Self-citations, is it worth to work on them?
September 9, 2013 3 Comments
Last week an article in The Economist (Promotion and Self-Promotion) treated the subject of self-citations in academia as common practice, but it did so to justify why women get less important academic positions than men in all fields of knowledge, because it looks like that female scientists cite less their own previous work when publish a paper their male peers.
- Articles with all-male authors are more highly cited than papers with all-female ones, about 5 times, with an average of 25 citations per publication. And this is caused partly because male researchers self-cite more often.
Being cited is increasingly important, we don’t only need to publish in indexed journals with impact factor (citations of the journal), but it is also looked at the number of citations that our publications have. How far will this pressure go?
Thus, self-publishing is a way, at least in the short term, to increase citations, which arises a number of questions:
- In general, self-citations are seen as a form of self-promotion, and are therefore not well regarded, but, who are looking at the details of citations?
- If the article is written by several authors, is it self-citation? Is it less objectionable?
- Citations are dependent on many factors, such as your field of knowledge, the journal impact factor, the interest generated, etc… so, is it good enough the current citation metrics system?
The author of ‘Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus’, John Gray, holds a very interesting theory in his latest book (Venus on Fire, Mars on Ice): That women get to lower directive positions because they have less testosterone, that is, less ambition; that at some point in their careers they conform with what they have because of all the rest of activities that they have to do, as mothers, educators, housework, etc (as many men do, too). The truth is that this theory convinces me more than self-citations as a driver for promotion as professor.
Do you self-cite? Or in other words, are you a male or female researcher?