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Optimize citations

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When researchers refer to another author's work in their own published work, they cite it. Such citations can be analyzed to measure the formalized usage of the cited work.


Databases such as Thomson Scientific's Science, Social Sciences, and Arts & Humanities Citation Indexes compile the cited references from articles published during a particular year or period.

These databases allow people to determine the research impact of a researcher's publications according to the number of times they have been cited by other researchers. Citation counts are often used in research funding and promotion decisions. Boosting citation rate is thus a potentially important motivator for authors. What can you do to optimize citations to your article?

  • Publish your article in one of the journals everyone in your discipline reads.
  • Target a journal with a high impact factor, or with any impact factor at all!
  • Target journals in rapidly growing research fields because they tend to publish papers with a short time interval from submission to acceptance
  • Write a review. Reviews are more likely to be cited than original research papers.
  • Make it easy for others to access your work.
  • Publish a straightforward paper on cutting-edge research or a "hot" topic.
  • Choose an effective title.
  • Make sure that relevant terms are included in the abstract.
  • Choose keywords carefully to make sure your article will be found.
  • Share your data (e.g. sample attributes, clinical factors, patient outcomes, DNA sequences) where possible.
  • Let your Taylor & Francis contact know about upcoming or recent articles that may be of interest to media organizations.
  • Think about making your article open access where available.
  • Improve your web presence.
  • Use blogs and podcasts to leverage on-going researcher discussion on the Internet.
  • Register on CiteULike and Connotea.
  • Get known in your community.
  • Promote your article
  • Go to conferences.
  • Present a working paper.
  • Review papers for journals.
  • Join an editorial board.
  • Publish in a special issue with a prestigious guest editor.
  • Publish with other authors.
  • Put your article in an institutional or subject repository.
  • Publicize yourself - link to your latest article in your email signature.
  • Make sure that you get help if you are not writing in your first language.

Be aware that...

  • Not all research is published and cited in the citation databases mentioned above; for example, conference proceedings are often poorly covered.
  • Some types of articles - for example, editorials, letters to editors, news items, meeting abstracts, and case studies - are generally poorly cited.
  • The number of times a work has been cited should not be used to gauge the quality of the work; it really only measures the interests of other researchers in the work.
  • Citation bias may exist, for example, English-language resources may be favored.
  • Citation levels differ widely between research fields and even within a specific field. Basic research tends to be more highly cited than related applied research.
  • Your rate of self-citation and citations among the members of a research group may be scrutinized. We do not endorse irrelevant self-citing as such endeavors go beyond the boundaries of securing high-quality content, optimizing engagement with the research community, and general good practice.

We can make your article more accessible
Ready access is a prerequisite of citation. In addition to core library subscribers, our journals are made available to around 8,000 academic institutions worldwide through Ebsco Publishing Full-Text Databases and 460 institutions through arrangements with library consortia. Articles are published online through Taylor & Francis Online. Through excellent sales reach and vigorous marketing we ensure that your article is seen, read, and cited by your research community. Archiving agreements with national libraries mean that your article will remain accessible in perpetuity.

In some cases, we can make articles with high citation potential freely accessible online - and publicize them with e-marketing. We can help identify which recent articles have the highest citation potential. We are continuously working to improve the search engine rankings for our journals. Our linking program extends to many Abstracting and Indexing databases, library sites, and includes participation in CrossRef™. As publishers of scholarly information, we work with Google Scholar to index peer-reviewed papers, theses, preprints, abstracts, and technical reports from all disciplines and to make them searchable via Google Scholar.

We can make your article more visible
This is one of the main goals of our journal marketing. Our sales and marketing strategies and expertise deliver very high levels of journal accessibility and visibility. Taylor & Francis Alerting is a service for emailing Tables of Contents for all Taylor & Francis journals to anyone who has registered for the alerts. It is completely free of charge. Users can choose to receive alerts by keyword, title, sub-category or main subject category. Taylor & Francis Alerting also provides instant highly focused mailing lists that can be used for editorial- and marketing-related emails, such as Calls for Papers and special issue announcements.

We do not pass Taylor & Francis Alerting email lists on to third parties. Taylor & Francis actively promotes Taylor & Francis Alerting to academic and professional listservs, and through our promotional presence for the service at conferences. There are currently more than 1,600,000 registrants to the Taylor & Francis Alerting contents alerting service.

We engage with core research networks
Scholarly communication occurs through networks of personal acquaintances. Journals and articles are read and cited when they occupy a valued position within these networks. Our strategies for enhancing research network engagement include our implementation of the ScholarOne Manuscript Electronic Editorial System (these systems increase quality submissions, internationalize our author base, and reduce turnaround times) and encouraging editors to co-opt "rising star" academics as well as editors of key journals onto their editorial boards.

We can target key growth areas with specific initiatives - such as an annual Best Young Asian Scholar prize in a particular subject. We encourage editors to provide detailed feedback for rejected authors - especially if they are early in their career, and to invest time in improving decent research that is poorly presented - in particular if the author is not a native English speaker. We believe that helping good work find its proper expression is a service to the community.

We allow authors to self-archive articles
Research suggests that this can lead to increased citation levels. Our copyright policies enable authors to self-archive as standard.

We will work hard to make sure that articles and journals are of excellent quality.
This is the most direct and powerful driver of high impact factor. In an ideal world every paper would be read and judged on its merits. In practice, however, people often turn to the impact factor when assessing a journal's quality or the standing of the researchers who have published in it. Key consumers of impact factor include the library community, authors, tenure and promotion committees, and grant-awarding bodies. Surveys show that impact factor is one of the top four factors considered by authors when deciding where to submit papers. Researchers are acutely aware that impact factor journals confer status on those who publish in them, with direct career benefits. We work with editors to achieve sustained improvements in journal impact factor.

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