Looking back on the past year, can you believe all of the things you and your editorial team managed to accomplish at your journal?

Cheers to you for making it through another year of glorious academic publishing madness! We hope you have the opportunity to take a much-needed break this winter season. Of course, if you’re like most editors, you’ll probably be anxiously planning for the next editorial calendar during your time off. But have you made any publishing-related New Year’s resolutions? The new year is a blank slate (or should I say screen?) of digital opportunity, just waiting for your journal to make its newest mark! How will you resolve to amp up your publishing efforts next year?

Here are 5 suggestions to get you started:

1. Get Social!

Think of the last academic conference you attended. How many people had their cell phones out during and in between sessions? Likely A LOT, and more likely than not the majority of those people were participating in conference related discussions on social media. Twitter, especially, is becoming a hub for conversation about scholarly events, news, and publications. For academic journal editors, Twitter and other social channels including Google+ and LinkedIn offer opportunities to connect with other editors and academics and promote new journal articles.

If you’ve been holding out on social media because it seems like too much of an extra hassle, you may want to reconsider in the New Year. Why embrace social media next year? In addition to being a free and easy way to promote new articles, using social media will help you:

  • Generate awareness among early-career researchers and display that your publication is staying ahead of the curve, by becoming more active online
  • Help authors create better articles, by sharing and commenting on what’s new and trending in your journal’s discipline
  • Boost your journal’s altmetrics, which will naturally occur as followers begin sharing and commenting on your posts

If you’re already using social media, consider how you can take your efforts to the next level. This May we rounded up “7 Examples of Great Journal Promotion.” Check it out to get inspiration from other journals!

2. Make Way for Mobile and Tablet!

For early-career-researchers mobile and tablet devices are becoming more than just a place to send messages and scan social media. Many academics are now using their smartphones, iPads, and similar devices to surf the web and scan articles, including academic papers.

Is your journal website mobile and tablet ready?

If not, the new year is a great time to start thinking about adopting a responsive web design. You may even find yourself revamping your journal’s website content and layout in the process. Here are some additional tips to help!

3. Make metrics a part of your day-to-day

Article-Level Metrics (ALMs) can serve as great tools to help publishers and researchers see how and where people are accessing journal content and which articles are generating the most interest. This year, if you’re not already, start exploring ALM tracking and ways to share data with your authors as an added value to them.

Some ALMs to consider tracking include:

  • Article click-through rates
  • Average time on page
  • Number of social shares
  • Number of blog mentions
  • Reader demographics

If you’re a smaller journal you may not have the budget for ALM tracking software, but that doesn’t mean you can’t track ALMs on your own. Google Analytics is a free tool to get you started. You can connect your journal website to Google Analytics and see the number of visitors to your site per day, the number of clicks and pageviews on PDFs of articles, and much more.

Also, don’t forget the impact benefits library repositories have to offer! In addition to ensuring the accessibility and preservation of journal content, many library repositories also offer closed-loop usage statistics to editors and authors.

4. Assess Your Digital Work Space

In addition to resolving to advance your journal’s outward digital presence this year, remember to gaze inward as well. Take the time to clean out old files, archive back emails, and assess your peer review and publishing experience overall. If you’re managing your journal sans software and you find that your submissions are starting to pick up, it may be a good time to reconsider whether journal management software is right for you. Are you spending more time sending general correspondence emails and organizing publishing schedule spreadsheets than you’d like? Are you struggling to keep your articles properly sorted and to quickly find the ones you need? Do you wish you had an easy way to access stats about your journal, like average time to decision and acceptance rate? Journal management software, like Scholastica, can help alleviate these concerns and others saving you valuable time.

If you’re already using software, ask yourself - is this the best solution for me? If you’re spending more time than you’d like fielding technical inquiries from authors and editors because you haven’t been given adequate customer support, trying to figure out how to rearrange journal configurations, or waiting on someone else to update your platform with add-ons it may be time to revisit your options.

5. Embrace Your Greater Editorial Community

One of the best ways to boost your editorial efforts this year is to start talking with editors at other journals more often. Interacting with other editors on social media and online forums is a great way to stay connected and on top of upcoming events.

Two editor-specific conferences to consider are the International Society of Managing and Technical Editors’ (ISMTE) annual North American and European conferences. The conferences are open to non-members and offer a variety of panels and vendor exhibits to explore. ISMTE also hosts local meetups in different cities, which can be found on their website and are announced regularly on social media.

How will you resolve to help make your academic journal even better this year? The digital frontier offers endless possibilities to explore. Just think of all of the awesome initiatives you’ll be able to look back on this time next year!

Danielle Padula

This post was written by Danielle Padula,
Community Development