Maximise your Impact and Pick the Right Academic Conferences to Present at

Published on January 18, 2024

In today’s interconnected and increasingly competitive global academic landscape, producing groundbreaking research is only the first step. Effectively showcasing your work, establishing connections within various academic communities, and influencing further research is crucial for building and maintaining visibility and impact. If you don’t develop the skills or play an active role in these efforts, the impact of your work will be diluted, and your knowledge leadership diminished.

In this blog post, we’ll link current trends in evaluating research performance and academic expectations to the significance of academic and research conferences, and provide guidance on how to maximise the benefits of presenting at these conferences.

The Changing Landscape of Research Assessment

The recent period has been dominated by the commercialisation of higher education and research, and the abuse of quantitative metrics to evaluate faculty performance. This has put a lot of pressure on researchers and academics to produce and publish high volumes of work, creating a tide that has sometimes led to malpractice or low-quality research, as well as the rise of predatory conferences and journals.

In this context, new trends are emerging whereby regional and national research assessment frameworks are undergoing a process of rethinking and redesigning their assessment criteria. This is in an attempt to include broader, more inclusive sets of indicators to recognise the diversity of research contributions and their impact on society. A good example of the latter is the Coalition for Advancing Research Assessment (CoARA) and its Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment (2022).

The Expanding Role of the Researcher and the Academic

With the world headed in the direction of increased interconnectedness, there’s heightened pressure on research-producing institutions to be more accountable and more open to everyone.  Researchers and academics are asked to go beyond their traditional roles and develop transferable competencies to be better positioned for success in their careers and make more significant contributions to their field and society.

In line with current developments in research assessment, the European Commission developed the European Competence Framework for Researchers (ResearchComp) tool to map the transversal skills that researchers should develop for effective and successful careers. The tool has three main dimensions (competence areas, competences, and learning outcomes along four proficiency levels) and is structured around seven competence areas: cognitive abilities, doing research, managing research, managing research tools, making an impact, working with others, and self-management.

Impact and Networking: Key Benefits of Attending Conferences

Two key ResearchComp competence areas, “making an impact” and “working with others,” play a pivotal role in a researcher’s success, and are directly connected to academic conferences.

By actively participating in academic conferences, you not only have the chance to share and disseminate your research findings but also engage with the global research community, receiving feedback and constructive criticism. These conferences also offer opportunities to contribute to the publication process, either through inclusion in conference proceedings or by submitting your work to related journals.

Additionally, attending academic and research conferences can enhance your networking skills, as you will have a platform to connect with like-minded peers in similar fields, exchange new ideas, expand your knowledge, and create avenues for future collaboration. Moreover, you get to “develop your personal profile or brand and make yourself more visible and accessible in face-to-face and online networking environments.” according to the European Commission, Directorate-General for Research and Innovation.

However, not all conferences can live up to expectations. This raises the crucial question: Why is it so important to select the right conference for you and your work?

How to Choose the Right Academic Conference and Avoid Predators

In 2022, the InterAcademy Parternship (IAP) published a comprehensive study on ‘Combatting Predatory Academic Journals and Conferences’, which highlighted the alarming rise of predatory practices within the academic community. The report underscores the severity of the issue, suggesting that the prevalence of predatory conferences may outnumber real ones. As a result, it’s crucial to select the right academic conference to boost the impact and recognition of your research. Here are some tips to avoid falling prey to predatory conferences:

  1. Check the website: If a conference website looks unprofessional or is littered with spelling errors, it may not be legitimate.
  2. Research the organisers: Legitimate conferences are associated with reputable institutions and academics.
  3. Assess the theme: Be cautious of conferences with overly broad or vague themes.
  4. Verify conference venue: Confirm the legitimacy of the conference venue and its affiliation with the event.
  5. Check fees: Predatory conferences often have unusually high or low registration fees.

Make the Most of Your Research Conference Experience

Once you have been selected to present at your chosen conference, it is paramount to craft a presentation plan that’s compelling. The way in which you convey your message and how it is received can significantly impact the outcomes.

Engaging presentations can capture the attention of fellow researchers, leading to collaborations, citations, and invitations to speak at other events.

Now that you know how crucial boosting your visibility, impact, and networking skills is for your career, take an active role in your professional development. Whether you are a graduate student, a researcher, or a professional in academia, our “Academic Conferences: Select, Submit & Present Successfullycourse has been especially designed to give you the push you need to disseminate your work confidently. Through insider tips and tricks, you will learn how to identify the right conference, build a compelling submission, and deliver a successful speech that’s clear, professional, and inspiring.

Learn more about our course and enrol now HERE