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I think I did this in some cover letters back when I was applying (such and such a paper has been cited over X times and been selected as ‘editor’s choice’ etc. etc.), but not on a CV.

As a search committee member, I don’t think it would hurt. But committees should keep in mind that those doing work that speaks to scientists can more easily rack up big citation counts, with most of these coming in long lists of citations of work on topic X. For example, it’s much harder to get large numbers of cites (especially in the short term) in the history of philosophy, not only because citation practices are different but also because citations within books are not always found by Google Scholar, etc.

Christopher Hitchcock

One problem with putting such statistics on your CV is that they are apt to change between the time you submit your CV and the time it is read. One alternative is to include a link to your Google Scholar, PhilPapers, etc. pages on your professional website. Search committee members will certainly find their way to these sites for any candidate they are interested in.

Trevor is right that citation numbers often don't say much about the quality of a paper. In addition to his point about differences by area, papers in philosophy tend to have a very long citation "half-life". My most cited paper was published in 2001, and it got more citations in 2018 than in 2001 - 2004 combined. If you looked at citation numbers in 2002 or 2003, you wouldn't get much sense of its eventual impact.

David Hilbert

Citation counts and journal impact factors are very noisy measures that are also easily gamed and have come to be widely deprecated for use in the P&T process.The problems are probably not as acute in philosophy as in other fields and It's not that the difference between a paper with a handful of citations and paper with hundreds (or thousands) isn't significant. Most of what will appear on job applicant CVs, however, will be relatively small numbers and the differences between those aren't meaningful. If you have a paper that received a lot of notice you should draw attention to that fact but the routine listing of citations on CVs would be more likely to annoy me then impress me.


This seems like one of those things which might help sometimes for the reasons already noted, which might not have any impact other times, and which might hurt sometimes because lots of people have idiosyncratic ideas about what is not supposed to be on a job application, and they might hold it against someone if they included this information.

I personally would probably err on the side of caution - I suspect the benefits one might get from this would be outweighed by the risk that your application gets thrown in the trash by someone who is rubbed the wrong way by this. (Witness how much disagreement there was about what's reasonable with respect to self-promotion from the earlier post about that, for instance.) But, I might just be particularly risk averse.


1) I think a better alternative that citing raw data would be either to discuss your most impactful pubs in the cover letter, or include an annotated CV like is often required for tenure/promotion, where you give a very brief description of each pub, focusing on its impact and its place in your larger research agenda.

2) I also agree that there is a big difference between hiring and T&P practices. I will include data in my tenure dossier because there may not be a single philosopher on the committee and at least half will probably be STEM disciples. Most of them cannot judge the quality of my scholarship, and are used to using data, so they do (so I am told) pay attention to impact factor. But when hiring, the committee is going to be in a much better place to evaluate your scholarship, so I don't think it matters as much there, unless, back to point one...


I think the risks of doing this outweigh the benefits. Even philosophers who like you listing it are not going to hold it against you if you don't list it. And there are a lot of philosophers who think the inaccuracies in the numbers make them less than useless, and it irritates them to see candidates take the numbers seriously.


It is really annoying that there isn't a reliable source for tracking citations. For example, I have two papers that have both been cited at least 6 times but google scholar says they have been cited just once. Google scholar does not even always recognize direct replies to papers in the same journal. Sometimes this is random sometimes there seems to be a logic behind it. For example, if in the footnote there are multiple references, google scholar recognized only the first reference.


No job decision is going to be made on the fact that candidate 1 has a paper cited 6 times, and candidate 2 has a paper cited once. (see above) So you should not worry about that. As noted, it matters when you are talking about 6 citations versus 50 citations.


I don't think JR's point was that it would make a difference. But just that it is annoying. I could see why having 6 citations can mean something to someone, especially someone just getting into the publishing game. 6 people caring about your paper is a lot more than 1.


Yep, and if only 1 of 6 citations is shown then I am wondering (but perhaps this is just me) whether a paper that has 50 citations actually has 300 citations...

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