Self-citing in a scientific article

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Citation is a powerful tool in the professional activities of a scientist. It affects their rating, career achievements, and the performance of the scientific organisation where they work. But what can be said about such a phenomenon as self-citing? When it is used, does the scientific community support this kind of mentions, how to format it? Let us take a look at the main related issues highlighted in this article. 

 Self-citing in a scientific article

The uniqueness of the subject

If a scientist investigates a unique problem, they often use self-citing to familiarise researchers with other articles of this author, because there is simply no one else to refer to.

Scientometric indicators

Self-citing increases the Hirsch index and the average citation rate. But one needs to be very careful so that this does not develop into an artificial data-gouging. To prevent the researcher from being accused of intentionally increasing their citation index, they need to adhere to a certain amount of self-citing. This will help to cover the subject more extensively and to interest the reader, to compare the results. Someone advises not to exceed 25%, someone 35%, but the specialists of our company, taking into account the many years of experience with international journals that are included in the Scopus and Web of Science databases, came to the conclusion that the amount of self-citing in an article should not exceed 12%. Then the article will successfully pass peer review, and the author will not be credited with active self-praise.

The phenomenon of plagiarism and self-plagiarism

Let us take a look at the concepts of plagiarism and self-plagiarism. The former means that the scientist deliberately passes off other people's ideas as his or her own and does not mention the source. But every author should remember that a scientific article must be at least 85% unique for it to be approved by reviewers of international journals.

As for self-plagiarism, problems arise when the author constantly adds a fragment from previous works to their new article, without formalising it in the form of a phrase, paraphrase, or reference. Then it turns out that the scientist publishes the same information in scientific journals, which is not supported by publication ethics.

Therefore, there is nothing shameful in the allowable amount in self-citing, if one remembers two things: the article should always contain novelty and correctly laid out references.

Layout of phrases

All citations must have a reference and be laid out in the form of a footnote. Mentions are laid out as direct speech: quotation marks, a comma, an explanation of whose text it is. One can also use indirect speech – introductory constructions (in the words of such and such, in the opinion of such and such).

The authority of the scientist

The permissible amount of and correctly laid out self-citing positively influences the authority of the scientist. It demonstrates the author's expertise in a certain subject area and that they already have their individual developments.

For many years, Scientific Publications – Publ.Science company has been providing consulting services to scientists who publish their articles in quality journals. Therefore, if you need consulting assistance, publication in Scopus and/or Web of Science, editing services, layout, etc., contact our specialists via the chat on the website. We will answer all your questions within a day.

As a reminder, we have recently released an article "Scopus Core Metrics: Helping to Assess Journals".

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