What we do and how you can help
Here we list a variety of ways in which The Company of Biologists’ journals play an active role in increasing the visibility of their papers, and we suggest ways in which you can help your paper reach a wider audience.
Social media and networking websites are becoming more widely used and increasing numbers of scientists use them as a source of information.
What we do:
All Company of Biologists’ journals are present on the popular social media sites Twitter and Facebook (See our Twitter account here and our Facebook page here). The Company of Biologists is also on Twitter (see here). The editorial team of each journal will highlight a selection of papers and reviews from each issue on our social media accounts.
The Company of Biologists also has a YouTube channel, where selected supplementary videos and other content from each issue is highlighted.
All articles published by The Company of Biologists’ journals include an Altmetric score that reflects their impact online. You can find the online impact of your paper by clicking the Altmetrics logo in the ‘Info and Metrics’ tab on your article page.
What you can do:
Twitter and Facebook
- If you use social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook you can retweet/like/share posts from our journals’ accounts that mention your work.
- Please also tweet and share from your own accounts. If you do so, remember to include a link to the paper and the journal twitter handle (so that we can share it with our followers). If you are presenting your work at a conference you can also tweet a link to the paper with the conference hashtag.
- If supplementary material from your paper has been included on our YouTube channel, please share it on your social media accounts and feel free to embed it in your lab’s website.
- If you have created a video abstract of your paper, or would like to do so, contact the editorial team of the relevant journal for inclusion in our YouTube channel and journal website.
Other professional networking sites
- If you have a profile in professional networking sites such as LinkedIn, Research Gate or Academia.edu, please update your publication list and include a link to your paper.
We encourage you to blog about your work, as it allows you to discuss your research in a more informal manner, outside the format and length restrictions of a paper. If you blog about your work:
- Remember to include a link to the paper.
- Only publish your post once the paper is available online and respecting any embargoes in place (see ‘Media and journalists’ section below).
- Let the editorial team of the relevant journal know about your post – they can help spread the word by promoting your post on their social media accounts. If your work is of relevance to the field of developmental biology, stem cells or regeneration, please consider writing a post for our community blog the Node. As a community blog you don’t have to ask for permission to post – you can simply create an account. With over 5000 visitors every month, the Node is the ideal place to promote your research within the developmental biology community. All Node posts are also promoted via the Node’s Twitter and Facebook accounts.
Media and journalists
Journalists generally find out about research of interest to the wider public by reading press releases from journals and institutes, which are received directly by email or via a protected website called EurekAlert! A press release includes a short summary of the research, why it is interesting, and contact details. It also includes an embargo date and time, i.e. the date and time after which the journalists are allowed to make the news piece widely available, and which corresponds to the paper’s release date.
What we do:
The editorial teams at The Company of Biologists’ journals may select specific papers that they feel are appropriate for press releases. Press releases are sent under embargo to our list of press contacts approximately 2-6 days before the embargo date. A small number are also made available under embargo on EurekAlert! You can check the exact embargo date and time of your paper by contacting the relevant journal team. If your article has been posted on a preprint server, in whole or in part, you will need to notify the journal because different embargo conditions may apply.
If your paper has been selected for a press release, you will be contacted by the journal so that all the information in the press release is approved by you, including images/videos and their copyright. The journal will also alert you to the possibility that journalists might contact you.
What you can do:
Institutes and universities often have a communications/press office team who may want to highlight your paper in their own press release or news item. If this is the case then please ask the press office at your institute to contact the journal. We can make sure that your office has access to the latest version of the paper and is aware of the embargo date, and we can help promote their piece on our social media channels. You may also wish to inform your press office if the journal editorial team decides to write a press release on your work.
Following a press release you might be contacted by journalists to talk about your work. The Company of Biologists’ press releases specify the journal’s editorial team as the first point of contact, who will then pass on your email address to interested journalists (this information is also available on our press site). Please let your journal’s editorial team know if you will be unavailable during the embargo period: journalists very rarely write a news piece if they cannot contact the researchers behind the work, so alternative arrangements might be necessary.
If you are contacted by journalists:
- Don’t feel pressured to talk to them immediately. You can ask a journalist to call you back a little later to give you a chance to prepare.
- Prepare in advance: write down your key messages and keep your notes handy.
- Keep a key, simple message in mind: what was the scientific question and what did you discover? Choose three main points that you would like to get across and focus on these.
- Have useful statistics handy: journalists love numbers that they can quote.
- Make sure that the journalist is aware of the embargo date, and remind them that they should cite and link to your paper.
- If you are asked for a copy of the article, please direct them to the journal’s editorial team, who will be able to provide the latest version directly or via our press site.
Other ways to increase your paper’s visibility
Remember to update your publication list on your lab and departmental website, and include a link to the paper. If one of your supplementary videos has been included in our YouTube channel, you can embed the video on your website. Institutes and departments often have a news section on their website, so you can encourage your press office to include your paper in their news section (please remember that they must also follow the embargo restrictions).
If you deposited your data in a depository (or your manuscript in a preprint repository such as BioRxiv), update your entry with a link to the final published paper.