Stating your case: Argue for quality
Note: This tutorial was originally written for Publish or Perish version 4 and all screenshots come from this version. However, the information as such is also applicable for the latest Publish or Perish versions 5 and 6.
If you have only a few citations in either ISI or Google Scholar, it might be worth tracking each of them down to see who is citing your work and in which outlets.
Quality of citations
It is more impressive when many of your citations occur in the top journals in your field or if some famous academics in your field cite your articles. Some of the fame and quality image of the journals and of the academics citing your work might rub off on you in the eyes of your evaluation committee.
Find out who is citing your work
In order to find out who is citing your work, right-click on the work in question and click Lookup Citations.
This opens a new window that allows you to pick a descriptive title for this search. When you click OK, Publish or Perish will retrieve all citing works.
Please use this option sparingly as it does put substantial additional strain on Google Scholar. Whilst it is possible to look up citations for your whole publication list, we do not recommend this if you have more than a few hundred citations. It will take a long time and puts unnecessary strain on Google Scholar.
Quality of outlets
If you have very few citations, you may instead need to focus on the quality of the journals that your work appeared. In general, this is not appropriate, as some papers in top journals never get cited.
Use journal impact factor to argue for future impact
However, on average papers in top journals get cited more than papers in lower-ranked journals. That’s why these journals have higher Journal Impact Factors. Therefore, if your work has been published in high-impact journals, you can make the case that it is more likely that your work will be highly cited in the future.
Quality versus impact arguments
In addition, you should of course make the argument that these journals have generally higher quality standards for the work they publish and a more rigorous review process. However, that’s a quality argument, not a citation impact argument, and although the two are related, they are not necessarily identical.
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Copyright © 2017 Anne-Wil Harzing. All rights reserved. Page last modified on Fri 20 Oct 2017 16:25
Anne-Wil Harzing is Professor of International Management at Middlesex University, London and visiting professor of International Management at Tilburg University. In addition to her academic duties, she also maintains the Journal Quality List and is the driving force behind the popular Publish or Perish software program.