There are a wide variety of tools and resources that you can use, depending on your discipline. Demonstrating your research's impact can mean various things, from using metrics to simply talking about the importance and significance of your work in your FAAR. There are many ways to accomplish this - see the questions and answers below for some suggestions.
The metrics that you can use will depend on a few different factors - your discipline, the scholarly or creative output you want to measure, and how long ago it was published. Traditional metrics, such as journal impact factor or Eigenfactor, are generally most useful for journal articles published in established or well-known publications. Citation counts can be helpful for many types of publications, including books, but may require more work to find outside citation databases such as Scopus or Web of Science.
Some disciplines won't generally use more traditional metrics or may not use citations due to the type of work they create (such as a dance performance, art piece, presentation at an event or conference, etc.). There are other options available! For example, altmetrics can track many things that receive a DOI or even have a persistent URL. Measuring impact could mean counting audience attendance, views on a video, downloads, social media interactions, or something else.
Whether you use a type of metric or not, you can still talk about the impact of your work in your FAAR. Use the space in your narrative sections to talk about your research that fills gaps in existing literature or shares a vital study that could significantly impact your field moving forward. Discuss why you published open access and how that will help your research reach more people worldwide. There are a lot of ways to tell the story of your research!
If you need help discovering how to demonstrate your research's impact, please reach out and schedule a consultation with your Liaison Librarian or Christina Miskey, Scholarly Communication Librarian for Research Infrastructure.
In addition to the suggestions on the Home page of this guide, below are some additional tips and tricks for broadening your impact online. Note that these are suggestions, and you can start as small as you feel comfortable, or go as big as you like.
Using Google and other search engines, search for your name and see what comes up in the results in the first few pages. If you find something that isn't flattering, working to create online profiles that provide a positive resource for information about your previous works and yourself can help. Set up alerts so you can see when something new appears! Don't forget to revisit this search every once in a while.
Sometimes you might have to create a profile or researcher ID as part of a grant proposal, journal publication requirement, or something else. Once you make that profile, people online can locate it. If the profile is blank, that won't help increase your scholarship's reach or readership. Instead, try to fill in sections like biographies and affiliations to help others learn more about you and your research.
Whether it's a blog, your website, Twitter account, or merely a researcher profile, it is essential to update the information available online regularly. How often you update these sites can depend on how active you want to be online, but you should at least be revisiting your profiles every 6-12 months to post your new scholarly work.
Many academic networking sites, social media platforms, author identifiers, and others provide ways to interconnect with other platforms. This makes it easier for you, as the researcher and author, to keep everything updated. Identifiers, such as ORCID, connect with many platforms and can even import your information from one place to the next. Platforms, such as Twitter allow users to link to other websites or profiles. And using tools, such as LinkTree, allows for a researcher to list all of their relevant profiles for anyone to visit, depending on what they are seeking.
Your greatest ally in creating a strong and positive online reputation is your university. UNLV and the University Libraries offer several online resources to help manage your online presence (like this guide!) and experts to help you learn how to utilize these tools effectively. Reach out and use them as a quick and easy starting place!
Many websites, including networking and social media platforms, can and will use the data you provide to track online habits. You can easily protect yourself by managing your profile's privacy settings, keeping an eye out for Terms of Service change notifications, and educating yourself on which sites do what with your information.