, Volume 95, Issue 3, pp 851-862

First online:

Citation gamesmanship: testing for evidence of ego bias in peer review

  • Cassidy R. SugimotoAffiliated withSchool of Library and Information Science, Indiana University Email author 
  • , Blaise CroninAffiliated withSchool of Library and Information Science, Indiana University

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This study tests for evidence of gaming and attention mongering—here termed ego bias—in the scholarly peer review process. We explore the extent to which authors cite the target journal and its editor and also the relationship between targeted references and editorial decisions. We examine referee reports for the presence and type of references and determine the extent to which reviewers cite their own work in their reports. Our results are based on a sample of 442 manuscripts and 927 referee reports submitted to the Journal of the American Society of Information Science and Technology. We find little evidence that editors, authors or reviewers use the peer review process as an opportunity to play citation games.


Peer review Bias Scholarly communication Citation analysis Scientometrics