According to a recent analysis* of JSTOR articles from the past 60 years commissioned by The Chronicle of Higher Education, women are 56% less likely to cite themselves than men are. Moreover, it’s getting worse. Analysis of articles from just the past ten years showed men to be 64% more likely to cite themselves.
The overall percentage of self-citations is pretty low for both men and women (only 1/40th of all citations from the JSTOR study were self-citations), but that small percentage can have a big pay off down the line. It turns out that the more often a given article is cited by anyone, the more likely it is to be cited in the future. In other words, citing yourself can lead to even more people citing you.
Why don’t women cite themselves more often? The Chronicle article* mentioned several possibilities, including the idea that it’s not “nice” to cite your own work, and the fact that female researchers are more likely to collaborate in relatively small, long-term groups whereas male researchers often work with larger groups and in disciplines that do more wide-ranging collaborative work.
What do you think? Please let us know through the comments.
*The article mentioned in this post is accessible only to subscribers of The Chronicle of Higher Education.