The 5-Day Impact Challenge was designed to help Columbia graduate students improve their professional online presence.
Every week day during spring break, participants received an e-mail with instructions to complete one small task. These daily tasks helped them:
Curate their online presence
Make their work more discoverable
Leverage social media to make connections and get the word out about their work
Track citations and other mentions of their scholarship
Find disciplinary research networks online
Welcome to Day One of the Challenge!
Thank you for signing up for the five-day impact challenge!
Every week day this week, you will receive an e-mail asking you to complete one small task.
These daily tasks will help you:
Curate your online presence
Make your work more discoverable
Leverage social media to make connections and get the word out about your work
Track citations and other mentions of your scholarship
Find disciplinary research networks online
Today's Task: Register for your ORCID identifier
We recommend that all Columbia faculty and graduate students register for an ORCID identifier, a persistent number that distinguishes you from any other scholars who share your name and assures that your research is correctly attributed to you (even when it’s published under a different variation of your name).
Journal publishers, funders, and academic institutions have begun requiring ORCID identifiers for all authors and researchers, and the ORCID identifier is increasingly used as an authentication method for other platforms and services.
CC BY SA Samenwerkingsverband Hogeschoolbibliotheken
Can I legally open up access to something I've previously published?
Did you know that your contract with a publisher might allow you to archive (and preserve!) a copy of your work in a repository such as Academic Commons? Making older work openly available infuses it with new life and provides it the opportunity to have broad, global, equitable reach.
Use this tool to check your article publisher’s policies around OA sharing. If it looks like you can't share, don't despair! Many publishers are willing to negotiate. Use this website, from the Authors’ Alliance, to renegotiate your contract with your publisher and get permission to legally share your work openly.
If you want to make a copy of a monograph or other published research output openly available, check your contract and then contact Copyright Advisory Services here at Columbia.
Despite the proclivities of some of its more infamous users, Twitter is not only a useful networking tool, it's also a great way to follow get the word out about your work, credit others in a public forum, and follow conferences and conversations in your field. Most academic events have a hashtag (sometimes several) and following these can be a helpful way to find collaborators, others working in your area—or even dining companions. Even if you can't make a particular event, attendees often live tweet talks and presentations, enabling those interested to be part of the conversation from a distance.
How do I complete this challenge?
If you don't have a Twitter account yet, sign up at twitter.com. Some tips:
Choose a username that's easy to share, spell, and remember.
Search for & follow scholars whose work you admire. Check out their bios (many people blend the professional and the lightly personal here), then write a bio for your own profile.
Search for & follow the accounts of scholarly societies, journals, or events that interest you.
Find out which hashtags are used in your field (hint: the people you follow may be using them)!
We are approaching the end of the impact challenge. How are you finding it? Have you managed to complete your daily tasks?
Today's Task: Track Citations With Google Scholar
Why would I do this? If you’re curious about where you are being cited (and by whom), setting up a free Google Scholar profile can be a helpful place to start. Once you’ve made your profile, Google will automatically enrich it with publications it deems to be yours (if you have a particularly common name, it’s a good idea to check these, and then tell Google that you want to approve any others it finds before they are added to your profile). Once Google indexes an article (or presentation, white paper, and so on) that cites your work, you’ll see those citations on your profile too. You can even set up alerts to be sent when your work is cited—or when research similar in subject matter to your own is published.
Click "My profile" in the top left corner and log in to Google (if you're a student, we recommend not using your LionMail account for this, as you'll lose access to your Google Scholar profile when you leave the institution).
Fill in your name, affiliation, research interests, and home page (if you have one).
Confirm your email address.
2. Add or Claim Your Publications
Google Scholar will present you with a list of publications it thinks you wrote. Adding them to your profile is easy—just click the box.
Next, you'll be asked if you want Scholar to automatically add new publications it finds or email you updates for review. We recommend the latter, especially but not only if you have a common name, as Scholar can sometimes be a little overzealous in assigning publications to you.
Finally, you'll be asked if you'd like to make your profile public. This is an impact challenge—do it!
3. Finesse Your Settings
Click VIEW ALL to check out your citations (Scholar takes these from anywhere it finds them on the web)
Add any co-authors
Click the + to add any publications Scholar has missed
Click Follow to get an email when Scholar finds a new citation of your work
Yesterday we looked at how to track your citations, but it takes a while for other scholars to read, digest, and include your work in their own. And while mentions in scholarly literature are great, they're but one small piece of a much larger impact puzzle. Alternative metrics, or altmetrics, provide you with a way to see a more complete picture of the influence of your work, such as its inclusion in news media or white papers, in reviews and blog posts, and on Wikipedia, social media networks, and more.
How do I do this?
Sign up for ImpactStory, a nonprofit platform that shows mentions of your work in tweets, Facebook posts, blog posts, and news sources. You create a profile using your Twitter account, connect your ORCID (see how this week is coming together?), and it pulls in information about multiple publications from there to give you a fairly complete picture of the online impact of your work.
Install Altmetric.com’s bookmarklet in your toolbar and click it when you’re on the page of journal article or other item with a DOI. You'll see mentions of that item in news articles, blogs, social media, policy documents, and more.
Want (even) more impact?
Thanks for playing this week! If you've enjoyed thinking about impact and would like to delve deeper, we're holding a special "Tweets and Peeps" edition of Publishing Open Lab on April 15: join us as we delve deeper into using platforms such as Twitter, academic social networks, research sharing sites, and blogs and personal web spaces to create and curate a professional digital identity.
Publishing Open Lab is a drop-in space to discover, collaborate, and ask questions about publishing, open access, peer review, or any aspect of the research ecosystem. It runs from 3–5pm on Mondays in April and May in the Studio at Butler (208b).