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While there is much publishers and editors can do to ensure good research is highlighted, there’s no doubt authors also have an important role to play.

Elsevier has developed several initiatives designed to help authors promote their papers. Below you can learn more about two of the most recent – Kudos and Share Link. We also touch on a longer-standing project, AudioSlides. And with researchers increasingly evaluated not only by the number of articles they have published but also by their impact, initiatives like these have never been more important.

What is Kudos?

Traditionally, the impact of publications is measured by citations. However, not only does it take a while for citations to begin accumulating, they also provide a limited picture of an article's reach. For that reason, other metrics – such as readership figures, social media mentions, and captures and shares on academic networks – are proving increasingly popular.

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This is where a new service called Kudos comes in. In the words of its founders, Kudos was developed to help researchers, their institutions and funders "measure, monitor and maximize" the visibility and impact of their published articles. It does this by focusing on three core principles:

  • Readers are increasingly struggling to filter the growing quantity of published research.
  • Information that supports the ability of users to filter their searches – such as lay summaries and impact statements – often exists but is not made public.
  • Authors are in the best position to increase the awareness and impact of their work, but they don't always know how.

Kudos provides a platform for:

  • Assembling and creating information to help search filtering.
  • Sharing information to drive discovery.
  • Measuring and monitoring the effect of both activities.

After a successful alpha release phase in partnership with AIP Publishing, the Royal Society of Chemistry and Taylor & Francis, Kudos is ready to take the next step and has signed up additional publishers, including Elsevier, for their beta phase. During this beta phase, which runs from April–December this year, we will test the tool with 22 journals.

Elsevier journals participating in the Kudos initiative are:

Resuscitation American Heart Journal
Vaccine Evolution and Human Behavior
Virology Journal Of Molecular Biology
Journal of Adolescent Health The Journal of the Economics of Ageing
Fertility and Sterility Journal of Consumer Psychology
Journal of Human Evolution Leukemia Research Reports
Science of the Total Environment Thrombosis Research
Journal of Archaeological Science Journal of Functional Foods
Cognition Animal Behavior
Journal of Research in Personality Appetite
MethodsX Neuroimage


How Kudos works

Following publication of their articles, authors from participating journals will receive an email asking them to log on to the Kudos platform. On the platform, they will be led through various steps that prompt them to explain their article; add context via links to other content such as images and data; and share their article via social networks and email.

The Kudos platform, which is free for authors, allows authors to see the effect of their actions on altmetrics (via Altmetric.com) and data about the usage of their article on Elsevier’s ScienceDirect.

The alpha pilot site for Kudos was launched in September last year and during the three-month pilot period more than 5,500 authors registered. They have claimed articles, enhanced them with additional metadata (such as a short title and lay summary) and links to related resources, and shared them via email and social networks, which has led to increased usage of those articles.

During the beta phase, Kudos is working with a much wider group of publishers, articles and authors, which will enable them to undertake more rigorous analysis of the effectiveness of the service, and explore variables such as subscription versus open access.

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Introducing Share Link

For more than a decade, we have provided authors publishing in an Elsevier journal with an ‘e-offprint’ of their article – a PDF version they can share with their colleagues and peers.

But times and technologies have changed, and this year we are rolling out a new functionality: Share Link. Instead of a PDF, authors will receive a personalized link providing 50 days’ free access to their newly-published article on ScienceDirect.

Each customized link is ideal for sharing via email and social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Mendeley, and ResearchGate. Users clicking on the Share Link will be taken directly to the article with no sign up or registration required.

Professor David Nash

Professor David Nash

When will this technology be available?

In December 2013, a trial mailing was sent to 26,000 authors whose articles were published in October of that year. Feedback was encouraging with authors welcoming the opportunity to share their research.

After publication of a paper in Journal of Human Evolution, David J. Nash, Professor of Physical Geography at the School of Environment and Technology, University of Brighton, tweeted his enthusiasm about Share Link.

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He later commented: “I’m very supportive of making research as widely available to end-users and the interested public as possible. Not everyone has access to academic journals, especially those in sub-Saharan Africa where I do much of my research. Rather than having to send my contacts personal copies of papers, it is much more useful to have free access, even if only for a limited period. The research I published last year in the Journal of Human Evolution was funded internally by my institution. As such, I did not have the resources to pay for full open access to my article. Any move to improve this situation would be welcomed.”

Following an expansion of the initial Share Link trial, the decision has now been taken to roll out the program and we expect to make it available to all eligible Elsevier titles by mid-2014.

Which journals will offer Share Link?

The majority of Elsevier’s journals will benefit from the program. Journals operating outside the Elsevier Production Tracking System (PTS), from which the Share Link data is extracted, and a selection of other titles are currently not included.

What are the benefits?

  • By sharing a link via their own social media accounts and email, authors can generate extra interest in their article.
  • The process is simple for the author’s connections – if they click on the link during the 50-day free access period, no registration is required.
  • The article becomes more visible, which has the potential to increase downloads and citations.

What will happen to the current e-offprint program?

Once the Share Link program has been rolled out to all eligible journals, the current e-offprint program will be closed. For those journals not using Share Link we are working on an alternative solution.

AudioSlides allow authors to make mini-webcasts about their papers

Last year, Elsevier’s Article of the Future team launched a novel approach to helping authors ensure their research gets the attention it deserves - AudioSlides.

AudioSlides are 5-minute webcast-style presentations created by the authors of journal articles. Using a blend of slides (PDF and PowerPoint) and voice-over, authors can explain their research in their own words. The resulting presentation appears alongside their published article on ScienceDirect and, like the abstract, can be viewed by subscribers and non-subscribers alike.

Because AudioSlides presentations are made available under a Creative Commons open-access license, authors can also embed them on their personal or institutional websites. The team has also recently made it possible for authors to download their presentations in mp4/movie format so they have the option to promote them through other channels, such as YouTube, or in presentations at workshops and conferences.

Since the initiative was launched, more than 1,760 AudioSlides presentations have been created.

Author biography

Dr Inez van Korlaar

Dr Inez van Korlaar

Inez van Korlaar
DIRECTOR OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Inez van Korlaar (@InezvKorlaar) joined Elsevier in 2006. After three years in publishing, she moved to the marketing communications department of STM Journals. In her current role she is responsible for global marketing communication projects, which includes outreach to researchers in their role as an author. She has a PhD in health psychology from Leiden University in The Netherlands and is based in Amsterdam.