Module 9: Journal Visibility I: Promoting Your Journal


Promoting journals across and beyond the scholarly world (scientists, prospective authors, journalists and wider public) should be the goal of every journal editor. This unit gives an overview of the importance of promoting and making the content of a journal visible in a timely way, to potential readers and authors. This unit also examines a variety of ways to increase the visibility and discoverability of your journal, through traditional marketing activities and also looking at the use of libraries, the media, professional networks, and using social media as a publicity tool.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this unit, you will be able to:

  • Understand the importance of promoting journals
  • Know how to formulate strategies to increase the visibility of the journal, including the use of social media
  • Be able to develop and implement effective promotional activities


There were over 28,100 active indexed scholarly peer-reviewed journals in 2012, all together publishing about 1.9 million articles a year (the STM report 2012). With this huge – and growing – number of scientific articles published, it has become increasingly difficult to attract attention to new journals and to retain attention on smaller journals publishing in niche markets. Promoting journals across and beyond the scholarly world is therefore imperative to maximize the exposure and enhance the discoverability of your journal by scientists, academics and other readers.

As one of many thousands of journals, your journal needs to make efforts to ensure that readers and authors are aware of it. This is exacerbated in developing countries where there is a lack of indexing and a lack of awareness of national and regional journals (as researchers look abroad). This leads to low submissions and submission quality problems. It also leads to a lack of readership and citation – important articles not being found by readers, and low respect leading to researchers overlooking what is being published in regional journals.

Being discovered is at the heart of everything a journal publisher does. Highly visible content is used more and cited more, and increased brand familiarity leads to increased author submissions. The higher the number of submissions, the better the choice of what to include in the journal. The editor therefore can select better papers and raise the quality of the journal. The higher the quality of a journal article, the higher the likelihood of increased citation. The more citations there are to a paper, the more impact that paper, and that journal will have on research.


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