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10 Ways to Get More Citations for Your Research Paper

Updated: Dec 21, 2023

Getting your research paper published can be an important moment in your academic career, but it’s only the first step toward getting your work noticed by other researchers and academics.

Once you have a published paper, you need to make sure that your citation count remains high so that future scholars will be able to find your work easily. Here are 10 simple ways to get more citations for your research paper.

1) Choose a Good Topic

When you're choosing a topic for your research paper, make sure you pick something that will be interesting to readers. If your paper is dull, no one will want to cite it.

Choose a topic that's controversial or has been in the news recently. Something that people are passionate about is always a good bet. Once you have a good topic, start promoting your paper.

Let people know what you've written and why they should read it. Make sure your paper is accessible and easy to find online. Use social media, email, and other channels to get the word out there.

The more people who see your paper, the more likely it is to get cited.

2) Write an Outstanding Introduction

10 Ways to Get More Citations for Your Research Paper

Consider the introduction as a mental road map that should provide the reader with the following four answers:

  • What was I researching?

  • Why was it necessary to research this particular topic?

  • Before I conducted my investigation, what did we know about this issue?

  • What new information will this research provide to the research area?

You never get a second chance to make a good first impression, so having a strong introduction is important.

Your paper's introduction should provide readers a good sense of your paper's discussion's reasoning, your style of writing, the general quality of your research, and, ultimately, the authenticity of your findings and conclusions.

While a brief, interesting, and well-written beginning will give your readers a positive first impression of your analytical abilities, writing style, and research method, a confused, unorganised, or error-filled introduction will give them the wrong impression.

3) Incorporate Multiple Elements From Key Journals in Your Field

One way to get more citations is to incorporate multiple elements from key journals in your field.

This will show that you are keeping up with the latest research and that you are aware of the most important publications in your field. Additionally, this will make your paper more likely to be cited by other researchers.

4) Use Quotes When Referencing

Every time you mention an idea that you got from a source, you must cite it. If you utilise a straight quotation, a paraphrase, or even simply a direct or indirect remark, this is true.

When referencing a source, you must include a brief citation in the text and a complete citation in your bibliography or reference list.

Which information you include in your citations, how you signpost brief citations (in the text or in footnotes, directly or by providing a number which connects to complete details in a reference list), and the sequence in which you provide information will all depend on the referencing style you are using. 

Writing references in quotes may includes short and long quotes. 

Long quotations (more than three or four lines) are shown in your text as a "block" with a new line at the beginning and an opening at the left and, occasionally, the right. The brief citation is written on a separate line, to the right, and is not enclosed in quotation marks.

Direct quote with brief citation in Harvard style -

Wenger (1998, p.181) argues that; "Engagement, imagination and alignment each create relations of belonging"-

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5) Cite Carefully, Cite Often to Get Good Citations 

In order to get more citations for your research paper, you need to be strategic about the publications you choose. Make sure to cite carefully and often in order to increase your chances of being cited by others.

Additionally, try to get your paper published in as many places as possible. The more places it is, the more likely people are to see it and cite it in their own work.

6) Have Patience and Wait for the Reviews to Come in Before You Submit

The key to getting more citations is patience. After you've submitted your research paper, wait for the reviews to come in. The more well-received your paper is, the more likely it is to be cited by other publications.

So take your time, make sure your research is top-notch, and don't rush the process.

7) Stay Professional At All Times And Take Critiques With Grace

It can be difficult to stay professional when you feel like you've put your blood, sweat, and tears into a research paper only to be met with criticism.

However, it's important to remember that critiques are meant to help improve your work - so take them with grace.

8) Collaborate With Other Scientists On Public Projects

  • When you collaborate with other scientists, you can help each other out with the research process and come up with better ideas together.

  • You can also cite each other's work in your papers, which will help boost each other's, citation counts.

  • Additionally, working on public projects together can make your research more visible to the general public, which can lead to more citations down the line.

9) Find Ways To Give Back By Serving As A Reviewer Yourself

One way to get more citations for your research paper is by becoming a reviewer yourself.

When you review papers for journals, you help the author by giving feedback and also help the journal by providing a service. This is a great way to give back to the academic community and also get your name out there.

Additionally, when you review papers, you often get to see them before they are published, which can give you a leg up on citing them in your own work.

10) Give Presentations, Especially If You are Young!

Presenting your work at conferences is a great way to get feedback from your peers and also increase the visibility of your work.

If you are a student or early-career researcher, don't be afraid to give presentations! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

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