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When you choose to publish with PLOS, your research makes an impact. Make your work accessible to all, without restrictions, and accelerate scientific discovery with options like preprints and published peer review that make your work more Open.

Spreading the Word about Your Research

An Author’s Guide to Article Promotion

You work hard conducting research and preparing articles for publication–and you know your science can make an important difference to the field. You want to be sure your study gets the attention it deserves.

Here are a few easy strategies you can use to help your article reach its full potential and find it’s readership…from the start of your writing process to publication and beyond.

As you write

Choose a title that speaks to your readership

These days, many researchers find interesting papers using search engines like PMC or Google Scholar. When choosing a title for your manuscript, take a moment to think about what terms a reader might search to find your study. Make sure that the main point of your article is clear from the title.

Write an abstract that draws readers in

Just like choosing a title, it’s important to consider what key words might lead a reader to your study, and to incorporate those into your abstract.

Pay special attention to the first two lines of your abstract. Those first 30 or 40 words will show up in online searches and library databases. They could be the reason readers click through to read the rest of your article. (Some experts even suggest relocating your conclusions to the top of your abstract for this reason!)

When you submit

Share early with preprints

Post your article on a preprint server like arXiv, bioRxiv, medRxiv, or OSF preprint. Preprints are a great way to establish priority for a new advance, disseminate results, and attract readers. Research suggests that bioRxiv-deposited journal articles have a citation and altmetric advantage over those without preprints.

Publish OA

Open Access is great for the research community–but did you know articles published under an Open Access license are cited 30% more often than similar articles published in closed subscription journals? Publishing Open Access is a great step toward making your research discoverable and accessible to the readers who need it.

At acceptance

Share the good news with your co-authors

Coordinate with co-authors about promoting the manuscript and make sure they have the tools and information they need for publication day.

Seek media coverage

Contact your university or institution press office to ask how they can help spread the news about your paper. Let the PLOS Media Team know about any plans you may have. Visit the journal website for information on embargos and working with the media.

Tip: Learn more about social media, publicity, press releases, and more in the PLOS Media Toolkit.

Consider creating supplementary content

Does your institution or lab have a blog or a podcast? If so, they’re probably hungry for content. Consider participating in an interview or writing a short blog post about your article. Remember, a blog doesn’t have to be a lot of work–a plain-English summary of your study, suitable for lay readers, and one or two topical highlights or key takeaways can be plenty.

Tip: Do you already have supplementary content? Depending on the type of research you do, you may have photos, videos, lab notebooks, deposited data, or other documentation that can add dimension and interest to the work. Consider incorporating these resources into blog or social media outreach.

On publication day…and beyond

Know your elevator pitch

Take a few minutes to verbally summarize what your paper is about and why it’s important in just one or two sentences. That way, you’ll be ready in case any media attention comes your way. Plus, you’ll have a great answer next time someone asks what’s new with you.

Update your online profiles

Update your ORCID, ResearchGate, lab website, or other professional profile with your latest publication. Be sure to link your ORCID in your email signature, so your newest papers are always just a click away.

Tip: Update with ease. If you provided an ORCID and you’ve authorized PLOS to write to your ORCID profile, your newly published article will appear automatically. Learn how.

Share on social media

Link to your article on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media sites you frequent. Be sure to tag us and use the author hashtags so we can help to amplify your message. Think about who else might be interested–it can also be helpful to tag co-authors, your institution, and your funder.

PLOS

Twitter: @plos
140,000 followers
Facebook: PLOS

PLOS ONE

Twitter: @plosone
#plosoneauthor
109,000 followers

PLOS Biology

Twitter: @plosbiology
#plosbiologyauthor
70,000 followers

PLOS Medicine

Twitter: @plosmedicine
#plosmedauthor
50,000 followers

PLOS Pathogens

Twitter: @plospathogens
#plospathogensauthor
2,500 followers

PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases

Twitter: @plosntds
#plosntdsauthor
10,000 followers

PLOS Computational Biology

Twitter: @ploscompbiol
#ploscompbiolauthor
18,000 followers

PLOS Genetics

Twitter: @plosgenetics
#plosgeneticsauthor
27,000 followers

Tip: Spice up your social media with an image. Contact the PLOS Outreach team at community@plos.org to request an author badge customized to your paper. Post the badge across your social media channels and link to your paper. If you’re presenting on your research, you can also incorporate the image into your slides.

Get conference-ready

Attending a conference in the next few months? Print up a few copies of your article to give away at the meeting, and be sure to reference your paper in any speaker slides.

Share your experience

PLOS offers opportunities for authors to showcase their research through our online channels, including emails, social media, blogs, and websites. If you are interested in the possibility of providing a quote or participating in a written interview, please send a high-resolution photo along with your responses to the following questions to community@plos.org.

  • What first drew you to your field of research?
  • What is your particular area of research, and why is it important?
  • Has your and your peers’ work expanded discussion in the scientific community or the broader public?
  • Is your research interdisciplinary? If so, how crucial are structures that support interdisciplinary review to the publication of your research?
  • At what time in your career did you start thinking about Open Science, and why is it important to you?

Tip: Don’t forget to include your full name and academic affiliation as you’d like them to appear, your article DOI, and any social media handles you’d like us to tag

Join the conversation

Do you have an article promotion strategy that isn’t covered here? Let us know, and we’ll add it to the guide!

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