A simple back-of-the-envelope test for self-citations using Google Scholar author profiles
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionSandnes FE. Frode Eika Sandnes, A simple back-of-the-envelope test for self-citations using Google Scholar author profiles. Scientometrics. 2020;124(2):1685-1689 https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-020-03521-6
The issue of self-citation has received much attention in academia. Widely used and accessible tools such as Google Scholar do not provide information about self-citations. Therefore, a simple and practical back-of-the-envelope test for identifying researchers with strategic self-citations is proposed without access to self-citation information. It is shown that the h-index squared divided by the number of citations predicts self-citations. The test is simple to apply based on Google Scholar author profiles. Bibliometric data for more than 100,000 researchers worldwide were used to assess the proposed test. Test values of 0.35 or more indicate high ratios of self-citation while test values below 0.2 suggest low ratios of self-citations.