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The benefits of blogging about your research


The BOU offers authors of ornithology papers published in any journal the chance to promote their work and benefit from all that blogging now offers.

Steve Dudley | BOU

Blogging about your recently published research article now has a greater benefit - blog posts linked to papers now count high to individual article metrics (e.g. altmetrics). Individual article metrics are increasingly important in measuring an article’s impact and will start to contribute to research impact assessments (e.g. REF in the UK).

A BOU blog article benefits you and your article in the following ways:

  • Blog posts with links to an article count towards the article's altmetrics
  • More readers - BOU blog posts can get thousands of views
  • Produces a digestible lay summary to reach a new audience
  • Many people prefer to read shorter summaries of papers before accessing the paper itself
  • Not everyone has access to the full paper version of many journals
  • You can promote and link to other online work (contributing to the altmetrics of those articles too)
  • Search engines love blogs, which increases your spread and delivers a wider audience for your work
  • The BOU promotes individual blog posts heavily on social media driving audiences to your work
  • Each main BOU blog post gets the blog to itself for two weeks

We encourage authors to write a non-technical summary of their paper, an interesting story from the fieldwork that led up to the paper, or to use the blog to expand on an aspect of the research - in fact anything related to your paper!

What we need for a BOU blog:

  • We'll publish blogs containing between 500 - 1,000 words
  • We can even base a blog post on a Q&A style interview
  • Several images, figures, video clips, sound files (one image needs to be suitable as a thumbnail to advertise the post - preferably an image of a bird) - you must have permission from the copyright holder and provide names and website credits for each item used (information on size and formats will be provided)
  • References and links to other online related items (to promote your own work or simply to deliver extra reading)
  • A photo of yourself with a brief, max. 100 word, biography of who you are and what you do

See the BOU blog (above left) for examples of recent posts, the diversity of topics covered and for the type of post and images we are looking for.

If you want to discuss a blog, or submit a post, then please email the BOU's Social Media Engagement Officer, Christina Ieronymidou.


Useful reading

Almetric is here. But what is it? What is it for? And why should you be bothered?
Making social media and the web work for you
An introduction to social media for scientists
How Twitter literacy can benefit conservation scientists
Dudley pic

About the author

Steve Dudley, the BOU's Senior Administrator of 17 years, is responsible for social media and communications.

More social media articles from by Steve Dudley


Blog posts express the views of the individual author(s) and not those of the BOU.


Blog with #theBOUblog

If you want to write about your research in #theBOUblog, then please see here.

5 comments on “The benefits of blogging about your research

  1. Avatar Andy Mabbett says:

    It would also be sensible for those authors to include in their post their ORCID identifier, to uniquely identify them – Altmetrics cannot work if there is ambiguity of the identity of the author concerned.

    ORCID identifiers are for contributors to academic papers, journals, and other such publications (which could include county bird reports). It’s the equivalent for such people of an ISBN for a book, or a DOI for a paper.

    An ORCID enables us to determine that the Jim Smith who wrote paper A is the Jim Smith who wrote paper B, and James T. Smith who wrote paper C, but not the Jim Smith who wrote paper D. It also allows us to determine that Jim Smith-Jones is the same author, after a name
    change, say on marriage or divorce.

    An individual can create their ORCID – at https://orcid.org – free, and the process only takes a few seconds. The ORCID is then theirs for life, even if they change job or affiliation. They can also use the ORCID profile to display a list of papers, posts and other works they’ve authored.

    Organisations using ORCID already include Nature Publishing Group, Cambridge University Press, Wellcome Trust and Wikipedia/Wikidata (I lead the integration work on the latter pair). I’m told that BOU are considering including ORCIDs in ISIS, for the authors of papers.

    There is more information on the ORCID website.

    My ORCID is https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5882-6823

  2. Avatar BOU says:

    A good point Andy, authors should be encouraged to take up ORCID identifiers and Ibis does indeed use ORCID identifiers.

    I’m not sure you’re correct about altmetrics cannot work without ORCID, as altmetrics also use the URL links in any media articles, blog posts, tweets and other social media links to identify the article being linked to.

  3. Avatar Andy Mabbett says:

    Thanks – I wasn’t aware that Ibis had already started using ORCID. That is good news.

    But you’ve mis-quoted (or misunderstood) me; what I said was “Altmetrics cannot work if there is ambiguity of the identity of the author concerned”.

  4. Avatar Steve Dudley says:

    I’m not sure this is correct Andy, as altmetrics work at the article level not author level via links to online articles. Articles, not authors, are tracked and scored. I’ve not read anything suggesting otherwise so if you have a reference to support author tracking I’d be interested in it. Thanks.

  5. Avatar Andy Mabbett says:

    It’s incorrect to say that “altmetrics work at the article level not author level”. As the Wikipedia article on the subject [1] says: “Although altmetrics are often thought of as metrics about articles, they can be applied to people…” and “For example, Elsevier announced in a press release to be ‘increasingly looking at additional metrics, including so called Altmetrics, as a measure of influence of journals and authors'” (the latter citing [2]).

    See also:

    “Altmetrics will be taken personally at PLoS” [3] (“[Altmetrics’] goals can only be achieved if the metrics collected for scholarly works are connected to both creators and users of these works. In this paper I [Martin Fenner] propose that personalizing altmetrics is essential for every altmetrics project”)

    “Research impact: Altmetrics make their mark” [4] (“Some altmetrics services generate profiles that summarize the impact of a researcher’s products.”)

    [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altmetrics

    [2] https://www.marketwatch.com/story/elsevier-announces-2012-journal-impact-factor-highlights-2013-07-15

    [3] https://altmetrics.org/altmetrics12/fenner/

    [4] https://www.nature.com/naturejobs/science/articles/10.1038/nj7463-491a

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