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Broadening Your Research Impact
Innovations in Scholarly Communication

Researcher Networks

Below are a few of the more widely-used interdisciplinary, scholarly networking tools. Being part of a network may help you find collaborators and publicize your work more widely. Discipline-specific online networking communities also exist.

  • ResearchGate
    Social network for scientists enabling sharing of research, collaboration, and some altmetrics. It also has active Q and A forums where you can get help and advice.
    Network for researchers to share research and discover research being done by others.
  • LinkedIn
    Social networking tool for professionals in all fields. A LinkedIn profile is similar to an online CV. You can search LinkedIn for people in particular fields of work or with a particular affiliation.
  • Mendeley
    Known also as a citation management tool, Mendeley includes a social networking element. Researchers can create profiles and build and share their libraries of citations. Mendeley tracks how often citations are saved to libraries as a type of altmetric.

More on networking for researchers:

Boosting Your Altmetrics

In addition to using your networks to raise awareness of your research and publications, here are other tips and tools:

Use an Author Identifier

Using an author ID will help distinguish you from other authors with similar names and will make sure that all your research output is grouped together - both good steps in broadening your impact. Registering for an ORCID identifier is a great place to start!


  • MedEdPortal
    MedEdPORTAL is a free peer-reviewed publishing venue and dissemination portal designed to support educators and learners as they create and use on-line teaching materials, assessment tools and faculty development resources.

Visualizing Imact

Software, programming libraries, and other tools that can be used for visualizing research impact:

  • Science of Science (Sci2) Network Visualization Tool (free)
    A modular toolset specifically designed for the study of science. It supports the temporal, geospatial, topical, and network analysis and visualization of scholarly datasets at the micro (individual), meso (local), and macro (global) levels. For the Sci2 manual, please see this link.
  • Gephi (free)
    An interactive visualization and exploration platform for all kinds of networks and complex systems, dynamic and hierarchical graphs. Works in synergy with Sci2 for complex analyses
  • D3.js (free)
    D3.js (Data-Driven Documents) is a JavaScript library that allows you to create and control dynamic and interactive graphs in a modern web browser. It makes use of common web standards such as SVG, HTML5, CSS and JavaScript for data visualization.
  • VOSviewer (free)
    VOSviewer is an application that can be used to create, view and explore maps based on network data. VOSviewer is primarily intended to be used for analyzing bibliometric networks. The program can for instance be used to create maps of publications, authors, or journals based on a co-citation network or to create maps of keywords based on a co-occurrence network.
  • Rimpact (free)
    Rimpact is an example of how you can write custom code to parse and analyze bibliographic records and generate visualization graphs for research impact. Rimpact was written in the Ruby programming language, but the concept can be applied to any programming language you are familiar with.

New forms of scholarly publishing

Researchers can share their work in a variety of non-traditional ways online.

Research Impact Beyond Published Articles

There are several initiatives to try to develop reward systems that recognize researchers' contributions beyond their publications in 'top' journals. Here are a few:

Related Topic: Broader Impacts

Addressing the 'broader impacts' of your research is a requirement for some grants, like the National Science Foundation (NSF) grants.

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