Abstract This article focuses on how and why the publication outlets in which academic writers’ work appears can impact on their citations, as part of a qualitative interview-based study of computer scientists’ and sociologists’ citing behaviour. Informants spoke of how they cited differently when writing in outlets aimed at a less knowledgeable audience, and for audiences from different disciplines and in different parts of the world. Citation behaviour can also be affected when writing for journals which favour different research paradigms, and the word limits journals impose led some informants to cite more selectively than they would have wished. The implications of the findings and the strengths and weaknesses of the interview-based method of investigation are also discussed.
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