Five Simple Tips for Increasing Your Citation Number

The number and quality of citations of your papers is increasingly being used as an index for promotions, grant review and funding, and tenure. Although this practice is somewhat controversial, having your work cited remains an important aspect of a scientist’s career. Consider these 5 simple tips below to increase the number of your citations and stand out among your peers.

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5 Simple Writing Tips to Increase Citations

  1. Increase the Impact of Your Manuscript.
    • Write a strong and persuasive article.
    • Submit your manuscript to the most respected appropriate journal.
    • Write an effective title.
    • Write a clear abstract so that your article is appropriately indexed and easy to find.
    • Choose your key words carefully (use tools such as using MeSH on Demand to find the best terms)
    • Make your manuscript available to all interested readers through Open Access publications or open repositories (check with the publisher).
    • Send reprints to scientists you have cited or to those you feel may find your research or even the background of your work interesting.
    • Use social media (see below).
  2. Describe the Evolution of Your Research in a Review
    • Citation rates of reviews are generally higher than those of other papers.
    • A well-written review contains many citations of the leaders in your field. Citing leaders in a field leads to reverse citations, which carry more weight.
    • A review demonstrates thought-leadership within your field.
  3. Explain Why Your Research Matters
    • Participate in conferences and meetings.
    • Create a website that lists your publications.
    • Offer to give lectures or talks about your research.
    • Create a YouTube video, TedEd Lesson, Dynamic Poster, or Prezi presentation to post.
    • Engage in discussions about your research outside of your laboratory.
    • Utilize both institution and publisher press releases. Most institutions have a public relations division that can help create and deliver a press release.
  4. Cite, and You will be Cited
    • Cite your colleagues, including those with results contrary to yours.
    • Cite your own relevant work (no more than 20% of the citations should be of your own work).
    • Read broadly to stay up to date in parallel fields, and cite pertinent papers.
    • Cite liberally but remain within the limits of the journal guidelines; papers that contain more citations tend to be cited more.
    • Cite the leaders in your field.
  5. Promote Your Work through Social Media
    • Create a Facebook page for your laboratory to encourage casual discussion of your recent papers/presentations
    • Open a Twitter account, and tweet when your paper has been accepted for publication
    • Use a ResearchGate account to distribute your papers and follow others in your field
    • Use a Linked In account to connect with other researchers in your field throughout the world, post about the conferences you attend, papers you find interesting, ask questions, list your publications, and participate in conversations. Join pertinent discussion groups and participate to demonstrate your knowledge of the field.
    • Use a blog tied to your website to engage in discussions relevant to your work.

For more information, see:

  1. Taylor & Francis: (accessed 8/7/2014)
  2. SAGE (; accessed 7Aug2014)
  3. The University of Northhampton: Increasing our citation count – a how-to guide.
  4. An Introduction to Social Media for Scientists (Bik, HM; Goldstein, MC; PLoS Biology doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1001535.

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