If you publish a paper, but nobody reads it, does it make a difference?

Get your work noticed! Adding your publications to your profile helps get your work found. More and more often, people aren’t looking to journal table of contents or library catalogs when they search for research. They’re watching what their friends and colleagues bookmark on social networks or add to groups on Mendeley, and they’re searching Google Scholar. In order to get your work noticed, you need to be present where people are looking. There are a few ways you can do this, but like many things, just showing up counts for more than you would think. Simply having an account and connecting to your colleagues online can position you to get found more often, but also to find more interesting things you wouldn’t have noticed otherwise. With hundreds of papers being published in my field every week, I couldn’t keep up using a pure search strategy.

Here’s one simple way in which Mendeley enables you to get more visibility for your work. Click on “My Account” and select “Edit My Profile”. You’ll see on the right of the page an option to embed your profile. This allows you to get a snippet of code that will display your profile info on any site where you can post HTML, such as a personal blog. You can see an example of what it looks like here. I’ve got my publications embedded by way of a public group, separate from my profile, but you may want to include them, and you can customize the settings when you select the embed code.

You’ll see a preview of it when you customize your own, here’s how mine looks:


You’ll probably want to play with the width and height settings to make it fit the area in which it’s displayed. Most blog themes have a central area that’s about 600px, and sidebars of 100-200px. You can also choose if you’d like scrollbars or not, by setting the height. For reference, mine above is 550w x 750h.

5 thoughts on “If you publish a paper, but nobody reads it, does it make a difference?

  1. I must be old fashioned-TOC alert emails, Web of Science and reference lists in papers are quite effective for me. Someone has to read journals to find papers at some point don’t they?

  2. I haven’t read a journal, online or in print, in years, but I read plenty of papers. Search is my interface, not the journal.

  3. The embed profile is quite interesting. As I build my profile, I will consider embedding it in my website. What I’m really interested in is the ability to embed reference lists generated by a collaborative group. Is there a way to perform this task? I’ve seen mention of such a capability, but haven’t seen how to do it.


  4. Oh dear, I just found where to embed a group. It is a rather small button on the overview tab of the group page. Please disregard my last comment. However, it might be useful to users to make this function easier to find. Still a wonderful product.


  5. Nice post, nice title, and useful feature. One thing, though: for your institutional webpage, you would want google scholar to crawl your publications. This is not possible if you use dynamic embedding. Therefore I would recommend to maintain a separate static list.
    It would be nice to have a HTML export function for publications (which could also link to your mendeley profile badge).

Comments are closed.