In a previous post we talked through the different channels and tactics Taylor & Francis use to market open access (OA) content. But what opportunities does OA create for reaching across disciplines, or to those outside academia?
Accessibility, inclusivity, visibility
Content that is open has the potential to be accessed anywhere and everywhere. It is inclusive and, as such, can be marketed as widely as possible via a variety of channels such as e-campaigns, social media, blogs, and video. This increased visibility often leads to increased usage, which in turn creates more opportunities for articles to be shared and cited. For example, in the year that Journal of Biological Dynamics converted to OA, it saw a 400% increase in usage and went on to receive its first impact factor last year. International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability has also seen the impact OA content can have on visibility and usage with ‘Sustainability and innovation in staple crop production in the US Midwest’. Following dedicated press and marketing campaigns, the article has amassed almost 42,000 downloads, achieved an Almetric score of 644, and prompted a response from another author.
Reaching beyond academia
For content that may be newsworthy or of interest to a wider, non-academic audience, eliminating any barriers gives it greater potential to reach the media. This article about floods and climate change was published OA in Hydrological Sciences Journal when the UK experienced unprecedented flooding, and was picked up by a number of news outlets, including The Guardian.
Furthermore, because OA content is permanently accessible, it has the potential to continue to be viewed, shared, cited and picked up by the press long after initial marketing campaigns have finished. For example, ‘Synchronizing education to adolescent biology: ‘let teens sleep, start school later’' was published online in Learning, Media & Technology in 2014, and received dedicated marketing via a press release and social media campaign. It was the most downloaded OA paper across all Taylor & Francis journals last year, and was picked up again by media outlets including The Guardian and the BBC early in 2016. This resurgence was supplemented by a dedicated e-campaign and social media promotion. The article now has more than 24,000 downloads and an Altmetric score of 474.
Open access can also benefit interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary research, creating more opportunities to reach an audience beyond a traditional subject field or across many, as in the case of one International Journal of Social Research Methodology article. The article, about sample sizes, has been shared many times on Twitter by researchers from a range of disciplines including, Sociology, Psychology, Sports Science, Health Science, and Media & Communications.
At Taylor & Francis, we encourage our authors to utilize their own networks in the promotion of their articles, and provide guidance for doing so. At the point of publication, OA authors also receive an email from our marketing team providing useful tips and guidance for self-promotion, and are encouraged to share links to their articles on social media and professional networking sites such as LinkedIn. The email even includes a suggested tweet they could post, which is then picked up and re-posted on @TandFOpen, our dedicated OA Twitter account.