I wrote a paper of 17 pages and containing 37 citations, could this large number of pages and citations affect its acceptance in any scientific journal or magazine?

  • Usually, number of citations will not affect acceptance. If your paper is accepted, you may be asked to add/remove citations if your citation list is unusual. – GEdgar Oct 2 '16 at 13:44
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it can be answered by reading the journal's instructions for authors. – Cape Code Oct 2 '16 at 14:52
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    The answer may depend hugely on the discipline – Yemon Choi Oct 2 '16 at 15:04
  • This is less than half of the largest number of pages, and less than a third of the largest number of citations, among my journal publications. – JeffE Oct 3 '16 at 2:56

17 pages of manuscript usually shrink to eight or ten in the journal, and 37 citations does not sound like an exceptionally large number.

It depends on the journal you want to submit this paper to. Change the typesetting to the format of that journal, to see how many pages you actually have, and then compare to other articles in there.

Generally: It doesn't matter, if it's not totally off. Is you article well written, scientifically rigorous, referencing the scientific background, and adds something new to it? Then submit it to a journal where it fits in.

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    Plus, look at any "Instructions for Authors" the journal may have on its homepage. Some journals have very strict limits on word or reference counts. – Stephan Kolassa Oct 2 '16 at 13:42
  • @StephanKolassa Where? I've only seen that for "letters" or conference abstracts/proceedings, where you have a strict e.g. one or four page limit. Never for journals that publish full original research papers. – Karl Oct 2 '16 at 13:50
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    Psychological Science, which is pretty much the leading empirical psychological journal, is a prominent example. I think quite a few other psych journals also have similar limits. Psychologists are somewhat anal-retentive about publishing. – Stephan Kolassa Oct 2 '16 at 13:56
  • Just as point of information: "37 citations might be a rather low number" depends hugely on the discipline/field of the paper – Yemon Choi Oct 2 '16 at 15:04
  • @YemonChoi i wrote "... depends on the journal ..." . but point is taken, i changed that a bit – Karl Oct 2 '16 at 15:08

The number of citations for a paper depends on what sort of a paper you are writing.

If you are writing a paper describing a novel experiment/implementation, the number of citations aren't generally a criteria as long as all the methodologies and ideas behind the techniques used are justified with citations of academic articles.

On the other hand, if you are writing a review or a survey paper collating all the existing methodologies and their effectiveness, the number of citations are generally expected to be high (something beyond 30-40 citations).

Specific to your question, it does seem like 37 references seems to be a little less for a paper that is 17 pages long. But this is usually dependent on the field of study your paper is in.

With all that being said, there is generally no strict criteria for this. As mentioned in one of the comments by Stephan Kolassa, some journals may have specific requirements referring to the citations, usually present in the "Instructions to Authors" section of the website for the conference/journal.

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