, Volume 81, Issue 2, pp 321–331 | Cite as

Institutional self-citation rates: A three year study of universities in the United States

  • Dean Hendrix


Using Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) data, this paper calculated institutional self citations rates (ISCRs) for 96 of the top research universities in the United States from 2005–2007. Exhibiting similar temporal patterns of author and journal self-citations, the ISCR was 29% in the first year post-publication, and decreased significantly in the second year post-publication (19%). Modeling the data via power laws revealed total publications and citations did not correlate with the ISCR, but did correlate highly with ISCs. California Institute of Technology exhibited the highest ISCR at 31%. Academic and cultural factors are discussed in relation to ISCRs.


Citation Rate Journal Impact Factor Bibliometric Indicator Similar Temporal Pattern Bibliometric Measure 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Adams, J. D., Clemmons, J. R., Stephan, P. E. (2004), Standing on Academic Shoulders: Measuring Scientific Influence in Universities. Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research, (NBER Working Paper No. 10875)Google Scholar
  2. Aksnes, D. W. (2003), A macro study of self-citation, Scientometrics, 56(2): 235–246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Aksnes, D. W. (2006), Citation rates and perceptions of scientific contribution, Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 57(2): 169–185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Anseel, F., Duyck, W., De Baene, W., Brysbaert, M. (2004), Journal impact factors and self-citations: Implications for psychology journals, American Psychologist, 59(1): 49–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Ausloos, M., Lambiotte, R., Scharnhorst, A., Hellsten, I. (2007), Andrzej Pekalski Networks of Scientific Interests with Internal Degrees of Freedom through Self-citation Analysis, Arxiv preprint arXiv:0710.1800.Google Scholar
  6. Baldi, S. (1998), Normative versus social constructivist processes in the allocation of citations: A network-analytic model, American Sociological Review, 63(6): 829–846.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Demaria, A. N. (2003), A report card for journals, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 42(5): 952–953.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Engqvist, L., Frommen, J. G. (2008), The h-index and self-citations, Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 23(5): 250–252.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Falagas, M. E., Kavvadia, P. (2006), “Eigenlob”: self-citation in biomedical journals, FASEB Journal, 20(8): 1039–1042.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Fassoulaki, A., Paraskeva, A., Papilas, K., Karabinis, G. (2000), Self-citations in six anaesthesia journals and their significance in determining the impact factor, British Journal of Anaesthesia, 84(2): 266–269.Google Scholar
  11. Fowler, J. H., Aksnes, D. W. (2007), Does self-citation pay? Scientometrics, 72(3): 427–437.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Frandsen, T. F. (2007), Journal self-citations — Analysing the JIF mechanism, Journal of Informetrics, 1(1): 47–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gami, A. S., Montori, V. A., Wilczynski, N. L., Haynes, R. B. (2004), Author self-citation in the diabetes literature, Canadian Medical Association Journal, 170(13): 1925–1927.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Garfield, E., Welljams-Dorof, A. (1992), Citation data: their use as quantitative indicators for science and technology evaluation and policy-making, Science and Public Policy, 19(5): 321–327.Google Scholar
  15. Glänzel, W., Debackere, K., Thijs, B., Schubert, A. (2006), A concise review on the role of author self-citations in information science, bibliometrics and science policy, Scientometrics, 67(2): 263–277.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hellsten, I., Lambiotte, R., Scharnhorst, A., Ausloos, M. (2007), Self-citations, co-authorships and keywords: A new approach to scientists’ field mobility? Scientometrics, 72(3): 469–486.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hyland, K. (2003), Self-citation and self-reference: Credibility and promotion in academic publication, Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 54(3): 251–259.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kelly, C. D., Jennions, M. D. (2006), The h index and career assessment by numbers, Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 21(4): 167–170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lawani, S. M. (1982), On the heterogeneity and classification of author self-citations, Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 33(5): 281–284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Macroberts, M. H., Macroberts, B. R. (1989), Problems of citation analysis: A critical review, Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 40(5): 342–349.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Maczelka, H., Zsindely, S. (1992), All well if starts well? Citation infancy of recently launched chemistry journals, Scientometrics, 25(2): 367–372.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Moed, H. F. (2002), The impact factors debate: the ISI’s uses and limits, Nature, 415(6873): 731–732.Google Scholar
  23. Motamed, M., Mehta, D., Basavaraj, S., Fuad, F. (2002), Self citations and impact factors in otolaryngology journals, Clinical Otolaryngology, 27(5): 318–320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Nisonger, T. E. (2000), Use of the Journal Citation Reports for serials management in research libraries: An investigation of the effect of self-citation on journal rankings in library and information science and genetics, College & Research Libraries, 61(3): 263–275.Google Scholar
  25. Persson, O., Beckmann, M. (1995), Locating the network of interacting authors in scientific specialties, Scientometrics, 33(3): 351–366.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Rousseau, R. (1999), Temporal differences in self-citation rates of scientific journals, Scientometrics, 44(3): 521–531.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Schreiber, M. (2007a), A case study of the Hirsch index for 26 non-prominent physicists, Annalen Der Physik, 16(9): 640–652.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Schreiber, M. (2007b), The influence of self-citation corrections on Egghe’s g index, Arxiv preprint arXiv:0707.4577.Google Scholar
  29. Schreiber, M. (2007c), Self-citation corrections for the Hirsch index, Epl, 78(3): 6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Seglen, P. O. (1997), Citations and journal impact factors: Questionable indicators of research quality, Allergy: European Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology, 52(11): 1050.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Thijs, B., Glänzel, W. (2005), The influence of author self-citations on bibliometric meso-indicators. The case of European universities, Scientometrics, 66(1): 71–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Tsay, M. Y. (2006), Journal self-citation study for semiconductor literature: Synchronous and diachronous approach, Information Processing & Management, 42(6): 1567–1577.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Van Raan, A. F. J. (1998), The influence of international collaboration on the impact of research results, Scientometrics, 42(3): 423–428.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. van Raan, A. F. J. (2008a), Bibliometric statistical properties of the 100 largest European research universities: Prevalent scaling rules in the science system, Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 59(3): 461–475.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Van Raan, A. F. J. (2008b), Self-citation as an impact-reinforcing mechanism in the science system, Arxiv preprint arXiv:0801.0524.Google Scholar
  36. White, H. D. (2001), Authors as citers over time, Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 52(2): 87–108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Health Sciences LibraryThe State University of New York at BuffaloBuffaloUSA

Personalised recommendations