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Abstract  

This paper focuses on the study of self-citations at the meso and micro (individual) levels, on the basis of an analysis of the production (1994–2004) of individual researchers working at the Spanish CSIC in the areas of Biology and Biomedicine and Material Sciences. Two different types of self-citations are described: author self-citations (citations received from the author him/herself) and co-author self-citations (citations received from the researchers’ co-authors but without his/her participation). Self-citations do not play a decisive role in the high citation scores of documents either at the individual or at the meso level, which are mainly due to external citations. At micro-level, the percentage of self-citations does not change by professional rank or age, but differences in the relative weight of author and co-author self-citations have been found. The percentage of co-author self-citations tends to decrease with age and professional rank while the percentage of author self-citations shows the opposite trend. Suppressing author self-citations from citation counts to prevent overblown self-citation practices may result in a higher reduction of citation numbers of old scientists and, particularly, of those in the highest categories. Author and co-author self-citations provide valuable information on the scientific communication process, but external citations are the most relevant for evaluative purposes. As a final recommendation, studies considering self-citations at the individual level should make clear whether author or total self-citations are used as these can affect researchers differently.

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phenomenon called author self-citation. An author makes self-citation (or self-reference) when he uses one of his previously published works as a reference in a new article. In multi-authored articles, a self-citation occurs whenever the set of co

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calculation of these diverse indicators accessible to a more general public. An elaborated review on the benefits and problems of the h -index is available [ 5 ]. We will focus on the problem of self-citations, which has polarized the research

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References Aksnes , D. W. 2003 A macro-study of self-citations Scientometrics 56 2 235 – 246

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Abstract  

Self-citations — those where authors cite their own works — account for a significant portion of all citations. These self-references may result from the cumulative nature of individual research, the need for personal gratification, or the value of self-citation as a rhetorical and tactical tool in the struggle for visibility and scientific authority. In this article we examine the incentives that underlie self-citation by studying how authors’ references to their own works affect the citations they receive from others. We report the results of a macro study of more than half a million citations to articles by Norwegian scientists that appeared in the Science Citation Index. We show that the more one cites oneself the more one is cited by other scholars. Controlling for numerous sources of variation in cumulative citations from others, our models suggest that each additional self-citation increases the number of citations from others by about one after one year, and by about three after five years. Moreover, there is no significant penalty for the most frequent self-citers — the effect of self-citation remains positive even for very high rates of self-citation. These results carry important policy implications for the use of citations to evaluate performance and distribute resources in science and they represent new information on the role and impact of self-citations in scientific communication.

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of author self-citations as opposed to journal self-citations (Hartley 2009 ). Such author self-citations contribute to the overall citation count of an article and to the impact factor of the journals in which they are cited (Anseel et al

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References Aksnes , D. W. 2003 A macro-study of self-citations Scientometrics 56 2 235 – 246

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Aksnes 2007 ). In this context, a self-citation is commonly defined as a “citation in which the citing and the cited paper have at least one author in common” (Aksnes 2003 ). In addition to self-promotion of earlier work and egotism/self aggrandizement

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Introduction In studies of citation analysis, self-citations are often regarded as ‘noise’ or diversions removed from analyses (Hellsten et al. 2007 ). This situation has happened since the assessment of research or scientific

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Abstract  

Impact factors are a widely accepted means for the assessment of journal quality. However, journal editors have possibilities to influence the impact factor of their journals, for example, by requesting authors to cite additional papers published recently in that journal thus increasing the self-citation rate. I calculated self-citation rates of journals ranked in the Journal Citation Reports of ISI in the subject category “Ecology” (n = 107). On average, self citation was responsible for 16.2 � 1.3% (mean � SE) of the impact factor in 2004. The self-citation rates decrease with increasing journal impact, but even high impact journals show large variation. Six journals suspected to request for additional citations showed high self-citation rates, which increased over the last seven years. To avoid further deliberate increases in self-citation rates, I suggest to take journal-specific self-citation rates into account for journal rankings.

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