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Research Impact: Make your research discoverable

Get strategies to increase the reach of your work and measure your research impact

“Invisible research is, by definition, low-impact.” (Lawrence, 2011)

Ensuring your research is findable by other researchers, the general public, and practitioners is an important step in increasing your research impact. Here are some simple tips for encouraging readers to go past the abstract or blurb, and improving metadata to improve search engine ranking.

What is metadata?

Metadata is used to describe a research output, making it easier to find and use. For example, metadata may include a title, author, file format, date published, subject keywords, or an explanation of how data was collected.


Your ORCID ID is a unique researcher identifier which links all your research activities and outputs. It reaches across disciplines, research sectors, and national boundaries, and is a hub that connects researchers and research through the embedding of ORCID identifiers in research profile maintenance, manuscript submissions, grant applications, and patent applications. [Read more about ORCID].

Connect Your ORCID ID to your IRMA record to ensure two-way traffic between the systems.

Once you have an ORCID ID, make sure you include it where possible in online profiles, signatures, public web pages, and when submitting publications to ORCID-compliant publishers. This will make sure that your ORCID ID will be permanently included in the metadata of the articles.


Journal articles

Make your articles easy to find and access in Google Scholar and research databases by writing effective titles and abstracts.

Effective titles:
  • are short
  • use a phrase not a complete sentence
  • are straightforward and honest
  • use smart keywords that reflect how people are likely to search for your paper. Tools such as Google Trends may be helpful in identifying search trends around topics.
Effective abstracts:
  • are clear, accurate, and convey content
  • use synonyms to include multiple keywords where possible
  • consider readers from non-English speaking backgrounds.
Author keywords

Use as many relevant author-provided keywords as possible, considering the general and specialised vocabulary your audience is likely to use. Make sure you include variations of language, and phrasing, and consider commonly used acronyms (within editorial guidelines).

Contact the Research Portfolio for advice on the correct primary affiliations for your discipline.



A diverse range of factors contribute to book discoverability such as title, cover artwork, metadata and keywords, and eBook platforms. These aspects are often determined by the publisher with the amount of input allowed by the author varying between publishers.

For example, some publishers are producing DOIs for individual book chapters, and this greatly enhances the ability to promote, share (and track) monograph content.


Make supplemental material available

Submit supplemental material such as tables, datasets, filesets, presentations, video and audio files with your work. Including supplemental material with your article makes it more discoverable.

Research Data

High quality metadata is essential not only for making research data discoverable, but for allowing others to understand and re-use it. The Library’s Research Data team has advice about the best practices to use in data description.

You can use repositories (such as Figshare and other options) to make your data available, and it will be discoverable separately to your article by search engines. Some publishers have recommended repositories or specify where a researcher should deposit data.

Increase visibility of research data by using services like Research Data Australia or data journals (journals that publish articles describing datasets, databases, software, or models).


Websites and blogs

Link to your article once it’s published from your personal webpage, blog, social networking sites, and from your University of Sydney academic profile. This will help to make it more discoverable on search engines.

If you have a personal website or blog you can improve its ranking in search engine results by considering elements such as:

  • keywords in body content
  • keywords in title tags, meta tags, and heading tags
  • including links to external websites about similar topics


Read more

Jamali, H. R., & Nikzad, M. (2011). Article title type and its relation with the number of downloads and citations. Scientometrics, 88(2), 653-61.

Killoran, J. B. (2013). How to use search engine optimization techniques to increase website visibility. IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, 56(1), 50-66.

Lawrence, M. (2011, June). Current thinking in assessing impact, and innovative engagement. Panel conducted at Investigating Academic Impact conference, London, UK.

Mack, C. (2012). How to write a good scientific paper: title, abstract, and keywords. Journal of micro/nanolithography, mems, and moems, 11(2), 020101-020101.

Marks, T., & Le, A. (2017). Increasing article findability online: The four Cs of search engine optimization. Law Library Journal, 109(1), 83-99.

Sugimoto, C.R., & Lariviere, V. (2018). Measuring research: What everyone needs to know. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

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