Academic SEO – Market (And Publish) or Perish

We held another Mendeley Open Office on Friday, November 26, 2010. Trying something new, we are now doing talks. And as promised, here is the talk I gave on increasing the visibility of your research. I’ve added speech bubbles to the slides to give some of them more context in case you were not here to listen to it live. I also added a little more information that wasn’t on a few of the slides on the actual evening. This was a Friday evening talk, with dozens of people happily enjoying beverages and mingling, so needed to be kept short.

One thing that is important to point out is that improving your career means marketing it, just like you would take a grant writing course to improve your odds of funding. Some people might look down on this; they’ll be the first to be left behind in a world where finding the needle in a haystack of millions of research articles is more and more dependent upon academic search engines such as Mendeley, Google Scholar, or PubMed. This is becoming known as ‘Academic SEO’ and is a variant of SEO or Search Engine Optimization. And just like regular SEO, there are expected methods you should be doing to get your content indexed. There are of course things that you shouldn’t do, and that’s where we need to start drawing the line and is a discussion for another time.

If you are having trouble reading some of the text, then click on the menu and ‘View Fullscreen’ option.

Jason Hoyt is Chief Scientist & VP of R&D at Mendeley. Where, among other projects, he oversees the indexing of content and the search/recommendation engines. Follow him on twitter @jasonHoyt

Are there too many PhDs?

Ever hear of Douglas Prasher? Probably not. He just missed out on this past year’s Nobel in chemistry. That’s not unusual, as many scientists never even come close to a Nobel. What is unusual, is that Dr. Prasher works at a car dealership, not in a lab. Despite doing the critical research on discovering GFP that became the work for last year’s Nobel Prize, he was unable to find grant money and a job to continue his work.

Prasher’s story is what concerns me with science, engineering, math, and technology. In the U.S., we are constantly hearing about how the country is falling behind in science. We need more scientists to fill all of those jobs we want to create. And the cure to that is to fund more PhD programs! Yet, when you ask graduate students and postdoctoral scholars what their individual experiences are, a science career is a very tough road with low pay and few career prospects. It’s such a tough path that an entire PhD comic strip was born to alleviate the situation with laughter. Why then, is there such a disconnect?

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