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How to Promote your (accepted/published) Paper for Increased Citations

[This article is part of a two-article series on writing and promoting your paper for increased citations. The first article (available here) discusses how to write your paper for garnering increased citations. This second article provides pointers for promoting your accepted/published paper for greater citations.]


Citations are often viewed as the lifeblood of any academic researcher. Being cited not only gives you the warm feeling of being seen as a useful voice in your field and influencing others’ work, but it is a metric by which many potential employers, funders and collaborators measure how you stack up. This common reliance on citations may not always be an ideal or enjoyable way of working, but it is certainly a significant aspect of doing research.

To organically and ethically increase your citation count and thus enhance your visibility as a credible researcher, try implementing the tips below.

Cite ‘big’ papers

To build on the citing suggestion in the previous article, an indirect way of promoting your paper is to be strategic with the citations you include within your own paper. You obviously will want to use relevant papers for what you are trying to write up. However, using papers in your own paper that have made a particularly large splash or impact in the community can direct others to your work. A common means of researching how a topic has progressed, for example, is by looking up large impact papers from recent years and following works that have cited this paper. This way, you can associate yourself with this topic and gain attention.

Note: Be mindful of the fact that you should only cite a paper if it definitely enriches your work and if the paper you are citing is indeed the source of the information you are referring to. In other words, don’t cite a ‘big’ paper only because it is a ‘big’ paper.

Promote in your closer academic network

Most academic departments circulate regular bulletins among their staff and students. These avenues can be a good way to announce your publication and it is worth asking your department to include your news in the next edition of their newsletters or mailers. This will highlight your publication to a more immediate network that will probably be interested in promoting the university’s or department’s successes one way or another. Word of mouth can travel via other faculty members, who will likely keep your paper in mind the next time they’re looking for information that you have suggested would appear in your paper.

LinkedIn is particularly powerful here, as it is solely a professional network with specific pages led by interest groups designed to share content like research publications – so, take advantage of such platforms.

Promote on social media

Social media is becoming an indispensable tool for engaging larger audiences. Twitter has become an increasingly relevant platform for academics. Using hashtags such as #AcademicTwitter and #SciTwitter within your posts, for example, is a great way to engage academic audiences and draw attention to your work.

To tweet about your paper, give a brief overview of the main finding of your paper (which will most likely garner interest from academics scrolling/swiping through the platform) and remember to use appropriate hashtags. You can further increase visibility by tagging your collaborators, co-authors and institution or department in the tweet, should they have Twitter handles.

The same principle applies to other platforms, such as LinkedIn or ResearchGate, which essentially offer similar features and exposure, just geared towards a more professional and/or academic following.

A researcher’s tweet of their review paper that tags their lab


While citations should not be the ultimate measure of your success and you shouldn’t become too fixated on them, they can be a good, simple means for assessing the impact that your work (and voice) carry in a certain field, and to cement you as a subject matter expert. Just remember to promote your papers ethically by using the proper channels and commonly accepted practices.


Read previous/first in series: How to Write your Paper for Increased Citations


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