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Promoting your published work

Publication should be the start of the next important phase in communicating your research: promoting your paper.

Why is it important to promote your work?

The true value and impact of your paper can be greatly enhanced by promotion. The more people who read and benefit from your research, the more valuable your paper becomes and the greater your esteem as an author.

Is promotion carried out by the publisher?

Many publishers will go to great lengths to raise awareness of your paper. For example, IOP journals have a number of initiatives to promote papers including press releases, coverage on their community and journal websites, video abstracts, LabTalks and Insights, Highlights, e-mails to authors' peers, and so on. However, not all papers can receive the full attention they deserve and the best experts for promoting the paper are the authors.

How you can promote your own work

There are many ways you can ensure that your work does not get overlooked. Here are some of the key methods.

Use your network and let colleagues and peers know that you have published a paper

Contact your institution's press office for advice about promoting your paper to the media

Use social media to promote your work through blogging or other outlets like Facebook or Twitter

When speaking at conferences or seminars be sure to mention your publication

Highlight your paper on your research group website

Pitching your work at the right level

Consider who your audience is. For an audience of experts it is useful to go into specific aspects of your work. If your audience is more general, then keep it at an introductory level. Avoid the use of jargon and try to communicate the benefits and applications of your research. Often the use of images can make your work more appealing to a general readership.

Measuring the success of your paper

There is no definitive way to evaluate the success of a paper. Often metrics such as how frequently a paper has been downloaded or cited are an indicator. Typically, though, it takes time for the value of a paper to be realized. Just remember that a paper that has been promoted will reach a larger audience than one that has not.

Total electric field distribution for a perfect electric conducting cylinder covered by a simplified cloak coming from a third-order polynomial coordinate transformation

Total electric field distribution for a perfect electric conducting cylinder covered by a simplified cloak coming from a third-order polynomial coordinate transformation L Peng, L Ran and N A Mortensen 2011 J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. 44 135101.

Copyright and ethical integrity

Copyright and licence agreement


Copyright is a way to protect an original idea expressed in a physical medium. It gives the holder the right to govern the reproduction, distribution and communication of the work, both in print and electronically, to others.

Transfer of copyright helps a publisher make papers more widely accessible across different media and hence ensures that the research gains global exposure. Usually an agreement to transfer copyright from author to publisher is signed before publication.


To use copyright-protected material, generally you must obtain the written permission of the author and the publisher concerned before incorporating the work in your paper.

Licence agreements

Some journals or publishers may not require the transfer of copyright in order to publish your article. In this case the work will usually be published under a licence agreement. A very wide variety of licences exists and authors may need to carefully read the specific conditions put on the redistribution of their work.

Ethical integrity

Ethical integrity is an essential part of scientific publishing. There are basic guidelines that all authors should adhere to.

Redundant publication

Submitting the same paper to more than one journal concurrently, or duplicating a publication, is unethical and unacceptable.

Fraudulent behaviour

Data should not be fabricated, falsified or misrepresented, and should be the author's own work.


Plagiarism constitutes unethical scientific behaviour and is never acceptable. Plagiarism ranges from the unreferenced use of others' ideas to submission of a complete paper under 'new' authorship. 'Self-plagiarism' is the production of many papers with almost the same content by the same authors. Therefore all sources should be disclosed and permission sought for reproduction of large amounts of material. Note that many publishers now take measures to detect plagiarism, such as using CrossCheck.


Authors should ensure that all those who have made a significant contribution are given the opportunity to be listed as authors. Other individuals who have contributed to the study should be acknowledged. All the authors should have seen the paper and had a chance to make amendments to it, and agreed to its submission.


Authors should acknowledge the work of others used in their research and cite publications that have influenced the direction and course of their study.

Conflicts of interest

Any potential conflicts of interest should be disclosed to the editors. These include personal, academic, political, financial and commercial gains.