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Authors and their citations: a point of view


This letter describes how a large number of citations for particular publications are pleasing but how a low number is not, especially when the author thinks that some of the latter publications are just as, if not more, important than the former. If an author looks up his/her citations in Google Scholar, he or she may be in for a shock. One might assume that one would be pleased with the recognition given to some of them as shown by the high number of citations, and disappointed by the lack of recognition given to others. Well, in my case, it is worse than that! I looked up the fate (in terms of the number of citations) of over 500 or so books and articles that I have published since 1964. Happily some of these have been highly cited. But, to my surprise, some pieces that I felt had made major contributions were hardly cited at all.

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  • Beard, R., & Hartley, J. (1964). Teaching and learning in higher education (4th ed.). London: Chapman.

    Google Scholar 

  • Burnhill, P., Hartley, J., & Davies, L. (1978). Lined paper, legibility and creativity. Educational Research, 14(1), 62. (Extended version with illustrations in J. Hartley (Ed.) (1980). The psychology of written communication (pp. 82–91). London: Kogan Page.

  • Hartley, J. (1978). Designing instructional text (3rd edn, 1994). London: Kogan Page.

  • Hartley, J. (1981). Eighty ways of improving instructional text. IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, PC-24(1), 17–27.

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  • Hartley, J. (2000). Legal ease and ‘legalese’. Psychology, Crime & Law, 6, 1–20.

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  • Hartley, J. (2005a). Is academic writing masculine? Higher Education Review, 37(2), 53–62.

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  • Hartley, J. (2005b). Is this chapter any use? Methods for evaluating text. In J. R. Wilson & N. Corlett (Eds.), Evaluation of human work (3rd ed., pp. 335–356). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

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  • Hartley, J. (2008a). Learning and studying. Abingdon: Routledge.

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  • Hartley, J. (2008b). Academic writing and publishing. Abingdon: Routledge.

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  • Hartley, J. (2008c). Are student voices genuine? Higher Education Review, 40(2), 63–69.

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  • Hartley, J., & Betts, L. (2009). Publishing before the thesis: 58 postgraduate views. Higher Education Review, 41(3), 29–44.

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  • Hartley, J., & Branthwaite, A. J. (1976). All this for 2%: The contribution of course-work assessment to the final grade. Durham Research Review, 37, 14–20.

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  • Hartley, J., & Cameron, A. (1967). Some observations of the efficiency of lecturing. Educational Review, 20(1), 30–37.

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  • Hartley, J., & Davies, I. K. (1976). Pre-instructional strategies: The role of pre-tests, behavioral objectives, overviews and advance-organisers. Review of Educational Research, 46(2), 239–265.

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  • Hartley, J., & Davies, I. K. (1978). Note-taking: A critical review. Programmed Learning and Educational Technology, 15(3), 207–223.

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  • Hartley, J., & Johnson, M. (2000). Portrait or landscape: Typographical layouts for information leaflets. Visible Language, 34(3), 296–309.

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  • Hartley, J., & Jory, S. (2000). Lifting the veil on the viva: The experiences of psychology PhD candidates in the UK. Psychology Teaching Review, 9(2), 76–90.

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  • Hartley, J., & Lapping, C. (1992). Do mature students of psychology perform as well as traditional-entry ones? An analysis of archival data. Psychology Teaching Review, 1, 76–81.

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  • Lewison, G., & Hartley, J. (2005). What’s in a title? Numbers of words and the presence of colons. Scientometrics, 63(2), 341–356.

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  • Trueman, M., & Hartley, J. (1996). A comparison between the time-management skills and academic performance of mature and traditional-entry students. Higher Education, 32, 199–215.

    Article  Google Scholar 

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Correspondence to James Hartley.

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Hartley, J. Authors and their citations: a point of view. Scientometrics 110, 1081–1084 (2017).

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  • Designing Instructional
  • Huge Number
  • High Citation
  • Initial Specification
  • Obscure Journal