The four C's of getting cited

Short summary of white paper explaining why competence, collaboration, care and communication help to realise the citation impact of your work

One of the first things most PhD students and early career academics want to know is how to get their papers published, preferably in a good journal. However, publication is not the end-product of your research, in many ways it is only the start. It is only in its impact, whether citation impact or societal impact, that your research really becomes meaningful.

After the four P’s of getting published, I have therefore written a white paper that discusses the four C’s of getting cited: competence, collaboration, care, and communication. Although I don’t pretend to be the world’s greatest expert on this, I am in the top 1% of most-cited academics in my field. So here’s my take on what is important to get your article cited. For ease of recollection I have taken a leaf from my colleagues in Marketing and have come up with the four C’s of getting cited: competence, collaboration, care, and communication.

  • Competence: Impact starts with competence: delivering high-quality work. Although there are always exceptions, in general shoddy work will attract few citations and high-quality meaningful work is more likely to be cited.
  • Collaboration: Co-authors can improve the quality of a publication by complementary skills, critical reading and creating more motivation to finish. Through their own network they will also increase the chances of your work being cited.
  • Care: Care for your academic reputation, never engage in questionable practices, and care for other academics. Building high quality networks based on trust and reciprocity (rather than instrumentality) helps dissemination of your research.
  • Communication: Ensure that your work reaches the widest possible audience. Much of the white paper is devoted to how you can use both digital and face-to-face interactions to achieve this.

Fore more details, see the white paper in question: The four C's of getting cited.

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