Promoting your paper
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
- Media and journalists
- Subject collections
- Other ways to increase your paper’s visibility
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:
Like all Company of Biologists’ journals, we are present on the popular social media sites Twitter and Facebook. The Company of Biologists is also on Twitter. 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.
As part of ongoing engagement with a growing Chinese audience, The Company of Biologists’ WeChat account, 生物学界CompanyofBiologists, shares the latest research, interviews, company news and much more.
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 at the ‘View Metrics’ link found in standard article view, or under the ‘Related & metrics’ tab under split-screen view..
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.
- If you have a WeChat account, follow The Company of Biologists’ WeChat account, 生物学界CompanyofBiologists. Every week we publish research, interviews, information about our scientific meetings and charitable work, as well as publishing tips.
- Share our articles in your own networks and groups to help increase the dissemination of research to our growing Chinese audience.
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.
Tweet your tree
If your paper was published in Journal of Experimental Biology in or after January 2023, a new tree representing your paper will be planted in the Young People’s Forest at Mead in Derbyshire, UK, with support from the Woodland Trust. These newly planted trees will become part of The Forest of Biologists, an ambitious biodiversity project to create woodland habitats in the UK and counteract diversity loss. Representations of these trees also appear in our virtual forest; a ‘leaves’ icon on the article will allow readers to click through to view individual trees.
We encourage you to ‘tweet your tree’ (you will be provided with a tweetable link upon publication) and share it on social media using #forestofbiologists.
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 microscopy, please consider writing a post for our microscopy community site FocalPlane – hosted by our sister journal Journal of Cell Science. If your work is of relevance to the field of developmental biology, stem cells or regeneration, please consider writing a post for our sister journal Development's community blog the Node. FocalPlane and the Node are ideal places to promote your research within the microscopy and developmental biology communities, respectively. All FocalPlane and the Node posts are also promoted on their respective Twitter, Facebook and Instagram 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.
What we do:
Our journals create several subject collections (sometimes called Article Series, Minifocus or Special Issue) every year, collating recent papers and reviews focusing on a same underlying theme. Some subject collections are available both online and in print. Journals will promote their subject collections online, and physical copies are often available at The Company of Biologists’ stand at relevant conferences.
What you can do:
If your paper has been included in a subject collection, please share the link on your social media accounts and let your colleagues know. If you are at a conference where The Company of Biologists’ stand is present, please encourage your colleagues to collect their copy of our subject collections.
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).