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I am a beginner researcher in a relatively new area. I published two papers in a conference directly related to the general field of my research (the general field is Artificial Intelligence or AI). Still there is no major conference for the new area; only one workshop and several special editions in top journals. As I am progressing in my PhD thesis, I see I am becoming a self-citation researcher.

Although the new area is attracting more people within AI and other disciplines, I am worried about my research. My advisor is happy and enthusiastic about my work. The big names in my research are well recognized in the AI field in general. My question is how to get their attention to read and therefore cite my work?

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    In my experiences, small workshops are better than big conferences to draw scientists' attentions. The smaller the workshop, the easier it is to approach people. – gerrit Jul 31 '13 at 23:18
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    Ask your advisor for help. – JeffE Aug 1 '13 at 2:55
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It's generally acceptable to e-mail senior scientists a copy of your paper. Say who you are and who your advisor is, describe your paper very briefly, and tell them that if they have any comments you'd be grateful to hear them.

Most will ignore you, don't take it personally -- it's not something that will "count against you", unless you do it too often, or to people who's research has nothing to do with your paper. Usually this just means they're too busy or have nothing in particular to say. But you might get a couple of interesting and/or supportive replies. I did, when I was a grad student.

  • Nice. should I prepare a canned email to all of them or target everyone + how my research is related to his/her work? should I be very selective? or send as much as I can? is there any acceptable rough number for how many people I email? – seteropere Aug 1 '13 at 3:09
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Get face-to-face time with them. Email is a “least effort” solution if you have no other possible way, but the way to sell your research is by informal discussions. There are many ways to get one-on-one time with big names, some of which you can pursue alone, some of which your advisor can help with:

  • Introduce yourself during a conference, preferably in a rather informal setting. If the conference has a poster session, engage the discussion if they pass in front of your poster. Otherwise, it is perfectly acceptable to spot them in the crowd, introduce yourself, and say “I have a poster over there and I would like to discuss one of my conclusions with you”. Just be polite, and courteous if you see they want to opt out.
  • In a smaller conference or workshop, just ask the guy a question after his talk, in a way that relates their work to yours. Possibly follow up with some discussion during a coffee break.
  • Get your advisor to invite Prof. Big Name to give a talk in your department, and among the activities scheduled during their visit, arrange for a discussion with him.
  • Invite (or get your advisor to invite) Prof. Big Name to be on your thesis committee!

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