03 Simple Secrets to Attract Citations for your Research Paper

Research paper citation


A Research paper must convince its readers to change their mindset about the research domain in question, to look at a problem differently, or to consider a new solution.  Sometimes it is really challenging to convince your readers to read your paper and take up the work in your field and cite your paper in their research work.

What is a citation?

Citations are a technique to acknowledge the sources of the information that you used in your work. It also provides a crucial road map for your research approach, giving your readers the knowledge they need to locate that source again. You must cite any sources you utilise in your study, including books, journals, and the internet, in order to properly acknowledge the original author.

Why do researchers cite?

Researchers use citations not only to give credit to original creators and thinkers but also to add strength and authority to their own work.  By citing their sources, scholars are placing their work in a specific context to show where they “fit” within the larger context of the research domain.  Citations are also a great way to leave a trail intended to help others who may want to explore the conversation or use the sources in their own work.

Basically, citations  give credit; bring strength and authority to your work; set your work in a certain context; and create a trail for future academics.

03 Simple Secrets to Attract Citations

More than two thousand years back ancient Greek philosopher and scientist  Aristotle  suggested three simple techniques  Ethos, Pathos and Logos (also called rhetorical appeals ) which writers and speakers must use to make their audience hook to their writing or speeches. These same techniques can be applied to research paper writing also.  Let us look at these techniques and a few examples to show how you can convince your reader to read your paper.

1. Ethos


Ethos means “character” in Greek terminology and the word “ethics” is derived from “ethos”. As a paper writer, you should use ethos to show your audience that you have some credible information and you have carried out work with credible tools and technologies.  You have to  showcase  your depth of understanding and knowledge  by citing the following:

i)  Cite the research papers of renowned authors (Domain Experts):

Those who have carried out work previously and whose works are published in reputed journals or patented.

ii)Tools and Technologies:

Use the tools and technologies which are used by the authors of reputed journals.

iii) Data sets used:

Select the data sets which are already used in some previous works or you have built them on your own under the supervision of some domain expert or Research Lab.

Example 1:

The following project is part of AICTE-funded Digital India project aimed at developing and integrating new ICT tools for improved government services.

Example 2

The quality grading of Gauva fruit is developed to measure its effectiveness in developing medicines with the support of the faculty of the All India Medical Board.

Example 3:

Our project uses ABC Dataset [4] provided by the Indian Space Organization and  XYZ image datasets[5] provided by the NASA website for all the experiments.

Example 4:

We have used the datasets of all human motions provided by RED Labs[8] for the country of Portugal.

Example 5:

The use of the MNR for training Neural Networks has been developed by Darren [9] one of the most popular researchers in Neural Networks.

Example 6:

In  1997, Alpen [2] senior scientist at CGHN Labs France, demonstrated the first successful application of the Back Propagation Neural Network method to the problem of user behaviour analysis.

2. Logos

Logos the logistics

” Logos” means “logic” in Greek terminology. As a writer, you should support the selection of your research topic and methodology of implementation by citing facts and statistics and other undeniable figures from reputed authorities in the concerned domain.

Example 1:

According to the ICRC (International Cancer Research Centre) of the World Cancer Society (WSC), 12 million deaths were witnessed due to lung Cancer in 2015 and 40 million new cases of this hazardous disease are expected before 2020.

Example 2:

As per International  Agriculture Institute data, the agriculture produce loss is increasing every year which is more than 38% worldwide which includes a loss of around 20% to diseases, 12%  due to insects and 14% due to weeds.

Example 3:

As per the statistics given by the International Disability Council, around 15% of the world’s population has one or the other type of disability.

Example 4:

As per the estimates of the International Information Technology Association,  the  rapid growth in Platform as a Service (PaaS)  in Cloud Computing is inevitable and  it is estimated that nearly one-third of the worldwide enterprise application market will be PaaS-based by 2020, driving annual PaaS revenue to $800 million, from 300 million in 2012.”

Example 5:

The Indian cloud services market is projected to grow  30 per cent in 2015 to a total of $40 billion and up from $20 billion in 2014, according to ABC Market Research.

3. Pathos


In Greek terminology “suffering” and “experience” are referred to as Pathos. Sympathy, Empathy and Pathetic are derived from Pathos. A reader who goes through your paper and finds “Pathos”, will be more sympathetic towards the current issue at hand.  Being a research paper writer, you need to identify a current burning issue that has necessitated the research you have undertaken and use pathos to make the audience feel sympathetic and anguish about the issue and continues research in the same field.

Example 1 :

Pathological issues in plants can increase the cost of agricultural production and can severely affect the economical condition of the producer if not detected in the early stage of disease development.

Example 2:

It is already an established fact that lung cancer is the major cause of death in men and women across the Globe.

Example 3:

Diabetic  Retinopathy (DR) is one of the major eye diseases which can harm diabetic patients severely. Many diabetic patients are affected by blindness and long-term vision defects due to DR.


Research paper citation is very critical for an author as it increases the maximum outreach.  The author can persuade a reader by including statements which hook the reader to the paper through ethics, logistics and empathy.  However, while using these statements, care should be taken regarding the statements you make for their authenticity and relevance to your research article.

Vijay Rajpurohit
Author: Vijay Rajpurohit