Tips to Increase Citation to Scientific Papers

Document Type: Commentary


Assistant Professor, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Guilan University of Medical Sciences, Rasht, Iran

Main Subjects

Dear Editor

A single index for evaluation of an article was suggested by Professor George Hirsch. Nowadays, the Hirsch index (h-index) is a scientometrics and common index for assessing the output and impact of scientists, researchers, and universities. This index distinguishes influential researchers from those who publish only a large number of articles. It should be noted that this index compares the researchers who work in the same field. The h-index is based on the distribution of the citations of the works published by a person or a group of individuals. In other words, the h-index of “x” for a person means that “x” papers published by that individual have been cited at least “x” times in other published works. For example, when an author has five published works and each of them has been cited at least five times, his/her h-index is five (1). Increasing the citation of academic papers can be influential in improving the global ranking of universities (2). Consequently, it is of remarkable importance to identify the possible practices for augmenting the h-index. With this background in mind, in this paper, we mention several methods for increasing citations.

1-Using the unique name during the academic years: If your name is written with the different spelling or is a multi-part name, always use the same name in your articles. If your name is very common, in addition to the name, you can add a research identifier such as ORCID ID. Also, you may use it in your e-mail signature. Then give a link from this ID to your published articles. This

technique may cause everyone who receives your e-mail, access to your articles (3).

2-It is necessary researchers always use an affiliation and a fixed address. Also, using an academic address with complete details without abbreviated words could facilitate contacting other authors. Moreover, the authors ensure the reliability of your manuscript. It is necessary to recheck your name and affiliation before submitting the final version of the manuscript (4).

3- Use appropriate keyword for your article (5). Most publishers suggest at least 3 to 5 keywords. Repeat these words in the title and abstract may increase the visibility of your article. As a result, this strategy will increase the chances of more citations. Moreover, use keywords in the title of Pictures, photos, tables, and charts enhance the chance of visibility (3, 4). In medical sciences using MESH keywords is useful for increasing the chance of visibility.

4-"Make a unique phrase that reflects the author's research interest and use it throughout academic life" in other word, “have a research line” that indicating the interest of the author to a particular subject highlights researcher among other scholars. In addition, adding your interest at the

end of the electronic signature, you will know more specific in a particular subject (3).

5-Publish in high impact factor journals. Dhawan and Gupta studied the 1101 research articles and found that published in high-impact journals increased the citation (4).

6- Publish in open access journals increases the visibility of your article (5).

7- Deposit the articles online at the university's repository (6)[1] *.

8- The researchers found out from the results of 2172 articles that, there was a positive relationship between the number of downloads and citations. It means more download may cause more citations (7).

9- A professional web page and displaying your articles on the web will increase citation by 50 percent, as well as personal blogs and the insertion of audio and text files. Updating your pages is very important (6)1 *.                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

10- Write the article with international colleagues. Research has shown that articles are written by the collaboration of several research institutes or universities has at least 4 times higher citation (4), particularly collaborating with well-known people and those who received the Nobel Prize. By the way, articles which were written by multiple authors increase their chances of receiving citations (5).

11- Increase the number of references enhances the chance of visibility of the article (3).

12- Contribute to Wikipedia. Add your finding and then refer to your article (6).

13- Join in scientific and social networks such as ResearchedGate, LinkedIn and share articles with other researchers. Remember that some publishers do not allow you to share your article (read researcher's guide first). When your article is accepted in a journal give an announcement on Twitter and Facebook (3).

14- Write and publish a review article (5, 6).

15- Articles that were judged by the reviewer and rejected, after publishing in another journal will receive more citations (3).

16- Article with a large number of "callouts" attracts more attention of readers. Many publishers use this trick for articles that are interesting (3).

17- Do not write the title of the article as a question type. These articles will have more download but less citation (7).

18- Share your research data details. Providing part of your work at your well-known conferences and publishing a summary of the article will make other scientists aware of the scientific credentials and increase the chance of citation. Also, the abstracts of these conferences can be accessed free of charge in the electronic archives of universities or institutions (5).

19- Publish your articles in journals that everyone in your discipline reads. The journals that cover a broader range of topics are the best choices (6).

20- Link the latest of your articles to your electronic signature. Then everyone who received your e-mail can see your article (5). 

21- Publish your articles in journals that have more indexes. It will increase the chances of visibility and citation your article (8).

22- Creating the audio file to describe research projects on Youtube and Wimo. It will increase the visibility of your work (3).

23- Share your resume' and interests in Research ID or ORCID online to become known to the scientific community. Your Research ID is prominent you among the colleagues (6).

24- Publish educational articles. These types of article usually receive a lot of citations (3).

25- Give citation to your colleagues, even if the authors disagree with you. Give citation to your previous paper, if there is a reasonable relationship between the two works. Remember that the self-citation should not be more than 20% of the references (6).

26- Talk about your work and your new article with colleagues, even those who are not in your filed, and send them an article to know what you're doing (4).

27- Longer articles, with more authors and more references gather more citation (9, 10, and 11).

28- In your field, refer to the person who is the pioneer in a particular topic (3).

Conflict of interest

     The author declares no conflicts of interest.

[1] . some publisher does not permit to author for depositing their article or present in personal web page

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11- Fox CW, Paine TC, Sauterey B. Citations increase with manuscript length, author number, and references cited in ecology journals. Ecology and Evolution. 2016; 6(21):7717-7726.