Nowadays it is almost as important to properly divulge your research as to actually make it. A paper’s real impact is certainly linked to the amount of people that read it, cite it and, in some cases, put it to use in the clinics/labs.
The whole purpose of research is to lead to changes according to new evidence, and that is only possible if the message is successfully delivered.
When writing a scientific article or content do not forget these important points:
- Know the audience – adapt the message to meet the readers’ curiosity and knowledge and choose the best vehicle (e.g. scientific journal, mainstream magazine, institution newsletter, governmental brief)
- Create a clean and concise message – ideally 3–5 key points that can be easily remembered and disseminated via social media
- Mind the keywords – whatever is in the title and abstract (and sometimes captions and highlights) will be instrumental for someone to reach your paper when performing a search
- Your name matters! – keep it constant and get a unique digital identifier
- Titles and captions are important – they should convey messages and not simply describe what is already visible
Aside from articles, make the most of meetings and conferences by avoiding the comfort of your usual crowd, and engaging with fellow colleagues from elsewhere. If you’re a presenting author, always create clean and simple posters, graphics and tables – do not underestimate the importance of white space!
It’s important to know and understand the different platforms that can be used to get your research known, such as those referred to as social media. Choose the one(s) more appropriate to your goal and see how your peers use them to convey their scientific messages.
Finally, remember that if you are passionate about your research you can make others feel it as well.
Publication date: 20 December 2019
Support: No support was received in the publication of this article.
About the author
João Breda received is currently an attending ophthalmologist at Centro Hospitalar São João, Porto, Portugal, working in the glaucoma department. Wanting to pursue a career in glaucoma, he became a European Glaucoma Society (EGS) Fellow, performing clinical duties and research under the supervision of Ingeborg Stalmans, in Leuven, Belgium. He also obtained an award as 2nd best in the European Board of Ophthalmology (EBO) exam in May 2019. He will soon defend his joint PhD between the University of Porto and KU Leuven; thesis entitled “The role of ocular blood flow in glaucoma”. Current research interests include clinical and translational research in the fields of glaucoma (ocular blood flow and surgery), ocular changes that arise from systemic diseases, big data and artificial intelligence, especially regarding imaging in glaucoma and personalized medicine via metabolomics. He is currently working in two research teams: Ophthalmology Unit, Surgery and Physiology Department, Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade do Porto, Portugal; and Research Group Ophthalmology, Neurosciences Department, KU Leuven, Belgium. He is the co-chair of two committees of the EGS (the European Union and the Communications Committees) and the national coordinator for Portuguese young ophthalmologists.