Join date: Apr 22, 2022

Correct Use of Self-citation in Scientific Writings

An important role in writing a dissertation is played by self-citation, that is, the indication of references and footnotes to one's own, previously written and published scientific works. As a rule, the uniqueness of scientific work should be at least 85%. In the remaining 15%, the author must include not only quotations and other borrowed works, but also fragments of his projects, on which he relied when creating the current work.

What is self-citation?

Self-quoting is a type of quoting. This is an appropriate copying of individual fragments of text from previously published own works. It is not worth abusing self-quoting, since the HAC in certain cases may consider this to be self-plagiarism. Moreover, self-citation may degrade the uniqueness of the entire work. Please note that self-plagiarism is not a crime, does not damage the reputation of a scientist in the scientific community, but may affect the decision of the Higher Attestation Commission regarding admission to publication in publications.

At the same time, self-citation is one of the mandatory elements when writing a dissertation. This "function" allows scientists to draw the attention of scientists to the fact that the researcher has studied this issue earlier, has real and relevant ideas on it. It is important to find a “golden mean”, which will make the work more valuable, reasoned, and not spoil its quality and the reputation of the scientist. Excessive self - citation may cause refusal to publish the material.

How to make a self-citation?

Self-citation, as an option for citing and using scientific papers, must be drawn up in accordance with current requirements. All citations must have a link to the author or be framed with a footnote, which will indicate the source.

Quotations and "self-citations" are made out according to the rules of the English language, as direct speech (using quotation marks, a hyphen and an explanation of whose words these are) or indirect speech, using introductory constructions. It is important that phrases and words taken for quotation are in quotation marks. If, in case of borrowing a fragment of a scientific article, the author was not indicated, then such work may be disqualified and sent for revision. At the same time, the researcher can be severely punished for "stealing" other people's thoughts.

Role of self-citation

On the one hand, self-quoting can degrade the quality of work, reflecting on plagiarism. At the same time, this way of using your own previously published information on the topic allows you to increase the Hirsch index, improving your own performance. Self-citation of scientific works is not a criminal matter, but rather dangerous, requiring special attention and control. In this case, it is important not to overdo it. To prevent excessive use of citations from affecting the quality of research, it is necessary to control the frequency of using other people's and one's own works.

Where is self-citation appropriate?

Most often, researchers resort to using their own previously written projects if the topic is too narrow a topic. If the issue is poorly understood, then there are few reliable and substantiated sources on it. Therefore, the author has to rely on his own earlier research. Self-quoting performs the following functions:

  • Allows you to emphasize the work of the author, "make PR" of his early works;

  • Increases the citation index, indicators of the scientific activity of the researcher (for example, increases the Hirsch index);

  • Demonstrates the sequence of the author's thoughts, confirms the theory put forward, argues the author's position.

Thus, self-citation helps the researcher to substantiate his theory, emphasize the awareness and relevance of his thoughts, and draw attention to his work.

More resources: Combating Plagiarism in Your Text Diploma - Mission Accomplished! Implementation of the Graphic Part of the Graduation Project Writing Essays, Term Papers, Diplomas, Candidate and Doctoral Dissertations Citation Index in Social Sciences and Humanities

Karl Rockwell
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