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Measuring national self-referencing patterns of major science producers


This paper analyzes national self-referencing patterns (i.e. the tendency of researchers to cite from the same country) of six major science producers (China, France, Germany, Japan, UK, and USA). While the results highlight a continuing decline of national references (except for China), all countries’ referencing patterns remain heavily oriented towards national papers throughout the 1980–2017 period. The results also indicate, as could be expected, that national referencing patterns are more pronounced in social sciences and humanities than in natural sciences and engineering and biomedical sciences. National references are also smaller in internationally co-authored papers than in strictly national papers. Finally, a significant part of the national referencing bias can be attributed to authors citing their previous works.


Khelfaoui, M., Larrègue, J., Larivière, V. et Gingras, Y. (2020). Measuring national self-referencing patterns of major science producers. Scientometrics.