As 2020 begins, the the Research Excellence Framework submission date is on the horizon. Professor Parveen Yaqoob, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research, outlines how to make use of every available opportunity to promote your research in the run-up to REF.

If you’re a researcher you may have recently received a message from the Times Higher Education data team asking you to participate in the THE Academic Reputation Survey. This is a global survey which forms part of the THE World University Rankings.

While not perfect, rankings are part of the current landscape for UK universities and as the Vice-Chancellor noted last year, whatever our reservations, rankings are here to stay. So if you have been invited to, we would encourage you to respond so that your views on excellence within your discipline are reflected.

This invitation to participate in the survey reminds us of the importance of communicating our work and highlighting to our peers some of the excellent research going on here. We want to redouble efforts to raise the profile of our research in the run-up to the REF submission date in November, and beyond.

Colleagues across the University work hard not only on impact activities but also on activities to share our work, to boost citations, to develop engagement and help raise the profile of the University.

As the new year begins, we encourage you to use every available opportunity this year to promote your research to the widest possible audience of your peers. Ensuring our research reaches those who can use it is an integral part of the research process, and the Research Communications team and Press Office are a great source of support and activity.

Here are some simple steps that can help:

1)      Regularly update your e-mail footer with information about any new publications or key activities (conference presentations, external seminars etc.).

2)      Include a link to this blog and Twitter feed in your footer to showcase the breadth of research across the University – e.g.: Join us on Twitter @UniRdg_Research and read our research blog Connecting Research.

3)      Send PDFs of your publications (or shareable links) to your peer network and wider contacts – don’t assume they will see it in a journal.

4)      Submit your work on acceptance to CentAUR to comply with the University’s (and funders’) open access policy. Link to your publications in CentAUR from your staff page on the website, and upload permitted versions of your publications to, ResearchGate or Mendeley.

5)      Reach out to colleagues within your discipline by attending events, actively networking at conferences, and contributing to debates, for example on a focused blog, via a Linked-In interest group, or to a more general audience via The Conversation.

This is one way we can act – as individuals to demonstrate pride in our work – but we can also act together to be ambassadors for our University community.

This may have an impact on our rankings and REF position, but more importantly it is a way for us each to share and celebrate successes while maximising opportunities for our excellent research to be used as widely as possible.

The Research Communications and Engagement Team will shortly be publishing top tips on promoting your research on the Research pages of the University website including: how to develop a communications plan; how to make the most of academic conferences; and guidance on social media and blogging – keep an eye out for updates.