingotherthan spend long hours searching forarticles from different fields and tryingto find out whichofthem might offer (against theodds) somenovel perspectiveor unexpected justification for their own research.
AFive–Step Solution to Increase YourAcademicVisibility
1.Craftyourarticles fora larger audience.
Thereis no secret that papersgrounded inand speakingto multiple fields often havethe broadest impact and appeal.If most ofyour articles do not fallin this category,spendsometime tryingto identifya differentacademic audiencethatcurrentlydebates issues to whichyou could provideanunexpected perspective(concentrateon publishingin international journals across disciplines).Remember that “We arenot students of somesubject matter but students of problems. And problems maycutrightacrossthe borders ofanysubject ordiscipline”. (Karl Popper)
Asdissemination ofscientificpublications viathe web is becomingmore commonnowadays, serendipityisintricatelywoven within the fabricofa casual Google search. Makesureyouwrite “search-engine friendly”papers (read hereand heresome useful tips).
Presentyour findingin ways thatare credibleandpersuasive to thereaders.Without engagingyour expected audienceinto the text, a flawless logic ofcomplexarguments might havein some cases alienating effects as many potential readersdo not attempt to decipherthose academicarticles lookinglike an impenetrable thicket of words.Incaseyouhavebeen socializedinto the norms of writing through aprocess of implicitlearning,you might appreciatesome articulated suggestions on academic discoursefrom peers likeSternberg (here),Boellstorff(hereand here),Ellis (here),Bem (hereand here),Caulley(here),Weick (here), Frank (here),Fernández–Ríos &Buela–Casal(here) orKnox
Don’t aim onlyat thosejournals that arerejecting over 80%ofthemanuscripts submitted for consideration as thisnarrowapproachmight implyin the endalotof frustration foryou, adelayin publication andan inefficient useof reviewers’time and energy.
Abriefsynthesis relevantto theOA/non–OAdebate, can befoundin an articlepublishednot longago inJournal of Clinical Psychology:
“Harnad andBrody(2004) compared the citationcounts of individual OA and non–OAphysicsarticles appearingin thesame (non-OA) journals (TheOA articles in non–OA journals weremadeOAbytheir authors throughself–archivedeprints).Theyfoundcitation advantagesforOA articles of200 to 300%, dependingon the publicationyear. Similarstudies have compared OA andnon–OA articles in astronomy,computer science,electrical engineering, mathematics, philosophy, and political science, findingOAimpact advantage rates of 25 to 250%(Antelman, 2004; Eysenbach, 2006; Hajjem, Harnad, &Gingras, 2005b; Kurtzet al., 2005a;Lawrence,2001), with an averageOA advantageof93.2%inpsychology(Hajjem et al., 2005a).[…] Scholars wishingto maximizethe diffusion oftheirresearch amongthe professionalcommunityshould depositeprints of their work inOA archives. There areno copyright or other legal barriers to this OAstrategy,with 91% ofresearch journals (including allAPA and Wileyjournals)alreadygivingtheirexplicitgreen light to authors self–archivingof pre–or postprints (Eprints, 2008). Onehundred percent OA is a reachablegoal.”
4.Be committed to disseminate thefindings of your work.
A “C ERN forsocial scientists” is unlikelyto becreated in the next decades.In this context,you should become moreinvolvedinthe disseminationofyour papers.As stated byShelleyE.Taylor in her article,“marketingpapers, aconcept alien to somescientists, is increasinglyimportant if weareto reachthe multiple fields to which ourwork maycontribute. […]We can send ourpapers out to a targetaudience that might otherwise notread the journal. Authorsmight be welladvised tocreatealist of people in other fields unlikelyto otherwise encounterthe paper and e–mail it to them.”
5.Network curiously and habituallywith other scholars.
Youmight considercreatinganaccount onasitelike Academia.edu. Yourprofileshould not be limited toyour name and theemail address. Uploadaphoto,your papers, select atleast some relevant research interests, “follow”the profiles ofyour peers, etc.Giveothers achanceto find outmore aboutyour work! Uncuriositycan bedangerouslycomfortableespeciallywithin the sophisticated, intellectual world ofAcademe.In theeffort to raiseyour long–term visibilityand impact,youmustbecome awareof novel research opportunities. Also, remain curious aboutbig, intractable problemsand invest at least one hour/week for online interaction with scholars from outsideyour niche researcharea. Keep in mind that theoretical innovation and new findingscome often throughcross–fertilization and interdisciplinaryresearch.
Note: Youcan help scholarlyresearchcirculateand interact morefreelybyforwardingthe above educational hypertexttoyourpeers or byposting iton anyacademicblog orlistserv, under the CreativeCommons–Attribution–NonCommercial–ShareAlike3.0 . The author does not assumeand hereby disclaims anyliabilitytoanypartyforanylossordamageresultingfrom the inappropriate useof information mentioned inWays to IncreaseYour AcademicVisibility(thewebpages andtheir contents areprovided on an“as is“basis, withoutwarrantyof anykind, eitherexpress or implied from the author). Sept. 2010
Nassef is the founder of Co-IRIS (International Relations and Islamic Studies Research Cohort), PHISO (Philippine International Studies Organization), and DSRN (Decolonial Studies Research Network). He works on interdisciplinary research between Islam and International Relations (particularly, comparing Muslim governance with the nation-state system), and explores Muslim polities in Southeast Asia. Visit https://nassef.info/ for more details.
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