This study investigates the role of self-citation in the scientific production of Norway (1981-1996). More than 45,000 publications have been analysed. Using a three-year citation window we find that 36% of all citations represent author self-citations. However, this percentage is decreasing when citations are traced for longer periods. We find the highest share of self-citation among the least cited papers. There is a strong positive correlation between the number of self-citations and the number of authors of the publications. Still, only a minor part of the overall increase in citation rates that can be found for multi-authored papers is due to self-citations. Also, the share of self-citation shows significant variations among different scientific disciplines. The results are relevant for the discussion concerning use of citation indicators in research assessments.
KeywordsCitation Rate Scientific Impact Citation Window Citation Indicator Citation Period
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