As detailed on our about page, we launched this project with the goal of helping authors maximize their citations. We did this by reviewing a wide range of studies looking at factors that impact citations to scholarship. This page provides quick overview of the tips that we have come up with based on our review of bibliometric studies that examine factors influencing citations to academic articles. For full details on a tip, including the studies we reviewed, click the heading or read more link. We're always updating, so check back for new tips and categories.
With the exception of a few disciplines, most studies indicate longer articles tend to gain more citations than shorter ones. There are several possible explanations for the favorable treatment authors give long articles. It could be that more content simply offers more opportunities for citations. For addtional theories and suggestions to write longer articles, review this page.
The majority of studies we looked at found that the more references a paper includes, the more likely it is to be cited by other articles. The only exception to this exists in the legal field. Some studies went beyond looking solely at number of internal citations and broke it down to the type of internal citations.
The most unequivocal and least surprising finding of citation studies is that articles published in top journals tend to be cited more often than those published in lower ranked journals. Every single article we found that considered journal quality, concluded that publishing in higher ranked journals increases chances of citations.
Although it doesn't hold in all disciplines, for most subjects, papers with shorter titles recieve more citations.
While many characteristics appear to increase citations in most subjects, there's almost always some variation across disciplines. In this PDF, we summarize the items we've found to specifically impact citations to legal scholarship.