While it is important to cite other people’s work, there is another important side to the equation: getting your own work cited.
Citation metrics are increasing in value to researchers across every industry. In one example, Georgetown University computer scientist Cal Newport, in a study published on his blog, determined that, among researchers seeking tenure in his own field, the biggest differentiating factor between successful and less-successful professors was the average number of citations to the five most-cited papers published early in their careers. The professors successful at securing tenure averaged more than 1,000 citations to these early papers, in comparison to the average of 60 received by the less-successful seekers. This striking difference only emphasizes the importance of getting noticed!
There are three important factors, according to Dashun Wang of IBM Research,that can determine how often a given paper is cited:
- Immediacy, or how quickly the paper begins receiving citations.
- Longevity, or how long the paper continues to receive citations after initial publication. Over time, citations tend to decline, making longevity an important asset to researchers.
- Fitness, or the “inherent quality of the work,” outlasts both immediacy and longevity in the long run. Staying relevant and building impact over time can lead to success in publication.
While these three factors are very important, it is also crucial for researchers to publicize their own papers through various social media, not just at conferences. In a technological world, it is increasingly important to employ these social media tactics to inform a broader audience of your research and, in turn, to help you get noticed!