Websites have to be search engine friendly and easily accessible for crawling and indexing. The process of making the website or blog search engine friendly is called as search engine optimization (SEO). All webmasters are familiar with the term SEO. However for researchers and academician SEO may not be a familiar term. I was unaware about use of SEO in academics, and always ignored it while writing research publication until recently. I will introduce you to the concept of academic search engine optimization.
“Academic search engine optimization (ASEO) is the creation, publication, and modification of scholarly literature in a way that makes it easier for academic search engines to both crawl it and index it.”
Unlike website SEO, ASEO is different in following ways; One of the major player in the search engine market is google in many countries, so it is sufficient to optimize your website for google. However this is not true for scholarly article search, a researcher has to optimize his article for several search engines to name a few pubmed, google scholar, SciPlore.org etc. Second, a webmaster can alter the webpage by adding or deleting keywords, links and employ other tactics that suits the ranking algorithm. However for scholarly authors once the article is published that’s the end and therefore any sought of SEO has to be performed before submitting to the editorial for review. Other major difference is that most of the academic search engines do not index a document’s full text but instead index only the title and abstract. Hence the title and abstract of the research article is of utmost importance.
How do you optimize your research article for academic search engines?
Choosing target keyword:
First you should be sure about the most relevant keyword for your article. Next is checking the competition for this keyword term in google. There are tools that help in selecting the right keywords, such as Google Trends, Google Insights, Google keyword. It is wise to choose a keyword that is less competitive. Further it is advisable to search various academic search engine with the keyword of your interest. If the search returns hundred of document then you are dealing with highly competitive keyword, so select a keyword with less competition.
Writing the article keeping the keyword in Mind:
When you write an article you should use the keyword in title, abstract and body of the text. However you should not mention the keyword so often out of context, this would annoy the readers. It is also a good idea to use variant forms of the keyword as well as Synonyms of important keywords, so that the article can be found by someone who does not know the most common terminology used in the research field. Keyword text embedded in raster graphics (*.bmp, *.png, *.gif, *.tif, *.jpg) are not indexed by search engines . This is true for figure legends, figures and tables submitted in the above mentioned electronic form. However text in vector graphics are indexed.
ASEO approach can help academic search engines understand and index the content of research papers easily and make the content available to readers. No doubt the content of a research article is what determines the impact, in addition ASEO could help in increasing the visibility.
>>continue reading: Who is citing whom; A comparison of popular citation tracking tools.