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Market or perish - Academic SEO

From my Mendeley Open Office Talk on November 26, 2010. Speech bubbles have been added for better context. See the blog at

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Market or perish - Academic SEO

  1. 1. Publish or Perish Jason Hoyt, Ph.D. Chief Scientist + VP of R&D Mendeley Open Office Talks 26 Nov 2010 twitter: @jasonHoyt
  2. 2. Creative Commons licensed le:Ladygaga_b8dn415_1209.jpg Academics should learn how to market themselves; Lady Gaga style.
  3. 3. MARKET YOURSELF Or get of academia now. Visibility = Citations = Tenure We have grant writing courses to help our careers, but nothing about marketing our research. Marketing in this case isn’t a dirty word. It’s simply making our research visible.
  4. 4. SELF-ARCHIVING #1 Marketing Tool. Publishing is no longer enough. Self-archiving should occur before (pre-prints), during, and after (post-print) we publish
  5. 5. SELF-ARCHIVING The juicy secrets. 58% of publishers allow it That 58% covers 83% of all journals 41% of publishers allow pre-prints
  6. 6. WHO ALLOWS PRE-PRINTS? A small sample. Visit Sherpa Romeo for publisher/journal specifics ASBMB ASCB BioMed Central Blackwell Publishing BMJ Publishing Group Cambridge University Press Elsevier (except journals of Cell Press) Humana Press Nature Publishing Group Oxford Journals PNAS Public Library of Science (PLoS) SAGE Springer Taylor & Francis Wiley Many more…
  7. 7. WHY DO PUBLISHERS ALLOW PRE- PRINTS? Impact Factor Cherry Picking Pre-prints help publishers gauge what they should publish A popular pre- print can jump the line in a giant 12-18 month backlog
  8. 8. Search Engines Search engines are key to marketing our research. This is known as Academic SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
  9. 9. WHAT’S THE COVERAGE? Catalog Journals Articles Google Scholar 20K+ Unknown PubMed 6,000+ 20M Scopus (Now SciVerse) 15,000 ISI Web of Science 9,300 46M Mendeley 20K+ 28M+ (+22M being cleaned) People search aggregators that have the coverage. Focus on the aggregators.
  10. 10. RANKING ALGORITHMS Understand the basics of how search engines rank literature. We’ll look at the biggest Search Engines. Mendeley, Google Scholar, & PubMed
  11. 11. PUBMED 1. Content Relevance 1. Title 2. Abstract 3. MeSH terms 4. Synonyms 2. ‘Freshness’ How recent is the publication?
  12. 12. GOOGLE SCHOLAR 1. Content Relevance 2. Citation count 3. Impact factor of journal 4. Freshness of cited by 5. Who authored the paper 6. Quality of metadata
  13. 13. MENDELEY 1. Content Relevance 2. Quality of metadata 3. Readership 4. ‘Freshness’ 5. Citations (future) Quality of metadata means how complete is it? Abstract, full- text to be found?
  14. 14. Google Scholar Mendeley ? GS favors citation count too strongly. Expected result is 5th on GS.
  15. 15. IMPROVING YOUR VISIBILITY So we’ve seen how Mendeley, PubMed, & GS rank. What can we do to make sure our research is properly included & ranked?
  16. 16. After you Publish For Mendeley users • Make sure we have complete metadata & abstract at least • Use Tags – Google will also index these on Mendeley article pages. Remember synonyms. • Author keywords – Make sure they are extracted or copy them in. Google also indexes these • External links. Do you have the URL to your self-archive? Google will find these as well as people searching on Mendeley. Use the URL field! And use the DOI link. • Create a public group for your paper and similar ones. Google indexes these as well. • When self-archiving, make sure your Web page (or University’s) uses CoiNS and meta tags (e.g. Eprints, Highwire). Google and Mendeley both index these. Before & when you publish • Use synonyms in title/abstract • Use vector graphics for figures/tables text (SVG is XML and can be indexed) Mendeley & GS will rank papers with abstracts and a pre- print or full-text available slightly higher than those without. If you forgot synonyms when you published, it isn’t too late. Put them in the tags field on Mendeley. People often search for synonyms.
  17. 17. It’s a paper that I co- authored back in the day. I could add more tags with synonyms. This might improve its visibility years after being published. I should also create a public group for it. This is from the ‘My Publications’ folder in Mendeley. It’s for papers I authored.
  18. 18. This is Chris Wiggins’ faculty page at Columbia.
  19. 19. His ‘papers’ link on the left displays his Mendeley profile. He doesn’t need to rely on the school IT to update his CV. All of his papers are updated in real-time from his ‘My Publications’ folder in Mendeley
  20. 20. ETHICAL BOUNDARIES black hat vs. white hat SEO for academia There is a line to ‘marketing’ or Academic SEO that shouldn’t be crossed.
  21. 21. FURTHER READING Aalst, J. van (2010). Using Google Scholar to Estimate the Impact of Journal Articles in Education. Educational Researcher 39, 387-400. Available at: Bakkalbasi, N., Bauer, K., Glover, J., and Wang, L. (2006). Three options for citation tracking: Google Scholar, Scopus and Web of Science. Biomedical digital libraries 3, 7. Available at: Beel, J., Vlba-lab, F. I. N. I. T. I., and Wilde, E. (2010). Academic Search Engine Optimization ( ASEO ): Optimizing Scholarly Literature for Google Scholar & Co . Journal of Scholarly Publishing 41. Available at: Mikki, S. (2009). Comparing Google Scholar and ISI Web of Science for Earth Sciences. Scientometrics 82, 321-331. Available at:
  22. 22. Publish or Perish