When my article on “Husserl’s Psychology of Arithmetic” appeared on-line in the Bulletin d’Analyse Phénoménologique, I did not immediately post about and link to it, but waited a month. It was published on-line on July 6 and by August 7 had garnered 48 hits for the web version and 19 for the pdf version. As far as I can see, the counter isn’t “live”, but updates daily. On August 7 I then published a blog post with a link to the article and posted links to my blog post on Twitter, Facebook, Academia.edu, LinkedIn, and Google+.
This is where you come in.
After blogging about my article and linking my post on the social networks, the very next day the number of views had jumped to 70 and 27 for the web and pdf version. Then it took only 4 days for the pdf version to get the same number of downloads that previously had taken 4 weeks: by August 11 the number of downloads had doubled from 19 to 38. Last week also the views for the web version had doubled and now are well beyond 100. In other words, in the second month that my article has been available on-line, thanks to my blog and social media, access to my article has tripled for the web version and quadrupled for the pdf.
Of course what all scientists secretly hope for, is that promoting and linking to their articles does not only increase downloads and access statistics, but also actual readership and citations. Whether any of this is a good metric for the quality of the work is doubtful, nevertheless I cannot ignore that metrics and alt-metrics are (rightly or wrongly) used to assess researchers. I’m happy to see that blogs and social media form such a convenient and effective platform for the distribution and promotion of my work, but unfortunately not much of it is freely accessible on-line (yet). Having seen the numbers now, I definitely have to look into remedying that.