Citations, Brilliance & Persistence in Academic & Scientific Journal Publishing
Scientific brilliance applied to a research project and any articles resulting from it is often rewarded by recognition, citations and prestige. This is as it should be given that being clever and rigorous in theoretical concepts, methodological design and interpretive discussion can mean producing an exceptional article based on excellent research. Such an article is likely to be highly cited (though there is no guarantee that this will be the case) and thereby earn its author(s) desirable positions, generous grants for future work and the best postgraduate students to help with that research. The trick, however, is to sustain this high level of scientific accomplishment through further articles, into a book or two perhaps, and, ideally, over a long and successful career of scientific publishing.

Persistence and sustained effort are therefore required, and they can be more difficult to attain and maintain, though it is no doubt a consolation to many scientists that they can be achieved by those who may not think themselves the most brilliant among their colleagues. Obviously research excellence, the desire to influence the thought and work of other scientists, and a presentation that is accurate and engaging must be sustained throughout a single article or research project, no matter how long, but a scientific author must also persist in achieving these qualities of successful professional writing in every article, chapter and book he or she publishes. Given that even the most brilliant article will usually create a buzz and generate numerous citations only for a limited period of time, a body of excellent work created over a number of years is a much more reliable tool for earning a continuous stream of citations in the writing of other scientists.

Several conditions may be required to sustain such effort: a permanent position in a research institution and sufficient funding and support for projects are paramount. They can be the rewards of highly cited articles and can themselves produce more highly cited articles, creating a circle of research and publishing success. Also required are passion, confidence and determination, and it can be particularly difficult to maintain these in the face of challenges and hurdles, especially if your work environment or personal life are not conducive to the intensive and persistent focus necessary to conduct rigorous research and write informative and insightful articles that will be remembered and cited by the scientists who read your work. Even the most perfect plans can go awry in the context of real life, and research in progress can turn out very differently than expected, so it is essential to allow your thoughts and intentions to progress in keeping with the reality of your research so that you will be able to accommodate change, maintain research excellence and, if possible, include a spark of brilliance in every one of your publications.