I come from a Theoretical Physics background and we are working on some interesting topics related to black holes and neutron stars. In present times, various collaboration like the Gravitational Waves, Event Horizon Telescope etc are quite successful in experimental verification of the theoretical concepts. I find that our works published few years ago are quite relevant to these collaboration papers, but our papers are never cited in their papers.

I want to know about two things: (1) In a collaboration where there are around 500 researchers (co-authors), who among them decides the references and writes the papers? (2) How to get relevant papers from our group cited in the collaboration papers?

  • What papers are cited instead? Are they equally relevant?
    – Jon Custer
    Jul 14, 2022 at 13:17
  • @JonCuster Yes, the papers that are cited are also equally relevant. However, most of those cited papers are written by prominent professors who are also members of the collaboration.
    – Richard
    Jul 14, 2022 at 13:19
  • So, perhaps poor form by not being more ecumenical. Do you know those groups? Have a talk over some beverages at a conference...
    – Jon Custer
    Jul 14, 2022 at 13:21
  • 1
    In general, lobbying to have your references added is considered poor form.
    – GEdgar
    Jul 14, 2022 at 14:07

2 Answers 2


In such large collaborations, there is usually (should be) a coordination team that keeps things organized. A PI, perhaps, and a few others, or a few PIs from different parts. They ultimately decide, but it is a matter of negotiation what gets included in any given paper. Talk to your local PI or figure out who is "managing" the larger process. Talk to them. Make your case. Note that there are a lot of competing "demands" of course. Argue on the basis of relevancy. And if you collaborate enough that you are listed fairly high in the author list, you are probably going to be listened to.

Some groups will attempt to give junior members a bit of a boost, but I don't know how widespread that is. I've known it to happen in smaller groups.

  • Thank you for the response.
    – Richard
    Jul 14, 2022 at 13:17

As for the second question:

People include references in their paper because they think that they are relevant to the work and useful to their readers. If they are not referencing your papers, then there are two possible reasons:

  • They don't think your papers are relevant. There is nothing you can do about this; they may simply not think of your papers as highly as you seem to -- our own children are always the most beautiful ones in our eyes, but that is of course not actually true.

  • They do not know about your papers. For this, it helps to give talks at conferences and seminars; it also helps to give good talks that people find engaging and interesting, and that they will remember. So go on the speaker circuit and make sure people know about your work.

You cannot "lobby" for your papers, or at least you shouldn't: People will generally frown upon if told what they should reference in their papers, and your lobbying will not be perceived favorably.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .