The following five recommendations are to help authors engage in inclusive citing practices in their own work. Learn more about the how and why behind these recommendations in this video conversation with Drs. Dulce Westberg, Michael Kraus, Rim Saab, and Kailey Lawson.

Recommendation #1

Familiarize yourself with how citing behaviors can perpetuate systemic injustices. See the following reading list for a broad overview:

Recommendation #2

Promote the ideas and work of researchers from historically marginalized groups, including authors outside of the Global North, which will be reflected in your citations.

  • Pay attention to who you are citing and which identities are being left out of your reference section.
    • One way to see who you are (and are not) citing is to conduct a citation diversity audit (see Azpeitia et al., 2022 for a ready-to-use citation diversity audit tool). Note that there are critiques of diversity audit tools (e.g., Syed, 2022), so it is important to acknowledge additional work that needs to be done beyond merely adding in additional citations from diverse authors. Authors should really engage with ideas presented in cited work and clarify in-text why each paper is being cited and how it contributes to the argument.
      • See Recommendation #5 for how an Annotated References section can help promote meaningful engagement.
  • There are existing resources to help diversify citation lists, including:

Recommendation #3

Given that psychology is a historically homogenous field, especially within certain sub-areas, cite broadly both within and across disciplines to promote more novel conceptual links and increase the diversity of your citations.

Recommendation #4

Spread the word about how systemic inequities impact citations, which serve as a form of currency in academia

  • Include a Citation Diversity Statement (as suggested by Zurn et al., 2020) in your manuscripts, even when one is not explicitly required by journals
  • Example Citation Diversity Statement that engages with gender and racial/ethnic diversity: "Research has found evidence for bias in citing behaviors, such that scholars from backgrounds that have been historically marginalized tend to be under-cited compared to scholars with more privileged identities. In this manuscript, we sought to proactively identify references that reflect the diversity of researchers who have studied and are studying citing behaviors. To measure progress toward that goal, we conducted a citation audit using a procedure created by Azpeitia et al. (2022) where the presumed gender and race/ethnicity of all cited authors was documented using information on the internet, including biographies, interviews, Wikipedia, and/or an image of the author. This method is necessarily limited, as coders made assumptions about various aspects of the authors' identities that may or may not be how the authors would describe themselves. Acknowledging the limits of this method, we found that the majority of our cited authors were presumed to be White (70%), with the remaining authors presumed to be Asian (12%), Black (9%), Hispanic/Latinx (4%), Middle Eastern (2%), Multiracial (2%), or Native American (<1%). With respect to gender, most cited authors were presumed to be men (60%), compared to 39% women and 1% nonbinary authors. This pattern of tending to cite authors with more privileged identities was magnified when examining only first-authors, of which 81% were presumed to be White and 76% were presumed to be men. This citation audit suggests that there is room to further diversify the identities of authors we cite in our future work. Additionally, there are other dimensions of exclusion that could be considered in future citation audits, including whether authors live and/or work in the Global South and ways that intersecting identities impact exclusion (e.g., citations of Black women vs. White men). It is also important to consider the journals that appeared most frequently in our References, and how these frequencies may relate to author identities due to biases in publishing. The journal with the largest number of articles we cited was Perspectives on Psychological Science (12 cited articles), followed by Scientometrics (7 cited articles), and Social Studies of Science (5 cited articles). We are committed to engaging in future work to support more equitable and inclusive citing behaviors in psychological science, including working to diversify our citations in terms of author identities and journal outlets" (from Lawson et al., 2022).
  • Example Citation Diversity Statement that engages with gender diversity: "Recent work in several fields of science has identified a bias in citation practices such that papers from women and other minorities are under-cited relative to the number of such papers in the field [Dion et al., 2018; Mitchell et al., 2013; Dworkin et al., 2020; Caplar et al., 2017; Maliniak et al., 2013]. Here we sought to proactively consider choosing references that reflect the diversity of the field in thought, form of contribution, gender, and other factors. We obtained predicted gender of the first and last author of each reference by using databases that store the probability of a name being carried by a man or a woman. By this measure (and excluding self-citations to the first and last authors of our current paper), our references contain 42.9% woman(first)/woman(last), 28.6% man/ woman, 7.1% woman/man, and 21.4% man/man. This method is limited in that: (i) names, pronouns, and social media profiles used to construct the databases may not, in every case, be indicative of gender identity, and (ii) it cannot account for intersex, non-binary, or transgender people. We look forward to future work that could help us to better understand how to support equitable practices in science" (from Zurn et al., 2020).

Recommendation #5

Include an Annotated References section (if word counts do not permit it, consider uploading it as online supplementary materials), which explains why each cited work was included in the paper

  • An Annotated References section includes 1-4 sentences about why each work was cited in a manuscript and ensures that each cited work is being thoughtfully engaged with. Additionally, annotations can help minimize the inclusion of automatic, but unnecessary, citations to works that may already be widely cited but do not contribute to the present argument. See Lawson et al. (2022) for an example.