9.2 Excluding self-citations is normally not worthwhile

Many Deans, academic administrators, and tenure/promotion committees seem to have an almost obsessive fascination with self-citations, i.e. academics citing their own publications in subsequent publications. In my experience, it tends to seen as negative, with academics perceived to be manipulating their citation record. The realisation that Google Scholar does not automatically exclude self-citations is often enough for university administrator to discard Google Scholar completely as a data-source.

However, the inclusion or exclusion of self-citations will not normally make a big difference in someone citation record, especially for robust indicators such as the h-index (Engqvist & Frommen, 2008). For a more detailed analysis of this see Chapter 1. Here I provide a brief analysis of why self-citations are not usually problematic and how one can exclude self-citations in Google Scholar if so desired.