Self citations do work

Blogging on Peer-Reviewed ResearchIn a very extensive article van Raan has studied the effect of self citations on the total citations to a groups’ work. In the concluding paragraph van Raan writes:

[] external citations are enhanced by self-citations, so that we have the “chain reaction:” Larger size leads to more self-citations, which lead to more external citations. This mechanism is strongest for the lower impact journals—they “make size work”—as well as for higher performance groups. In other words, lower impact journals enable research groups more than do higher impact journals to “advertise” their other work by means of self-citations.

Most interesting to note about this article was that van Raan cited himself 11 times out of 28 in total. It may seem to be a bit excessive, but stresses his point excellently.

Another point that I always stress within the theme of publication strategy is to consider Open Acces publishing. Since the last few years I have noted that van Raan is publishing his articles in OA on Arxiv. His group has not (yet) demonstrated the advantage of OA publishing on citation impact scientifically yet, but the master of scientometrics is putting it into practice anyway. Something to be considered by every researcher very seriously.

Reference
van Raan, A. F. J. (2008). Self-citation as an impact-reinforcing mechanism in the science system. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 59(10): 1631-1643. http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0801/0801.0524.pdf