Whether you’re on the editorial board of an up-and-coming academic journal or an established publication, your team should always be thinking about opportunities for journal promotion. As the ease of digital publishing continues to foster an increased number of journals in the marketplace, it’s imperative for editors to work to attract the readership and submissions needed to develop and maintain their journal’s reputation.
We’ve written about the importance of journal promotion in the past, particularly for newer journals or those not affiliated with a publisher. But, the benefits of promotion aside, your editorial team may be wondering - what does great journal promotion look like?
Below we round up 7 examples of effective journal promotion that we’ve seen. Here’s how journals across disciplines are using social media, innovative web design, content, and events to raise awareness of their newest articles and issues.
When it comes to promoting your journal on social media, keep in mind wise advice many of us were given in our early tween years - “it’s not all about you.” Whether you’re active on Twitter, Facebook, or both, your journal should remember to keep its social media channels social. Don’t just talk at followers about your journal; engage in conversations and share relevant outside content of general interest to your reader base.
Two examples of journals successfully using Twitter and Facebook, which both happen to be of sociology publications, are The Sociological Review and Sociological Science. Along with offering a great mix of journal-specific and general interest content to their Facebook and Twitter followers in well-paced intervals, both journals display outside engagement in the forms of re-tweets, likes, shares, and comments. The Sociological Review even started a wide-spread discussion around the Twitter hashtag #sociologicaldesk asking followers to share pictures of what their sociological desk looks like. Sparking such hashtag discussions can help journals engage with their followers and show their quirky side. Both journals also keep their Twitter and Facebook posts short, leaving room for followers to comment or re-share them with their own ideas.
If you want to draw attention to your journal articles and increase readership, one of the best places to start is writing short-form articles about your journal’s content or relevant topics to pique readers’ curiosity. University of Pennsylvania Press journal The Journal of the History of Ideas is doing just that via the recently launched JHI Blog, which offers a wide-ranging window into the field of intellectual history. Run by three graduate student editors, the blog is well organized with a lengthy index of contributors, who keep content flowing and diversified. The editors also have a clear call for guest submissions, giving JHI authors and readers an opportunity to join the dialogue. The blog’s list of recent posts and post tags makes it easy for first-time visitors to scan for topics that interest them, and social media buttons give readers a quick way to share content with friends and colleagues.
If you use LinkedIn, you’re likely a member of at least one group. Joining groups is a great way to draw interesting content to your LinkedIn feed, stay in touch with colleagues, and make new connections. In addition to contributing to group discussions, editors at the Journal of Applied Bioanalysis are taking their LinkedIn activity even further by cultivating a group around their journal. The JAB group page already has 42 members and is using discussions and promotions to keep them engaged.
As interesting as they are, on their own academic journal articles aren’t always highly entertaining. However, journals can spice up their reader experience by presenting their content in a dynamic way. Open access journal Hybrid Pedagogy presents its content to readers via a user-friendly website that encourages interaction. Hybrid Pedagogy makes its articles the focal point of the journal website with a scrolling selection of recent articles, a list of clickable topic tags for readers to choose from on the homepage, and even an opportunity for readers to stumble upon an interesting article by clicking a “Random Article” button in the journal’s sidebar. The journal also has accessible social media buttons for content sharing and an RSS feed and email subscription option, to make it easy for readers to stay on top of new articles.
Rather than limiting journal content to text only, why not give readers the opportunity to hear what the authors of your journal’s articles have to say? The Journal of American History brings discussions in its field to life via monthly podcasts, which readers can subscribe to via RSS reader or iTunes and have auotomatically downloaded to their computer or mobile device.
In addition to online promotion, there’s nothing like in-person events to raise awareness of your journal. Scientia, an undergraduate student-run journal at University of Notre Dame, runs three seminars each semester called Talk Science. During Talk Science the journal brings together students and faculty to present and discuss their research in an informal setting. The seminars are open to all students and faculty at the university, giving the academic community an opportunity to learn about and engage with the journal.
Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, whose managing editor Deborah Bowman shared promotion strategies with us, also brings the topics of its journal articles to life via video. The journal has a section for article videos, where authors can submit live demonstrations of the procedures they describe in their articles, and GIE’s editors organize video interviews with authors about their new articles. The journal also incorporates QR codes in its print issues, so that print readers can scan the code with their phones and view digital article components.