Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/24414
Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Citations increase with manuscript length, author number, and references cited in ecology journals
Authors: Fox, Charles W
Paine, C E Timothy
Sauterey, Boris
Contact Email: c.e.t.paine@stir.ac.uk
Keywords: bibliometrics
citation analysis
journal guidelines
research impact
scientific publication
Issue Date: Nov-2016
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Citation: Fox CW, Paine CET & Sauterey B (2016) Citations increase with manuscript length, author number, and references cited in ecology journals, Ecology and Evolution, 6 (21), pp. 7717-7726.
Abstract: Most top impact factor ecology journals indicate a preference or requirement for short manuscripts; some state clearly defined word limits, whereas others indicate a preference for more concise papers. Yet evidence from a variety of academic fields indicates that within journals longer papers are both more positively reviewed by referees and more highly cited. We examine the relationship between citations received and manuscript length, number of authors, and number of references cited for papers published in 32 ecology journals between 2009 and 2012. We find that longer papers, those with more authors, and those that cite more references are cited more. Although paper length, author count, and references cited all positively covary, an increase in each independently predicts an increase in citations received, with estimated relationships positive for all the journals we examined. That all three variables covary positively with citations suggests that papers presenting more and a greater diversity of data and ideas are more impactful. We suggest that the imposition of arbitrary manuscript length limits discourages the publication of more impactful studies. We propose that journals abolish arbitrary word or page limits, avoid declining papers (or requiring shortening) on the basis of length alone (irrespective of content), and adopt the philosophy that papers should be as long as they need to be.
Type: Journal Article
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/24414
DOI Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ece3.2505
Rights: © 2016 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Affiliation: University of Kentucky
Biological and Environmental Sciences
University of Kentucky

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Fox_et_al-2016-Ecology_and_Evolution (1).pdf792.56 kBAdobe PDFView/Open


This item is protected by original copyright



Items in the Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

If you believe that any material held in STORRE infringes copyright, please contact library@stir.ac.uk providing details and we will remove the Work from public display in STORRE and investigate your claim.