As a scientist, one of the criteria your success is measured by is, whether you like it or not, the number of times your publications are cited. It is reflected in your h-index. For instance, an h-index of 10 means that ten of your articles have each been cited at least ten times. The h-index may be a senseless criterion since a brilliant scientist whose main publication was cited 10,000 times but whose other four publications were cited no more than five times will have an h-index of only five. At the same time, a scientist who does not contribute much but is a ´middle author´ on many papers may have a high h-index.
Anyway, as long as ´the system´ requires you to have a good h-index, you may as well promote your research to improve citations. Of course, promoting the visibility of your research also has other, more important, advantages: you may be invited to more conferences, asked to join committees, found by new collaborators, recruited for a job, etc.
So how can you promote your publications and increase the visibility of your research? Here are some suggestions:
1) Create a profile on ResearchGate
ResearchGate is a free online network for scientists to ask or answer research questions and to request and share publications. This network is used by over 20 million researchers worldwide. When you create your profile, make sure you add a photo and a description of your interests, select your skills and expertise, and add any other information to complete your profile. Next, add your publications.
2) Create an ORCID profile
ORCID will provide you with a unique digital identifier that will distinguish you from any other researcher. This is especially important if your name is not unique or similar to other researchers´ names. Various journals and institutes also ask for your ORCID number when you submit a manuscript or when they need to verify which publications are yours.
3) Promote your publications on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the largest professional networking site. It is a useful tool for networking and finding new collaborators. Many vacancies are advertised here as well. You can write about new findings or post links to your publications here. Once you created and completed your profile (including a photo), connect to all researchers you know to start building your network.
4) Set up a Twitter account
When you set up a personal or lab account on Twitter you can follow other researchers and labs and promote your publications by sharing links. The science community on Twitter is very helpful in sharing ideas, PDFs, vacancies, and conference information. Make sure you add a photo and a description of your interests to your profile. Using hashtags you can find people with similar interests.
5) Promote your publications by sharing them on open-access platforms
There are several open-access platforms to share your publications. For instance on Zenodo, a non-profit platform set up by CERN and OpenAire, a repository for large datasets. Some open-access platforms cater to a specific field, such as BioRxiv which specializes in biological sciences, and ArXiv which specializes in mathematics, physics, astronomy, electrical engineering, computer science, quantitative biology, statistics, and quantitative finance. ResearchGate (see above) is also an open-access platform.
Note: One of the biggest platforms is Academia.edu which is -despite its .edu extension- a big commercial platform that expects everyone to upload their publications but then charges to see anyone else’s. It is also an extreme spammer, trying to make you sign up and pay for access multiple times per day.
6) Write blogs
Start a blog about your research. You can do this on popular regular blogging sites such as WordPress or Tumblr or your own/lab website. You can subsequently post links to these blogs on your LinkedIn site, Twitter account, etc., to increase visibility. If blogging takes too much time, you may consider micro-blogging on Twitter.
7) Share videos and presentations
8) Make your research more visible to search engines
Finally, you can make your research more visible to search engines such as Google and Google Scholar. You can do this by Search Engine Optimization (SEO) of your sites (tip: read up on SEO for your blogs if you write any). First, follow the suggestions above to create pages and allow search engines to find your pages, then add links to your sites on any other platform. So, for instance, add links to your Publons and ResearchGate profiles on your LinkedIn and University/Lab website and vice versa.
If you do not have time for all of these suggestions, then at least follow the tips 1, 2, 3, and 8!