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Promote: Academic and citation Impact

What is citation impact?

Citation impact is the measurement of how many citations a work, author or journal receives from ensuing publications in the literature. These can be raw counts or the figures may be used to calculate various other measures that are used to asses research. These include the Field Weighted Citation Impact (FWCI), Journal Impact Factor (JIF) and h-Index, these calculations are made by the Web of Science and Scopus databases using the indexed titles and the relationship of the citations.While there is often an overlap in the indexed titles in each database, there are journals and publications that are indexed only in one, this leads to a difference in the raw metrics available for the calculations. It is always worth looking at a range of databases and metrics as each provides important information that can be used to evaluate the performance of research in academia.

Further information about metrics, bench marking, metrics as a tool for journal evaluation and using databases is available under the research performance tab on this guide.

Increasing your citation impact

Citation metrics are a common measure of the impact that your research is having in academia. There are ways to increase your citation metrics, through promotion, networking, and careful keyword selection. All use of citation metrics should be done in line with guidelines for the responsible use of metrics and in accordance with the ethics of research.

Self Citing

Self citing can be a contentious issue, and can be tricky to balance between needing to cite your previous work to avoid self plagiarism and to avoid appearing to be unnecessarily self citing to boost your metrics. Always self cite judiciously, you should only ever cite your own work if you would be referring to the work if authored by someone else and your old work contributes to your new work. In very new or niche areas some self citation may be unavoidable, there may be a small pool of researchers publishing and often working as co-authors together in a highly specialised topic.

Publications that receive higher publication rates

Depending on your discipline there may be some publication types that receive a higher citation rate then others, most commonly literature reviews receive a higher average rate of citations. If you are carrying out a significant literature review as part of your research you may consider formalising it as a publication, if you are in a new topic area, or looking at the literature from a novel perspective you may be publishing the first review in the area.

Publishing related outputs such as datasets and software

The literature is increasingly showing that by making their data available and providing a link between the data and the research publication authors have a citation advantage. "The citation advantage of linking publications to research data" is a paper from 2020 that looks at the increase seen in citations when a clear link to the data is provided in a data availability statement. The ECU library is able to provide advice and support in publishing your datasets, including publishing through our institutional repository- Research Online, or by promoting datasets published elsewhere in the repository including linking to related publications. Other outputs related to your research can also be published including software and code these types of outputs can all lead to greater visibility of your work, and when published be cited to lead to an increase in your over all citation metrics.

Keyword selection

unfortunately keyword selection is often left as an afterthought, but as these are used by search engine algorithms in order for researchers to locate relevant publications thought should be given to ensure you make the most of them. Keywords ideally should be narrowed down to 4-8 words or short phrases, that are found in the main body of your text, if your keywords are not found in the text then chances are they are not truly an indication of the research topic. The use of abbreviations should be avoided as you may find that different audiences will use alternate versions, in particular acronyms may be shared between separate research areas but refer to different concepts or entities different things. Likewise new, uncommon, and very general terms should be avoided if possible, select terms that are likely to be known and used by others to find this type of research and not be found in unrelated searches.

Author profiles and identifiers

There are a whole range of researcher identifiers and profiles that work together to validate and connect your work with yourself as the creator. Identifiers such as ORCID are persistent and unique to you as an individual meaning that even if you share a name with someone else, change institutions or research topics or even publish under alternative names your research can be verified as being yours and others can confirm your activities and publications as belonging to you. This works to both enable databases to correctly assign your work and generate citation metrics for you to use but also for other researchers to locate your work in order to read and cite it. Our LibGuide page on ORCID and researcher Identifiers contains a range of information about making them work for you.

Open Access publications

Open access publications provide a way of others accessing your work without the need for subscriptions or payment, there is evidence that there exists a citation advantage for publications that are made available to be read freely. The Open Access guide has a variety of information on Open Access publishing, including the range of support offered through ECU from publisher agreements to discount or waive the article processing fee, and how to understand publisher policies in regards to the potential to share versions such as the authors accepted manuscript of your work through our institutional repository- Research Online.

Getting your name out there

People wont know what you are doing unless you tell them, the overall goal of these strategies is to make it as easy as possible for others to find and access your research and to verify that the research belongs to you and is of high quality. Be as active and diverse as you can in your promotions, attend and present at conferences, email share copies of your papers provided by your publisher to researchers in your area and make the most of the ECU institutional repository- Research Online to provide access to open access versions of your outputs.