UW Law Library Program on Increasing Scholarly Visibility Busts Myths about Marketing & Discoverability

Last week, our UW Law Librarians teamed up with our External Affairs team to put on a very well-received in-house program for our faculty and staff on Increasing Scholarly Visibility: Social Media & Discoverability.  It was the second of a two-part series on scholarly visibility.  Part one, which our librarians presented in July, covered scholarship distribution and author profiles.

In this latest session, the EA team discussed the use of Twitter to promote scholarship and offered some great tips and tricks.  Then our law librarians, Kris Turner and Liz Manriquez, discussed resources that our library offers to market faculty scholarship and gave suggestions for the improved discovery of their articles.  They presented them as a series of myths which they then thoroughly debunked.  Some of them are UW specific, but others are more broadly applicable:

  • Myth: The University of Wisconsin Legal Research Paper Series on SSRN is not the best way to distribute my paper
    • Fact: Works distributed by the library via the UW Legal Research Paper Series on SSRN reach thousands of email subscribers each month

  • Myth: Google Scholar and Google are the same
    • Fact: Google Scholar’s algorithm operates differently and is the basis for most researcher preference and behavior
  • Myth: SEO is a market strategy only appropriate for commerce
    • Fact: SEO is an important tool for scholars to improve the discoverability of their scholarship and research

  • Myth: Keywords aren’t an important part of your article
    • Fact: Keywords are THE most important part of your article in terms of search engine discovery
  • Myth: Punny & witty titles are best for legal articles
    • Fact: Titles should be brief, descriptive & front-loaded (most important keywords first)

  • Myth: The Law Library doesn’t have a social media presence
    • Fact: The UW Law Library has several social media channels, such as: Twitter: @UW_LawLibrary, Facebook: University of Wisconsin Law Library (student-focused), and WisBlawg, this regularly updated blog for legal scholars and practitioners
  • Myth: Creating a podcast takes a lot of time for little gain. Plus, I already recorded one. [This one refers to our Wisconsin Law in Action podcast in which our librarians interview UW Law faculty and staff about their latest scholarship.]
    • Fact: Recording a UW Law In Action Podcast is very simple – recording is finished in one hour. Repeat guests are welcome!

We had great faculty participation, especially for a summer program.  Our law school leadership and faculty are very supportive and engaged in maximizing scholarly impact, as expressed in this comment we received:  “I wanted to thank all of you for doing this.  You’ve been doing it for a long time and a lot of us didn’t know you’ve been doing it for a long time.  I think it’s actually quite important for people to know that these resources are out there for people to use.”