Some advice to increase the number of citations to our publications

Posted on January 13th, 2019 by Raidell Avello Martínez

Author Raidell Avello Martínez  – Translation: Erika-Lucia Gonzalez-Carrion



As it has been commented in several times in this blog, the final publication of the results of the research is an essential part to evaluate the quality of an institution, group or researcher of higher education or research center. Since many years ago, the impact factor of a publication, calculated since the number of citations per article, is the fundamental measure to calculate the quality and impact of a publication.

The citation shows how many times an article has been cited by other articles and as quality factor is important both for the author as well as for the affiliated institution. In this context, the greater part of the researchers are evaluated based on their publications, as well as for the number of citations that their publications receive. Although, many university evaluation systems based only in this criteria have received critics, and continues being one of the main indicators even in the most integral systems.

For that reason, to find a way to increase, not only the number of articles, but also the number of citations, has been turned into a main task for the university professors/researchers and for that reason strategies more or less effective have been outlined and even more ethical and effective. In the case of this writing, of course, we will focus in the more ethical and efficient that, despite of the lack of references, the given advices are based on scientific evidence that and can be verified with a quick research in Google Scholar. Moreover, many of them have been seen in previous posts of the School of Authors of Comunicar (this same blog), that with an outlook to the “posted entrances” you can find easily.

In the same way, before going on to the advices it is VERY important to remark that before thinking in the article and its citations, it is to make a research of quality, rigorous in terms of scientific terms, ethical, relevant, justified, viable and original and all the other aspects will be easier. It is true that the citations of an article could depend strongly of the visibility, more than the real merit of the research; it could lead us to carry out a useless research with the simple object to increase the number of articles and citations.

Some advice:

1.     Use a name (identifier) unique in all your publications, both academic and of divulgation. If the name is very common, think that the addition of a second last name or a strategy combined using the medium hyphen, as it has been advice in this blog.

2.     Use a standardized institutional affiliation, avoid abbreviations and acronyms. The contact details that are provided in the publications are essential for the researchers to have a contact directly for questions, additional information and discussions about the research.

3.     Create some phrases and keywords of your study and repeat them in the summary of your publication, naturally, without forcing. Given that the search engines and the tracking citations look for mainly in the abstracts and word repetition it increases the possibility for the article to be recovered. Try that those phrases and keywords be specific and reflect the essential about the document. Place yourself in the position of a researcher of your field: what would you look for?

4.     Identify a unique phrase that reflects your research interest and use it, as possible, in your entire academic career.

5.     Publish in journals with great impact factor or great visibility.

6.     Publish your articles, given that it is legal, in servers of self-archive, mainly in open access. The open availability increases the impact and number of citations of an article. Make your research easy to find, mainly for online search engines.

7.     Publish together with international authors. The analysis of citations shows that the articles with international co-authors increase four times the number of citations than those without international co-authors.

8.     Use more references, always in a rational way. There is a strong relation between the number of citations that an article receives and the number of references.

9.     Publish a longer article (but be careful with repetition, vanities,etc.)

10.  Try to contribute with Wikipiedia. Some research show that a research article referenced in Wikipedia has received a significant number of citations compared with the other articles of the same author.

11.  Use blogs and podcasts to reinforce the discussion and diffusion of your current research.

12.  Log in to academic social networks like and ResearchGate.

13.  Write a review article. The reviews have greater possibility of being cited than the original research articles.

14.  The articles published after being at the beginning rejected in other journal receive considerably greater cites. Therefore, there is not a reason why to upset after a rejection; your article can become stronger.

15.  Avoid titles like questions.

16.  Share the detailed research data. The open data (datasets in available public) have influence in the increasing of number of cites. This correlation is independent of the Impact Factor of the Journal.

17.  Present an article (working paper). Try to go to a prestigious conference and present some progress of your research or publish a working paper. This allows creating expectations about our research and to see the impact and interest that generates by itself.

18.  To create a podcast or videos where you describe your research project and present the podcast either to YouTube or Vimeo. The video is a way each time more important for researchers to communicate their results.

19.  Make a Curriculum Vitae on line supported on sites like ORCID or ResearcherID.

20. Get closer to newspapers and journals of scientific value to promote the main results of the research that could have impact in the population in general.

About Erika-Lucia Gonzalez-Carrion

Erika Lucía González Carrión nació en Loja-Ecuador el 29 de marzo de 1994. Posee una licenciatura en Comunicación Social por la Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja (UTPL) y además una licenciatura en Ciencias de la Educación con mención en Idioma Inglés por la Universidad Nacional de Loja (UNL). En la actulidad cursa el Máster Internacional en Comunicación y Educación Audiovisual, promovido por la Universidad Internacional de Andalucía y la Universidad de Huelva. Además, cuenta con una certificación internacional de conocimiento del Idioma Inglés, dentro del Marco Común Europeo de las Lenguas. Dentro del ámbito de la Comunicación Social investiga el área radiofónica y realiza traducciones de artículos científicos. Erika Lucía González Carrión was born in Loja-Ecuador on March 29th, 1994. She got her bachelor’s degree in Social Communication at Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja (UTPL) and additionally she got a bachelor’s degree in Sciences of Education, English Language Specialization at Universidad Nacional de Loja (UNL). Nowadays she is studying the Master degree in Communication and Audiovisual Education, promoted by the Universidad Internacional de Andalucía and the Universidad de Huelva . Moreover, she has an international certification of knowledge in the English Language, within the Common European Framework of the Languages. In the Social Communication field she investigates the radio and makes translations of scientific articles.
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