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Citation politics is about reproducing sameness. Academia has a long history with intellectual gatekeeping. Institutions of higher education in the United States still employ a predominantly white male faculty population resulting in white male dominated research production favoring Anglo- and Euro-centric systems of knowledge.
Women are cited less on average than research authored by men. If a women co-authors with a man, the paper has a higher chance of being cited.
People of Global Majority (people that have been racialized in white imperialist contexts as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) are less cited than their white colleagues even if they have more experience than white researchers.
Well-cited scholars gain authority because they are well-cited. However, well-cited does not equate to quality especially at the expense of those less-cited.
Language adapted from Dawn Stahura's LibGuide, "Evaluating Sources: Act Up."
Practice citation counting: literally count how many women and people of the global majority are included in your references. Also: how many scholars working outside the United States do you cite? How many scholars working in languages other than English?
Cite research produced in Latin America and the Caribbean, and in languages other than English, when you are writing about those regions.
There are different kinds of authority. Consider the context in which you are writing and determine: what kind of expert do you need? For example, when might a government site not be as reliable as a personal narrative?
Push against the narrow definition of academic scholarship that is exclusive, misogynistic and racist. Just because someone's work has not been heavily cited does not mean it does not have value. Strive towards citation politics that are feminist and anti-racist.
There are more contributors to research than just the author(s). Take a critical look at the methodology section to see who contributed and who didn't.
Who you cite matters! We have a responsibility to thoroughly evaluate our sources.
Language adapted from Dawn Stahura's LibGuide, "Evaluating Sources: Act Up." and Tulane Libraries Latinx/e/a/o/ Studies Guide.