This document details the marketing strategies that can help promote a journal. Whilst these will certainly help to raise awareness, personal advocacy from both yourself and the Editorial Board is usually the best advertisement for the journal.
Before initiating any marketing plan or activity you need to set out what the journal's strengths and opportunities are and what the journal's weaknesses are in relation to its competitors.
All iMedPub Journals have certain strengths:
- Open or hybrid access. Free and permanent access without barriers offers the potential for high visibility and higher downloads and citations. Authors can retain the copyright to their article allowing third parties to freely reuse and distribute if correctly attributed.
- Rapid publication Online submission, peer review and production makes the publishing process simple and efficient. In addition, all articles are published immediately on acceptance.
- High visibility Open access ensures maximum exposure for an author’s work.
- Permanent archiving. Articles are indexed in major bibliographic indexes.
- No space constraints. Publishing online means unlimited space for figures, extensive data and video footage.
- Access tracking. Authors have access to information about the number of times people view or download their article, and can track the progress of their manuscript pre- and post-publication.
- Institutional payment of article-processing charges (APCs). iMedPub Journals membership removes cost of publication from individual authors. Funding agencies, such as the Howard Hughes Medical Institution and the Wellcome Trust now offer to pay APCs and support open access publishing.
- No additional charges. No extra charges for colour figures or supplementary material.
- Publicity. iMedPub regularly press releases articles from specialist titles, providing increased visibility for research and its authors.
Some journals have their own particular features and strengths, for example:
- Editorial Board. Be aware of the size and skills of your Editorial Board. Particularly key people can draw potential authors to the journal.
- Impact Factor.
- Inclusion in subject specific indexing services.
- Particularly fast peer review.
You also need to define your target audience of authors and then think about how best to reach them. Your target audience will typically be individuals in your field who are actively carrying out research and will include your Editorial Board, delegates at the conferences and meetings you attend, colleagues, your society and scientists viewing the websites you visit.
Types of marketing activity
The following sections focus on marketing activities that we recommend you use either in collaboration with the iMedPub marketing team or independently, with the help of your Editorial Board members:
High visibility is critical when launching a journal; when starting the journals, iMedPub will have worked with you on a number of launch call-for-papers emails. Once the launch campaign is complete, iMedPub will continue to arrange quarterly call for paper mailings for every journal. Each mailing is targeted to iMedPub registrants, highlighting a different key strength of the journal every quarter.
In addition to the scheduled quarterly mailings, the iMedPub marketing team are happy to work with you to send other additional mailings where appropriate. Please let us know if you would like us to assist you with sending a mailing. Things to consider when deciding to send a mailing include:
- Has the journal published a significant number of articles recently? Promoting a journal with little or no recent content can do more harm than good.
- Is there a particular article you wish to highlight?
- Have you recently sent a mailing? Sending too many mailings can be counterproductive.
- If sources of funding are available, we may be able to purchase lists of email recipients on the basis of key attributes – for example membership of a society, or subscribers or authors from a competitor journal.
- Lists of names may become available as part of a co-marketing exchange with a society, journal or conference.
Using iMedPub's marketing team
In addition to the quarterly mailings, iMedPub's marketing team has a programme of call-for-papers email campaigns, focusing on particular journals within the portfolio at any one time. You may be invited to contribute to a range of email call for papers, which may include:
- Article mailings - focusing on a recent article in a particular area of interest. These are sent to externally bought lists and are highly targeted to ensure that the articles will be of interest to recipients. These emails are best used to attract submissions in a specific subject area.
- Special occasion mailings -these are sent if, for example the journal, or an article published in it, receive some accolade or award, providing a special reason to contact potential authors and readers.
- Competitor mailings: promote the journal to authors who have published in competitor titles. Given your understanding of the market, you are probably already aware which journals you are competing with.
PDFs of the journal's poster and leaflet are kept on the 'advocacy' webpage to encourage promotion of the journal. We suggest that you use the leaflet and posters to promote the journal in the following ways:
- Put up posters and place leaflets in your department, lab, library and other public places.
- Place leaflets on poster boards and display tables at conferences and meetings.
- Hand them out to contacts at conferences and meetings.
- Email a PDF copy to all the Editorial Board and encourage them to put up posters in their departments, and hand out to colleagues.
We can also produce postcards in addition to the posters and leaflets for some journals: please contact us if you would like further information.
Promote the journal yourself at conferences
We encourage you to market the journal at conferences you and/or your colleagues attend. You can do this in a number of ways:
- Suggest co-marketing exchanges with societies and conferences.
- Attend conferences and place marketing material on display tables and poster boards.
- Organize a presentation about the journal and/or open access at the conference.
- Set up meetings with individuals or groups of researchers to discuss the benefits of publishing in the journal
- If you are presenting at a conference, we can provide you with a promotional slide tailored to the journal to display at the end of your presentation.
Conferences are also an excellent opportunity to get your Editorial Board together for a meeting or dinner to discuss the journal's progress.
There are a number of different web advertising options available:
- Banner adverts. We can produce a 'banner advert' for the journal to place on iMedPub's website and target it to individuals in your subject area. Journal banners include the journal's logo, brief details about its scope and reasons to publish in it. Where appropriate it may be possible to negotiate display of the banner advert on a third party website.
- Email article alerts. Registrants of iMedPub can elect to receive journal article alerts or receive regular email alerts of their stored search results. Results from our author surveys have shown that one of the key reasons for publishing in a iMedPub journal is having previously read an article in a iMedPub's journal. We recommend highlighting this facility to peers in the field.
- Email signature. We recommend that you change your email signature once in a while to alert your email recipients to benefits of publishing in the journal.
There are various ways of encouraging authors to submit their articles to one journal over another. In general, the more targeted and individual an approach is, the more likely it is to succeed.
Calls for papers emails
iMedPub Journals builds a number of email calls for papers into the process of launching each journal. It is also possible to send out calls for papers once the journal is established. These are especially effective if they inform potential authors about new developments, for example if the journal:
- has published some important research recently.
- has received an Impact Factor for the first time.
- is planning a special issue focusing on a specific topic.
Active 'solicitation' of manuscripts
Many journals' representatives directly approach the presenters of relevant work at conferences to encourage submission of their work to the journal. This approach provides an opportunity for a one-on-one presentation of the advantages of publishing in the journal and addressing any concerns the author might have.
In between conferences you may wish to send targeted, personalised emails to colleagues in the field, highlighting the advantages publishing in the journal and inviting them to submit their next piece of research.
‘Selling’ the journal
There are some common advantages for publishing with all iMedPub Journals and you can find these listed on this website. When soliciting manuscripts, you may wish to highlight a variety of these or tailor your message specifically to the journal or potential author. For example, if the journal is highly accessed you could emphasize this, or if the journal has recently published important work in the author’s field you might bring this to their attention.
'Passive' work by the Editor and Editorial Board
‘Passive' work can help raise the profile of the journal, encouraging prospective authors to discuss the journal with you and to bear it in mind when next deciding where to submit work for publication, for example:
- Including a link to the journal homepage in your email signature.
- If your lab/department has a website, include a button with the journal's logo that links to the journal's website, or even a simple text link.
- Make sure your library's website includes open access journals (librarians often neglect to include journals they don't pay for).
We hope this document provides useful advice, if you have any questions, please do feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org