Kudos provides a platform which helps researchers to explain and share their work with a wider audience, and to measure the effect of this in terms of key metrics such as full text downloads and citations.
The Royal Society has been supporting Kudos’ development in order to help authors increase the reach and impact of their publications.
Here, Charlie Rapple (co-founder of Kudos) kicks off a series of posts explaining in more detail what Kudos is, and how it can benefit science.
Outreach: drivers and challenges
With over 1 million new research papers being published every year, it can be hard to make sure that your work is found and read by those who are most likely to read and apply it. There are also increasing pressures to broaden the audience for research – both by pursuing greater interdisciplinary collaboration, and by increasing public engagement. In pursuit of these goals, scientists are being encouraged to use many different communication services but often without good data to indicate which of these is proving to be most effective. Many metrics are available – views, clicks, bookmarks, mentions, shares, downloads, citations – but they exist in silos that aren’t easily integrated. So there are a number of challenges:
- How can you make your research stand out?
- Which communications channels can best help you in this endeavour?
- How can you determine the effectiveness of your efforts?
It is in this context that we set up Kudos. Our early conversations with scientists demonstrated that people felt they should do more outreach, but that they didn’t feel confident in using the available tools, and didn’t have time to spend getting to grips with multiple systems.
84% of scientists said they felt the visibility and usage of their publications could be improved, and felt this was primarily their responsibility.
A simple, proven solution
We therefore saw a need for a single, central system that scientists could use for outreach across all their publications, regardless of publisher; from which they could manage all their communications, regardless of their preferred communication channel or tool; and in which they could map the effect of this against a range of metrics, from multiple sources.
This is what we went on to develop! The Kudos system launched in May 2014, and since then nearly 50,000 researchers have signed up to use it. Unlike other platforms, the free toolkit allows authors to collect together their research papers but also to add additional information such as lay summaries, links to media and other supplementary materials. It provides a suite of tools for sharing this information via a range of channels, and then view the effect of that. In our pilot, publications that were explained and shared in Kudos had 19% higher daily downloads than publications in a control group for which Kudos was not used.
Try it for yourself
If you have 10 minutes now and would like to increase the reach and impact of something you have published, why not try it out? You can:
- sign up for free at www.growkudos.com
- find and ‘claim’ a publication
- explain your publication in plain language (what is it about? why is it important?)
- enrich it with links to related resources that help to set it in context (code, methods, data, slides, video, press coverage, blog postings, etc.)
- use the trackable links generated by the Kudos system to share it via your email, web and social networks
See the results
Our dashboards and graphs then enable you to see how your actions have affected views of your work – we bring together data including clicks on the links you share, views on the Kudos site, “Times Cited” counts from Web of Science(r), and data from Altmetric (which tracks mentions of your work in sources ranging from social media and Wikipedia, to government policy documents and newspapers).
Over the next few months, look out for more postings from the Royal Society Publishing team featuring some examples of how authors are successfully using Kudos to increase the visibility of their work. You may also hear about Kudos from your institution or from other publishers that you are working with. If you’d like to learn more right away, watch this video tutorial:
Charlie Rapple is the Sales and Marketing Director and co-founder of Kudos. Learn more about her, and the rest of the team, here.