Is there any research/study that looked at the impact of the quality of a presentation in a conference on the number of citations the corresponding article receives? (quality in terms of form, not the content itself)

I am most interested in the United States and the field of computer science.

  • 1
    What do you mean by the quality of the form?
    – Bill Barth
    Jun 23 '15 at 18:19
  • 6
    If there are such studies, how do you suppose the "quality" of a presentation is quantified?
    – Mad Jack
    Jun 23 '15 at 18:40
  • 2
    You'd need thousands of samples and have no controls. It'd be a very hard study and to what end?
    – Bill Barth
    Jun 23 '15 at 18:45
  • 3
    Amongst other things, help understand the usefulness of conferences in academia. Jun 23 '15 at 18:47
  • 3
    You could simplify that question to "Does giving a presentation about a paper at a conference increase the number of citations the papers gets?", but -- given all the things that affects the number of citations a paper gets, from publication venue to quality of writing to all the other papers published at the same time -- it will be close to impossible to identify the effect a particular conference appearance had. Still, if anybody has researched this -- maybe something as simple as "do audiences look up papers if the talk was good" -- I would be interested in reading about that!
    – Gaurav
    Jun 24 '15 at 20:31

This survey by Dalton (2014) reviews literature that correlates citation rates with dissemination strategies. Research into a correlation between presentation quality at conferences and subsequent citation rates is notably absent, suggesting that there likely is not much research on this question. That said, a few things can be inferred:

Frenken et al. (2010) carried out a study on collaboration in scientific research and found that international collaborations tend to receive more citations than national or regional level collaborations.

Intuitively, a principal reason for attending conferences and workshops is to expand one's network and meet potential new collaborators. A good presentation is more likely to serve this purpose than a poor one, because it can set a first professional impression of you.

A considerable amount of work has been published on the positive effects of open access on citation rates. Lawrence (2001) carried out an investigation on the impact of free online availability of papers on citation rates in computer science. The results showed a clear correlation between the number of times an article is cited and the probability that the article is freely available online. The more highly cited articles were significantly more likely to be available online.

If you publish your presentation online after the conference, then you are increasing the open access material related to the paper. Especially if you are publishing the research manuscript behind a paywall, the presentation may open the research to a broader audience. Whether the presentation is well done, intuitively, is likely to affect whether you are willing to post it online and the amount of time that readers are likely to interact with it. If you present it well, you are probably more likely to post a public video of the presentation online.

Thelwall et al. (2013) [...] found that there were statistically significant associations between higher citations for articles and the use of various social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, blogs and forums. Similarly a study carried out by Shuai et al. (2012) showed there was a statistically significant correlation between social media mentions and download and citation counts.

Further to the previous point, if you publish your open-access presentation online after the conference, it creates an opportunity to create a social media buzz around it.

Summary There might not be much research on whether a direct correlation exists between presentation quality and citation rate, but a good presentation can amplify factors that have been shown in literature to increase citation rates.


S. Dalton (2014). "Increasing citations: key evidence." Retrieved from: http://library.leeds.ac.uk/downloads/file/616/increasing_citations_literature_review_april_2014 on 15 October 2015.

K. Frenken et al. (2010). "The citation impact of research collaboration in science‐based industries: A spatial‐institutional analysis." Papers in Regional Science: 89(2), 251-265.

S. Lawrence et al. (2001). "Free online availability substantially increases a paper's impact." Nature: 411(6837), 521-521.

X. Shuai et al. (2012). "How the scientific community reacts to newly submitted preprints: Article downloads, twitter mentions, and citations." PloS one: 7(11).

M. Thelwall et al. (2013). "Do altmetrics work? Twitter and ten other social web services." PloS one: 8(5).


In my view, impact of the quality of a presentation in a conference, is relative. There are many factors that model "perception" of "quality". It draws down to the researcher or presenter. If we assume the audience understand the topic under discussion. Generally, the presenter models the impacts that a presentation will have, meaning the concept "impact of the quality of presentation" is socially constructed domain and therefore has many dimensions of causality

  • 3
    My apologies, but how does this actually answer the question, which is about number of citations?
    – jakebeal
    Aug 28 '15 at 18:31
  • Impact of the quality of a presentation in a conference will not reflect on the number of citations the papers gets. by definition "citation" is a reference to a published or unpublished source (not always the original source) or "citation" is the way you tell your readers that certain material in your work came from another source.
    Aug 28 '15 at 20:01
  • Number of citation depends on relevance of the material presented in the conference towards explaining observations in other ongoing studies/researches. Unless there are researchers who are doing studies within your domain of research (who could cite your presentation within context of personal Communication and cite the date of your presentation or conference;
    Aug 28 '15 at 20:02
  • I am afraid, quality of presentation in a conference may fail to translate into higher number of citations. presentation can be acknowledged if a researcher, doing thematic analysis uses your presentation content to identify relationship with his data (in support of emergent themes in his data)
    Aug 28 '15 at 20:02

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.