Upon publication, many of my peers share their articles on Facebook, Twitter or their personal blog. I do not have an account for such tools (because I simply do not need them for other purposes). One of my peers approached me telling me that I "waste a lot of potential" to distribute my articles. Would you agree on that? Is it necessary to "promote" articles post-publication?

Background: my field is medicine, I publish 80% of my work in open-access journals. Balancing clinical work and research is tough, I fear that I have to spend a lot of additional time on such networks.

  • 7
    My Facebook friends sometimes post links to their articles. I do not read them because they are not remotely related to my field. Posting on Twitter or your blog may be more fruitful if (or when) you become a popular individual in your field Commented Oct 17, 2022 at 14:54

4 Answers 4


It depends on your goals.

If you are in the early stages of your career, then marketing your publications has real potential to improve your visibility with your colleagues and with that your career opportunities.

If your research has applications in the "real world", and you want your research to benefit people outside academia, then you need to reach policy makers, the general public, and/or businesses. In that case publishing even in open-access journals is nowhere near enough.

However, marketing your publications is less of a priority if you are happy with your current position and your research is mainly relevant to your discipline and others in your discipline take care of informing people outside academia.


Research and the subsequent writing of papers uses up a lot of time and resources. If by promoting your research after publication you increase visibility, readership and impact of your paper, it means a more effective use of those resources.

But choosing the right channels is key: professional and academic sites like LinkedIn or ResearchGate are probably a better place to promote your research to peers than Facebook, where your paper announcement might get lost between cousin Joe's wedding announcement and an ad.

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    The "best" place is the one where your community meets and where you personally have a network. Whether that is LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, WeChat, or something else probably depends on the circumstances. I'm pretty sure it's never RG, though ;)
    – xLeitix
    Commented Oct 17, 2022 at 15:18
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    @xLeitix I know many people aren't the biggest fans of RG, but in my field it is a good place to find new research.
    – Sursula
    Commented Oct 17, 2022 at 15:48
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    The way I read the OP's question is that it is primary about a trade-off. If time were free then marketing your papers will make it more effective. However, time is not free: a minute spent on marketing is a minute not spent on something else. If the minute spent on marketing would instead be spent on being a better clinician for her/his patients, or even relaxing so (s)he can better handle the stress of research and clinical work, then the trade-off becomes a lot more complex. Commented Oct 17, 2022 at 20:14
  • Thank you Marteen Buis, this is is exactly my question.
    – Dr.M
    Commented Oct 22, 2022 at 9:17

I had this question recently myself and ended up creating (separate) professional account for the simple reason that in the - non-representative - sample of peers I observed, those who had these accounts were more successful (in getting promoted, grants, etc.). I do not think this is because of their use of social media, I attribute it to their networking skills, which are obviously very important.

I spend about 5-10 minutes per week on this, so it is not too much time, and I have ran into several calls for papers, seminar flyers and other relevant information I may not have found in time otherwise.

I do recommend keeping your personal and professional life/accounts separate, though, if you have both (accounts, I mean).


It depends on your goals, but some sort of networking is pretty much needed, yes.

Most of the things published in journals are not some kind of scriptures to be etched in stone and left there for eternity. No, the entire point of publishing your results is communication. How "successful" you are by whatever metrics is not nearly as important as the fact you are not really advancing science if no one reads your research. Blogs can be questionable, too, but it still widens the outreach. Rubbing shoulders at conferences, giving interviews, just chatting with people helps your research to gain visibility and, ultimately, provide you with much-needed resources to continue and improve.

Doing full-scale public education about your work is even better, but can be incredibly taxing. And some people absolutely overdo self-promotion - as in, it starts being detestable from a fellow researcher perspective, but bureaucrats love it nevertheless. So all in all, it is not an easy task to balance it well, but you should try to find what works for you.

I would not necessarily say you are crippling yourself by not wearing a SMM hat in addition to all the other ones you have, but if your peers constantly find themselves ignorant about your research because you are absent from all the platforms they are getting their feed from, it is time to change it.

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