How to promote your research achievements without being obnoxious?

Provides some quick and easy to implement tips on how to promote your academic work

So your mentor has told you that you need to "blow your own trumpet" a bit more about your research achievements. But that is something you find really hard to do. Rest assured, that's not unusual. Many academics - especially female academics - feel the same. But in today's frantic world you can't count on your work being automatically being picked up.

So if you really want to ensure that for instance your latest paper is read you might need to follow some of the steps described here: How to ensure your paper achieves the impact it deserves? More generally here are some quick things you can do to promote your achievements without coming across as pushy and obnoxious. They are low-key ways to make your work available to others without rubbing it in their face. None of these should take you more than a few minutes.

Use your email signature strategically

First, put a link to your key online profile (e.g. Google Scholar, ResearchGate or LinkedIn) in your email signature. Google Scholar is good as it provides citations as well as publications, but if other profiles display your work better, go for that. The main aim is to make it easy for people to find a bit more information about you. Second, consider including a link to your latest paper in your email signature. Or even better, if you have blogged about this paper, include a link to the blog as people are more likely to scan a blog instantly, and then download and read the paper if they are interested.

Please avoid putting half your CV in your signature as I see so many colleagues do. Oftentimes they even include pictures of their books and publications. Not only does this look a bit self-congratulatory - and frankly makes you look like a bit of a prat - it also makes any e-mail exchanges hard. The text of your email gets lost if your signature constitutes 90% of the email (yes some really are that bad); reading these emails on a phone is an utter nightmare. In fact, this can be considered a variant of: Don't write mass emails (1): distributing your work. This is what my email signature looks like. It contains all the relevant information without taking up too much space.

Use social media to share your work

Consider sharing your work through Twitter or LinkedIn. I have found LinkedIn particularly effectively as it has a more academic audience (provided of course your network is mostly academic) and it has more "permanence" than Twitter. All you need to do is use one of the sharing buttons on the publisher's website and - if desired - add a little text of your own. Of course you can also do the same with any blogposts you have written about your papers. If you are interested in engaging with social media more generally, please see my presentation here Building your academic brand through engagement with social media.

Again though, make sure you don't overdo this. It is not considered "good form" to only ever share posts or tweets about your own papers and achievements. Again, a Twitter or LinkedIn profile that is just a big "billboard about you" simply makes you look like a prat. Alternate with postings and (re)tweets about general topics that might be of interest to your followers or share or comment on work of others that you find interesting. You could even ask someone to be your "promotion" buddy, you can share/tweet and comment on their work and they do the same for you.

Videos: ResearchGate, Blogging, LinkedIn and Twitter

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