Don’t post direct links to your new journal article!

This has become a pit of a pet peeve of mine, but I am getting increasing annoyed when colleagues announce new publications and only include a direct link to the (mostly) paywalled source.

Especially on social media I often roll my eyes when links start with ‘sciencedirect.com’, ‘tandfonline.com’ or ‘cambridge.org’. Your exciting new product deserves better!

For the majority of ‘members of the public’, i.e. ‘normal’ people on social media this will almost inevitably lead to the frustrating experience of being faced with a paywall; if they are lucky they can still read the abstract, but it still feels like missing out. I doubt that anybody would share your article further.


I am, in fact, an academic with access to many journal databases-and I still find the experience of following a link to the publishers website frustrating!

Most of the time I use social media on a mobile device-usually not connected to the university network which often enables direct access to the article through my IP address-so I end up at said paywall as well.

Even if I have access to the full article I am faced with the comprehensive 19 page or so pdf file that may get saved to a folder on my computer (a.k.a. pdf graveyard)-or not. At this particular point in time I am probably not interested in your (full) paper yet anyway.

Create a simple landing page for your articles and academic work!

Usually a simple blog post with the abstract of the article, but also key findings, is a great start. Blog posts I can read and share!
The blog post also contains a LINK to the pre-print platform of your choice (Academia, ResearchGate etc.) or the option to download the pre-print directly from your website. THEN there is also a LINK to the journal’s homepage where I can download the full paper.


In my experience even a little effort goes a long way-imagine the one journalist who comes across your blog post or the curated link review that takes up your article because it can be read and shared relatively freely.

Academic colleagues and students should be able to find your article through Google Scholar and their libraries, but do take some minutes and create a window into your great research and important findings! 

Also, if you promote your article on Twitter and other networks your teasers should generate enough interest so readers click on the link, get hooked by the stuff they read in the blog post, download your paper-and cite away ;)!

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