Author self-citation in the diabetes literature

Apoor S. Gami, Victor Manuel Montori, Nancy L. Wilczynski, R. Brian Haynes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

79 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Author self-citation is the practice of citing one's previous publications in a new publication. Its extent is unknown. We studied author self-citation, choosing the major clinical field of diabetes mellitus to represent the general medical literature. Methods: We identified every article about diabetes mellitus in 170 hand-searched clinical journals published in 2000. For every article, we recorded the bibliographic citation and publication type (original or review article) and assessed the methodologic rigour. Citation information was obtained from the ISI Web of Knowledge in April 2003. Results: Of 49 028 articles, 289 were about diabetes mellitus and had citation information. Citation counts ranged from 0 to 347 (median 6, interquartile range [IQR] 2-12). Author self-citation counts ranged from 0 to 16 (median 1, IQR 0-2). Author self-citations accounted for an average of 18% (95% confidence interval [CI] 15%-21%) and a median of 7% (95% CI 5%-11%) of all citations of each publication that was cited at least once (n = 266). Original articles had double the mean proportion of author self-citations compared with review articles (19% v. 9%; median 7% v. 0%, difference 7%, 95% CI 0-10%). Methodologic rigour and review type were not significantly associated with subsequent author self-citation. Interpretation: Nearly one-fifth of all citations to articles about diabetes mellitus in clinical journals in the year 2000 were author self-citations. The frequency of self-citation was not associated with the quality of publications. These findings are likely applicable to the general clinical medicine literature and may have important implications for the assessment of journal or publication importance and the process of scientific discovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1925-1927
Number of pages3
JournalCMAJ
Volume170
Issue number13
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 22 2004

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Publications
Diabetes Mellitus
Confidence Intervals
Clinical Medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Gami, A. S., Montori, V. M., Wilczynski, N. L., & Haynes, R. B. (2004). Author self-citation in the diabetes literature. CMAJ, 170(13), 1925-1927. https://doi.org/10.1503/cmaj.1031879

Author self-citation in the diabetes literature. / Gami, Apoor S.; Montori, Victor Manuel; Wilczynski, Nancy L.; Haynes, R. Brian.

In: CMAJ, Vol. 170, No. 13, 22.06.2004, p. 1925-1927.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Gami, AS, Montori, VM, Wilczynski, NL & Haynes, RB 2004, 'Author self-citation in the diabetes literature', CMAJ, vol. 170, no. 13, pp. 1925-1927. https://doi.org/10.1503/cmaj.1031879
Gami AS, Montori VM, Wilczynski NL, Haynes RB. Author self-citation in the diabetes literature. CMAJ. 2004 Jun 22;170(13):1925-1927. https://doi.org/10.1503/cmaj.1031879
Gami, Apoor S. ; Montori, Victor Manuel ; Wilczynski, Nancy L. ; Haynes, R. Brian. / Author self-citation in the diabetes literature. In: CMAJ. 2004 ; Vol. 170, No. 13. pp. 1925-1927.
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abstract = "Background: Author self-citation is the practice of citing one's previous publications in a new publication. Its extent is unknown. We studied author self-citation, choosing the major clinical field of diabetes mellitus to represent the general medical literature. Methods: We identified every article about diabetes mellitus in 170 hand-searched clinical journals published in 2000. For every article, we recorded the bibliographic citation and publication type (original or review article) and assessed the methodologic rigour. Citation information was obtained from the ISI Web of Knowledge in April 2003. Results: Of 49 028 articles, 289 were about diabetes mellitus and had citation information. Citation counts ranged from 0 to 347 (median 6, interquartile range [IQR] 2-12). Author self-citation counts ranged from 0 to 16 (median 1, IQR 0-2). Author self-citations accounted for an average of 18{\%} (95{\%} confidence interval [CI] 15{\%}-21{\%}) and a median of 7{\%} (95{\%} CI 5{\%}-11{\%}) of all citations of each publication that was cited at least once (n = 266). Original articles had double the mean proportion of author self-citations compared with review articles (19{\%} v. 9{\%}; median 7{\%} v. 0{\%}, difference 7{\%}, 95{\%} CI 0-10{\%}). Methodologic rigour and review type were not significantly associated with subsequent author self-citation. Interpretation: Nearly one-fifth of all citations to articles about diabetes mellitus in clinical journals in the year 2000 were author self-citations. The frequency of self-citation was not associated with the quality of publications. These findings are likely applicable to the general clinical medicine literature and may have important implications for the assessment of journal or publication importance and the process of scientific discovery.",
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