Alert readers might raise the following objection to my recent post, Fame Through Self-Citation: By the 500th article of our Distinguished Philosopher's career, his reference list will include 499 self-citations. Journal editors might find that somewhat problematic.
If this concern occurred to you, you are just the sort of perceptive and prophetic scholar who is ready for my Advanced Course in Academic Fame! The advanced course requires that you have five Friends. Each Friend agrees to publish five articles per year, in venues of any quality, and each published article will self-cite five times and cite five articles of each other Friend. (In Year One, each Friend will cite the entire Friendly corpus.)
Assuming that the six Friends' publications can be treated serially, ABCDEFABCDEF..., by the end of Year One, Friend A will have 29 + 23 + 17 + 11 + 5 = 85 citations, Friend B will have 80 citations, Friend C 75, Friend D 70, and Friend E 65, and Friend F 60. Friend A will have an h-index of 5 and the others will have indices of 4. By the end of Year Six, the Friends will have 4,935 Friendly citations to distribute among themselves, or 822.5 citations each. If they aim to maximize their h-index, each can arrange to have an h-index of at least 25 by then. (That is, each can have 25 articles that are each cited at least 25 times.) This would give them an h-index exceeding that of the 20 or so characteristic of leading youngish philosophers like Jason Stanley and Keith DeRose. (See Brian Leiter's discussion here.)
By the end Year 20, the Friends will have 100 articles each and 17,535 citations to distribute among those articles. Wisely-enough distributed, this will permit them to achieve h-indices in excess of 50, higher than the indices of such leading philosophers as Ned Block , David Chalmers, and Timothy Williamson. By the end of their 50-year careers, they will have 7,422.5 Friendly citations each, permitting h-indices in the mid-80s, substantially in excess of the h-index of any living philosopher I am aware of.
But this underestimates the possibilities! These Friends will be asked to referee work for the same journals in which they are publishing. They wouldn't be so tacky as to use the sacred trust of their refereeing positions to insist that other authors cite their own work -- but of course they can recommend the important work of their Friends! If each Friend accepts one refereeing assignment per month and successfully recommends publication for half of the articles they referee, contingent upon the authors' citing one article from each of the other five Friends, that will add 180 more citations per year to the pool. Other scholars, seeing the range of authors citing each of the Friends' work, will naturally regard each Friend as a leading contributor to the field, whom they must also therefore cite, creating a snowball effect. Can h-indices of 100 be far away?
(Any resemblance of this strategy to the behavior of actual academics is purely coincidental.)