Scholars are increasingly creating their own personal sites and blogs to enhance the visibility of their publications. The web improves their personal branding and content marketing in addition to the traditional Bibliometrics. Several online communities are providing blogging platforms that allow users to communicate with others. Digital media is being utilised by researchers to share and disseminate their findings. Recently, there has been a rapid proliferation in the uptake of Twitter as scholars use it for social networking and other purposes. They often share ideas, common interests, as they promote their scientific findings.
Through academic social networking sites like Academia.edu and ResearchGate as well as reference sharing sites including; Mendeley, Bibsonomy, Zotero and CiteULike, scholars could publicise their articles. These academic social networks could be a valuable data source to explore aspects of informal scholarly communication. For instance, Mendeley is a free and cross-platform desktop application that could automatically extract metadata, full-text and cited references from research papers. In essence, it minimises manual data input as researchers set up their database. It also enables academics to manage, tag, search for full texts, cite contributions and share research papers. Similarly, its companion website, Mendeley Web can be used to create a public research profile and back up research papers. At the same time, researchers could connect with other scholars who share their same interests.
Millions of users are actively engaged in informal scholarly communication, discussion groups and mailing lists. Researchers are frequently using these digital platforms in different ways. Moreover, many academics are contributing on the subject of social media metrics for academic purposes .
The content marketing of academic material involves a series of metrics that measure the researchers’ or their institutions’ ‘impact’, ‘influence’ or ‘quality’ of their contributions. There are various sources of bibliometric data, and each possess their own strengths and limitations. For example, the emerging field of altmetrics is concerned with impact measures rather than scholarly communication itself (Thelwall, Haustein, Larivière and Sugimoto, 2013).
Yet, for the time being, there is no single bibliometric measure that is perfect. Multiple approaches to evaluation are highly recommended. Moreover, bibliometric and webometric approaches should not be the only measures upon which academic and scholarly performance ought to be evaluated. Sometimes, the use of bibliometric indicators could reduce the publications’ impact to quantitative numerical scores. Many commentators have argued that when viewed in isolation these metrics may not necessarily be representative of a researcher’s performance or capacity.
Nonetheless, bibliometrics still have their high utility in academia. They are an essential aspect for the measurement of academic clout and organisational performance. For instance, citations are conspicuous in highly reputable journals or well-linked web sites that contain relevant scholarly content. The most cited authors are recognised by their peers for their significant findings. In a similar vein, the highly reputable journals that have high impact factors are renowned for their contribution to knowledge, as their publications are sought by numerous researchers and scholars for their academic standing.
This short contribution has identified Webometrics and social academic networks as contemporary bibliometrics. The researchers’ and their academic institutions’ outputs are continuously being evaluated as independent reviewers frequently measure the quality and quantity of their academic publications. Recognition by peers can help to boost the researchers’ and their educational institutions’ productivity levels. Evidently, the most cited contributions, journals and educational institutions are utilising a wide array of metrics to raise their standing.
Researchers have become increasingly aware of the potential of personal branding. Nevertheless, their scholarly impact depends on a number of factors including the accessibility of publications, the peer review of their academic work as well as ongoing social networking and fruitful collaborative relationships with other scholars. Notwithstanding, the ongoing changes in academic behaviours and their use of content marketing on internet seem to have challenged some of the traditional metrics.
There is more to the measurement of impact than citation metrics. In this digital era, researchers are getting acquainted with WEB2.0. The pervasiveness of online academic networks is also helping individual scholars’ to establish performance and impact. At the same time, they are continuously sharing resources as they engage with colleagues. Social networks such as Researchgate, Academia.edu and Mendeley have become new outlets for the publication of research.
In a nutshell, this article reiterates the importance of content marketing of academic publications for individual researchers and their educational institutions. Their contributions to knowledge may lead to an improved academic standing and increased reputation among scholars.