Pre-publication steps for maximizing the visibility and impact of your research work

Why looking for higher visibility for your paper?

  • Attract more audience for your article.
  • Have more impact in your field of research.
  • Get more citations.
  • Increase your scientific prestige and credibility.
  • Upgrade your university/institute ranking.

Universities ranking approaches assign a high share for the number of citations that university researchers’ publications receive. The table below indicates the share of the index associated with papers citations for some of the most famous university ranking approaches.

UNIVERSITY RANKING METHODOLOGYWeight of the index associated with papers citations


Pre-publication steps:

Here are the steps that you should highly pay attention to, before publishing your article in order to get maximum impact and visibility.

1. Paper topic

Discover and find emerging topics for publication in your research area and take distance from declining topics.

Trending topics represent research areas with significant growth acceleration in recently published articles. Here are some online tools that can help you discover emerging topics in your research areas. You may refer to another of our posts for more information in this field.

2. Paper language

Select English as your paper language or at least provide your paper abstract in English.

Although English is not the native language of the majority of researchers, it is still the dominant language of the scientific community.

3. Paper Journal

Find the most suited and relevant journal for your manuscript.

Here are some useful tools by which you can find journals that could be best suited for publishing your scientific paper. Review the journal’s aims & scopes before deciding where to submit your paper.

Journal Finder

Journal Suggester

Journal Suggester

Journal Finder

Prioritize Open Access journals for your publication.

Open access journals tend to be cited more in comparison with non-open access ones. Publishing papers in open-access journals may boost up the citation count by up to 10% [1]. Obviously, a paper which is available on the Web can be read and indexed by the Web-based search engines so it will potentially obtain more readers and receive more citations.

Scopus data indicates a growing trend for the ratio of existing Open Access journals to total journals.

Select journals with a higher impact, prestige, and disciplinary reputation (top-level journals).

Journal metrics help you to provide insight into journals quality and impact. Here is a list including the most famous journal metrics used for journal rankings:

  • Quartile (Q): Each subject category of journals is divided into four quartiles: Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4. Q1 is occupied by the top 25% of journals in the list; Q2 is occupied by journals in the 25 to 50% group; Q3 is occupied by journals in the 50 to 75% group and Q4 is occupied by journals in the 75 to 100% group. Quartile index is reported by Clarivate and Scopus in a different manner
  • Impact Factor (IF): The Impact Factor is the average number of times a paper in a particular journal is cited during the preceding two years. 5-Year Impact Factor is also calculated based on the publication data of the previous 5 years.
  • Eigen Vector: The Eigenfactor is calculated based on weighted citations to papers published within the previous 5 years. Citations are weighted according to the reputation of the citing journal.
  • h-Index: The h-index indicates the number of papers, h, that have been cited at least h times. GoogleScholar uses journals h5-index (h-index of only those of its papers that were published in the last five complete calendar years) as publication rankings in different categories and subcategories. The following table indicates the top-20 publications reported by GoogleScholar.

  • The SCImago Journal Rank (SJR): The SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) is calculated based on weighted citations in year X to papers published in the previous 3 years. Citations are weighted here by the prestige and reputation of the citing journal.

4. Paper content


Choose the most appropriate type of article according to its content and pay attention to the citations in your research work

Notice that review papers mainly get more citations than other types of papers Refer to reliable resources with high citations.

Don’t forget that, referring to the sources with higher rank will give your paper more value and higher rank. Try to cite your own and your co-authors’ previous research documents in an appropriate manner.

Make your article easy to find

Implement SEO content strategy for your paper

More than 50% of traffic to publisher websites comes from Google, Google Scholar, and other search engines. Over 60000 Google searches are performed every second. Therefore, it is very important to take steps to help your paper rank higher on Google, Google Scholar, and other search engines. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a set of actions so search engines like Google show your paper at a higher ranking (pages) when someone searches for something related to your paper content. SEO has a general meaning and mostly applies to web pages. This article here is focused on Academic Search Engine Optimization (ASEO) which particularly deals with the optimization of scholarly documents for search engines. Most academic search engines do not index the full text of a document (like what Google Books does)  but instead index only the title and abstract. So, ASEO mostly deals with techniques that mostly focus on the article’s title and abstract.

In a search for the term “search engine optimization” a document entitled “Search engine optimization” would be ranked higher than the other one entitled “The role of search engine optimization in search marketing”.

It is to be noted that the citation counts of a document also play a major role in the ranking algorithm of Google Scholar.

Select the most important keywords that are relevant to your paper topic and use them in the right place. The most important places for the keywords are the title and abstract of your paper. Mention the keywords and their synonyms in the title and abstract of your paper frequently (but not as much as to irritate the readers). Note that search engines normally tend to dislike the repetition of keywords known as keyword stuffing.

Although you should use keywords that are consistent with your paper topics, try to select leading and trending keywords. Refer to the major papers similar to your paper topic and check the applied keywords and also take a look at popular keywords on Google Trends and the Google Adwords keywords tool.

Use your keywords throughout your article and let them flow naturally and contextually. Try to use the main keywords in headings, subheadings, and the captions of figures and tables.

Use vector graphics instead of raster graphics for the images and tables of your paper so that the containing text can be machine-readable.

Select a descriptive and search-engine-friendly title for your paper

Use main and essential keywords in your paper title. The Search engines such as Google Scholar give the most weight to the search terms used in the title than other parts of the paper.

A short paper title is more attractive to search engines than a long one

As stated in the literature, papers with shorter titles receive more citations than papers with longer titles (the following figure) [2].

Although short titles are more attractive for most search engines, the longer title of papers covers more topics and keywords so it may give the chance to attract more audience. Therefore, it is necessary to make a conscious compromise in this regard.

Write an informative and standard abstract for your paper

Don’t forget that the paper abstract is the shop window attracting readers to your paper. Normally the first two sentences of a paper abstract are displayed in search engine results so make sure to include main phrases and essential keywords at the beginning part of your abstract. Repeat your main keywords and phrases 3–4 times throughout your paper abstract [3].

Create your own unique identifier as an author and choose a consistent format for your name and institutional affiliation

Create and use your unique identifier as an author in order to differentiate and distinguish your publications from that of all other researchers. You can freely get your ORCID identifier at Use a consistent format for your name and use it with your papers.



[1] McCabe, Mark J., and Christopher M. Snyder. “Does online availability increase citations? Theory and evidence from a panel of economics and business journals.” Review of Economics and Statistics 97.1 (2015): 144-165.

[2] Letchford, A., Moat, H. S., & Preis, T. The advantage of short paper titles. Royal Society Open Science, 2(8), (2015): 150266.


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