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Tips for Authors

You are an author, you write and publish, it is important for your career. There is something you can do to measure and increase the impact of your work.

There is no limit to the tools you can use and the approaches you can take. Here are some pocket tips on how to deal with practical questions.

Want to know more? Come see us in the Library, or contact us!

Create Your Profile

ProfileCreate your own profile on social networks for researchers and on reference managers. Get unique author identifiers. Then you can build and share your list of publications, exchange papers, monitor your citations, and much more.

We recommend ResearcherID [example], which is licensed to ICTP, and ORCID [example], free for all. You can integrate your ResearcherID and ORCID accounts and seamlessly exchange data between the two systems [see how]. So, if you change institution and lose access to ResearcherID, you will keep all data in ORCID except citation metrics.

Other popular free tools are Google Scholar, Mendeley, LinkedIn, ResearchGate. We can help you identify the best solutions for you and assist you through registration.

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Count & Analyze Citations

CitationCitation counts measure the number of times articles are cited by other papers. No single database indexes all publications, so citation counts may vary significantly.

There are three main sources for citation data: Web of Science, which is licensed to the Marie Curie Library, Google Scholar, which is free, and Scopus, not available at ICTP. High energy physicists largely rely on INSPIRE.

Web of Science. The best way to keep track of citations is to set up a citation alert, or create a personal profile with a publications list in ResearcherID. You can generate a citation report with statistical data, graphs on publications and citations, and the h-index.

Google Scholar. Again, the best way is to use the profile features [example], which give you the total cites count, the h-index, the i10-index (number of publications with at least 10 citations), and the alerts for new publications and citations. You can also see the citation graph for each listed paper.

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Find Who Cites Your Work

WhocitesSimple and smooth with ResearcherID Labs. The Citing Articles Network feature creates an interactive world map with the top geographic locations, and a graphical display of the top citations by author, category, country, institution or year [example].

In Web of Science, you can create a citation map for each article [see how], ordering forward and backward citations by author, country or institution. Or you can create a citation report, display the citing articles and use the "refine" options to view authors and sources.

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Choose Where to Publish Wisely

PublishJournals must assess the quality of scientific papers through a rigorous review process, before accepting them for publication, so why shouldn't authors want to assess the quality and influence of scholarly journals before submitting their work to them?

The Impact Factor from Journal Citation Reports (JCR), licensed to the Marie Curie Library, measures the average number of times recent articles from a journal have been cited in a given year.

The SCImago Journal Rankings, based on Scopus, is a free alternative to JCR.

The Eigenfactor not only counts the average citations per article, but also weighs differently references from highly or lesser cited journals. Moreover, it excludes journal self-citations.

If you are thinking of submitting to an open-access journal, be aware that the reliability of several journals in this category is disputed. Jeffrey Beall, an academic librarian at the University of Colorado, has published his list of "potential, possible, or probable predatory scholarly open-access publishers" and the criteria for determining them in the Scholarly Open Access website.

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SherparomeoDo you want to self-archive your papers in your personal pages, in institutional repositories, or maybe share them via social tools, but you are worried about the copyright implications? Then check permissions on Sherpa/RoMEO. Use this site to find a summary of permissions that are normally given as part of each publisher's copyright transfer agreement.

Most international publishers permit some form of self-archiving. RoMEO (Rights MEtadata for Open archiving) uses different colours to help highlight publisher policies. These colours differentiate between four categories of archiving rights:

Green: Can archive pre-print and post-print or publisher's version/PDF

Blue: Can archive post-print (i.e. final draft post-refereeing) or publisher's version/PDF

Yellow: Can archive pre-print (i.e. pre-refereeing)

White: Archiving not formally supported

Confused about the RoMEO colours and their meanings? How to interpret them case-by-case? Ask us!


P. Giannozzi; et al., J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 21, 395502 (2009)
Authors of this article:

  • Cannot archive publisher's version/PDF
  • Can archive post-print version on personal website immediately
  • Can archive post-print on repositories after 12-month embargo
  • Can archive pre-print version on personal website or arXiv
  • Must cite publisher's version and link to it with DOI

M. Benarab; et al., Optical engineering 50, 094201 (2011)
Authors of this article:

  • Can archive publisher version/PDF (preferred) on non-profit servers
  • Can archive post-print on non-profit servers
  • Must cite publisher's version and link to it with DOI

M.A. Abramowicz; et al., Nature 356, 41 (1992)
Authors of this article:

  • Cannot archive publisher's version/PDF
  • Can archive post-print on personal website or institutional repository after 6-month embargo
  • Can archive pre-print version on personal website or arXiv
  • Must cite publisher's version and link to it with DOI

Retain Author Rights

CopyrightMost standard publishing agreements force authors to transfer all rights, including copyright, into the publisher's hands. This limits future use, and you may not reproduce, share with peers or students, publicly use your own intellectual work without permission.

Read the publisher's agreement carefully before signing it. If the document is restrictive, you still have a chance to retain certain rights. You can send back the signed agreement with an Author Addendum, prepared by SPARC, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition. It is a legally binding document unless explicitly rejected by the publisher, and even in this case you can negotiate.

A similar document can be prepared using the Science Commons Scholar's Copyright Addendum Engine.

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