Quantitative metrics are important in the evaluation of scholarly research as universities, governments, and funding bodies try to find ways to make their hiring, funding, and investment decisions based on measurable criteria. This has had a significant effect on journals publishing, with the well-known Impact Factor functioning as a ready-made, albeit controversial, indicator of the quality and significance of a published piece of work.
At SAGE, we will help you increase article citations without “gaming” the system with shortsighted strategies that can only compromise perceived quality. We’ll do this by providing editors with the tools to make informed decisions about types of articles and topics they might wish to invite, which potential authors to contact for relevant papers, etc. More generally, all our marketing and online activities are developed with the aim of increasing citations.
When evaluating strategies to increase citations to your journal consider the following:
Recruiting papers from highly-cited authors
Analysis of the most highly-cited content from both your own and competitor journals reveals the authors who could be invited back or newly commissioned to publish in the journal, or to perhaps guest edit a future special issue. Ask your SAGE Editor to provide you with a list of highly-cited articles in particular journals or across your subject category.
A percentage of articles may never be cited at all. Review which topics do not attract citations and feed this information into your publishing strategy. It is important to remember that some papers can take a long time to accrue citations and although they were not cited, that does not mean they were not read. Strike a balance between maximizing citations and serving your readership.
Comprehensive review articles are likely to attract a high number of readers and citations. Active recruitment of review articles is often required; you may like to consider appointing a dedicated Reviews Editor for this purpose.
The number of articles or other citable items published per volume will affect the Impact Factor calculation. SAGE is on hand to advise you on how to ensure that the ratio is optimized and that Clarivate Analytics (formerly Thomson Reuters and ISI) is indexing your content appropriately.
Though very high levels of self-citation (more than 20%) is frowned upon in scholarly publishing, it is perfectly common for your authors to cite work from articles previously published in the journal. Reviewers could be encouraged to check that submitted papers are making sufficient reference to the journal. Making journal self-citation a condition for publication, however, or specifying particular citations to submitting authors, is unethical and should not be done.