Publicize your QIIME 2 plugins (or other QIIME 2-based tools)#

If you want others to use your QIIME 2-based tools, such as plugins, you have to market them. Ultimately that’s your responsibility - you built it, you know it, you’re proud of it, so you need to promote it.

Here are some ideas on how to market your tools. If you have suggestions on additional ways, we’re interested! Please feel free to reach out.

Help others understand how your tool will help them#

Everyone is busy. While a lot of us would love to spend time finding and experimenting with cool things that other people are making, ultimately we don’t have time and we tend to only invest time in discovering and truly learning the things that are very obviously going to advance our priorities. When you’re marketing your tool to someone, start by making it clear how it can advance their priorities. This is about them and their goals - not you and your goals. You’re selling, and you’re hoping they’re buying.

Ideally, show them - don’t tell them - how your tool will advance their priorities. For example, reach out and ask people if you can run your software on their data to try to help them generate some new insights. If they’re interested, get on the same page regarding publication expectations: if you discover something new, could you publish on it now, or could you co-author work that they’re preparing? If you’re on the same page, analyze their data, see what you see, and help them interpret the findings. If you find something cool, you’re off to the races. If not, don’t oversell your results - it can backfire. Regardless of how it works, learn from the process and use it to improve your tool and your marketing approach. As your tool helps others with their work, their word-of-mouth and their publications will market your work.

QIIME 2 Library#

We are currently (23 April 2024) working on a simplified set of tools for sharing your plugins with the QIIME 2 community, and this will ultimately replace the QIIME 2 Library. Our end goals are to help you get your software discovered by the large QIIME 2 user community, and to help you make it clear how your tools can be installed, used, and cited. It will also enable users to make informed choices about which plugins they want to use by helping them understand if plugins are under active development, if and to what extent they are unit tested, and if they’re well-supported by the developers. We expect incremental progress on this over the next year.

Community Contributions on the QIIME 2 Forum#

When you create a new QIIME 2-based tool and are ready to share it with the QIIME 2 community, we recommend posting a new topic in the Community Contributions category on the QIIME 2 Forum. This is a way to share information on your tool, including what it is and how people can start using it. For example, you could include information on the project’s website, a brief tutorial, and how users should request technical support.

Post a pre-print#

Pre-prints are a citable way to get software announcement articles out while peer review is in process. As you probably know, peer review can take ages and software changes quickly, so we find that it’s worth it to publish software announcement pre-prints that we can immediately begin citing.

That said, software announcement papers are unfortunately not accepted by many pre-print servers. Here are some exceptions to that, based on our experiences.

  • arXiv is a pre-print server that does seem to accept software announcement pre-prints (e.g, see their Quantitative Biology category).

  • F1000 is another option that we’ve had luck with. It’s not technically a pre-print server, but rather a peer-review journal that publishes your article online once you submit it, and then publishes the peer-reviews, your responses, and the iterations of the paper.

From my (Greg’s) perspective, where you publish a pre-print isn’t all that important, though more popular pre-print servers can presumably help with visibility of your work. The most important thing is that you’re getting a DOI that you can use to uniquely reference your article, and ideally that you can update the pre-print when you update the manuscript. Just confirm that your target journal for the peer-reviewed version of your publication doesn’t restrict you from sharing the article on pre-print servers. Most don’t, but if it doubt it doesn’t hurt to check.