5 reasons your research article isn’t getting read

While most researchers would love their work to have a real-world impact, the first step to achieving this is to get the article read.

This blog post will highlight common reasons published articles do not get read, with insightful solutions from our downloadable research impact free guide.

Read on to learn about what has helped authors overcome these challenges and how to make the best of your post-publication journey.

1. Not using your free eprints or a banner email signature to share your article

An eprint is a free, online link sent to all authors who publish in a subscription-based Taylor & Francis journal as soon as their article is published.

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Authors will be emailed the link as soon as their article is published, to give others access to the article if it isn’t published open access. You can access it at any time from Authored Works on Taylor & Francis Online.

Sharing your eprints is a fantastic and free way to spread the word about your research. The link can be used up to 50 times and each of your co-authors (if applicable) will also have their own separate 50 eprints.

So, if you collaborated on a paper with three other researchers, you’ll be able to share free access with 200 different contacts.

Another great way to share what you’ve published is to include a link to your research in your email signature.

If you published your work in a Taylor & Francis journal and you’d like a banner to use in your emails, simply fill out our self-service form and your personalized banner will be automatically generated and ready for you to download.

2. Communicating your research in a way that a wide audience cannot understand

For your research to be considered worth reading, it is important to communicate the significance of your research to wide audiences in clear, jargon-free language. This is referred to as plain language summary or lay summary in some subject areas.

This is a great way to increase the visibility of your work as well as improve the understanding of key findings among non-expert audiences. If you are not sure of how to get started, consider using experts to create a lay summary for your research.

Taylor & Francis Research Communication Services offers two summary services designed to raise public awareness of your research and create an opportunity to communicate your work with peers, funders, and the media.

For another way to communicate your research, consider our Research Impact Summary service. This is a great opportunity to share a press note or highlight a real world impact element of newsworthiness about your published article.

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3. Not effectively promoting your article on social media

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Social media is a powerful tool for researchers, and using it allows you to: 

  • Connect with other academics in your field and build a community

  • Source for ideas by asking questions (“crowdsourcing”)

  • Spread the word about the research you’re undertaking

  • Publicize your article, to increase downloads, citations and impact

While social media platforms have the potential to reach billions of people, not all platforms are equal. So, you need to know the most effective way to catch the attention of your target audience with your research.

Our research impact free guide has an entire section devoted to giving you useful tips about using social media. In the guide, you will learn about which channels to use, how to build online connections, and how you can promote your work. You will also learn about how and when to use hashtags to reach a wider audience, as well as how to tag people, funders, and institutions, directly.

Along with the free guide, you can also read our guide to using Twitter for researchers which goes into much more detail about the use of the Twitter platform. You’ll be taken through steps to set up an account, successful posting, and everything in between.

4. Lack of eye-catching visuals of your research to create interest

Millions of academic manuscripts are published yearly, so your research catching the attention of your target audience can be challenging. A 60-second bite-sized video story or a visually appealing summary of an article are engaging ways to stand out and bring your research to life.

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Infographics create a visual summary or highlight a key element of your research article and its findings. These are eye-catching and can be shared on social media platforms, during presentations, and on websites.

Once your research infographic has caught the attention of your audience, make sure you link to your published article DOI so that your complete article can be read.

Apart from infographics, short, concise, and easily shareable, video highlights are ideal to use across multiple channels to encourage conversations about your research and are perfect for reaching and engaging new audiences.

Expert help for your research promotion

Taylor & Francis Research Communication Services will help you reach and engage with peers, new audiences and impress your funders and the media with your work.

“ … The infographic was well organized and logical. The animation videos and infographics enabled us to quickly capture the essence of the publication. It was of great help in publicizing our work…”

Pengcheng Zhao, Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

“What a nice surprise to have an infographic generated for us to represent our research! The editors approached our research with creativity and accuracy and were enthusiastic to embody the major points of the paper. We take pride in sharing this graphic to help our paper’s visibility in AS&T!”

Lisa Wingen, University of California Irvine

“The Infographics enables us to quickly capture the essence of the publication and share this with both scholarly and public communities. We are very pleased with the service!”

Dr Nobuhiro Moteki

5. Doing networking all wrong

Networking doesn’t come naturally to everyone, but it is a key skill to hone that can help boost the impact of your research. Below are a few networking ideas to consider, that can help increase your chances to successfully get your article read.

  • Join an academic sharing research network
    A great way to broaden your networking pool is to join an academic sharing research network like ResearchGate and Academia.edu. Many others exist, so find out which option works best for you and your needs. If you already have a profile on a sharing network, make sure you have links to your articles on your profile.

  • Drive your articles’ readership with a Google Scholar profile
    You can create a public profile on Google Scholar, which is a search engine for finding scholarly literature. This will help you boost your academic profile and bring more eyes to your work.

    For more information on how to set one up, please download and read our research impact free guide.

  • Newsletters
    Does your institution have a newsletter? Are there any newsletters popular in your field of study? See if there is a way you can contact the owner of a newsletter relevant to your research and have your research featured.

  • Attend academic conferences and workshops
    Conferences and workshops can be wonderful for networking with peers in your field. This can be a great opportunity to share your research with colleagues and find potential co-authors to collaborate on future research projects.

  • Engage with stakeholders and policymakers
    For your research to make a difference, it’s important for it to get in front of stakeholders and policymakers. The right stakeholders should be involved early on and can help you understand your target audience better.

    Working with policymakers has powerful “impact-potential,” but it can be a challenging task. To streamline the process, take some time to read the section of our free guide on research impact covering the 6 key tips for engaging with policymakers.

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Don’t just publish your research, get people to read it

Cover of Research Impact eBook

Learn how to give your work the visibility it deserves among other researchers in your field and outside your circle of friends and colleagues.

Where to next?

If you’ve found these tips helpful, take a look at:  

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