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The effects of citation-based research evaluation schemes on self-citation behavior

Giovanni Abramo, Ciriaco Andrea D'Angelo and Leonardo Grilli

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Abstract: We investigate the changes in the self-citation behavior of Italian professors following the introduction of a citation-based incentive scheme, for national accreditation to academic appointments. Previous contributions on self-citation behavior have either focused on small samples or relied on simple models, not controlling for all confounding factors. The present work adopts a complex statistics model implemented on bibliometric individual data for over 15,000 Italian professors. Controlling for a number of covariates (number of citable papers published by the author; presence of international authors; number of co-authors; degree of the professor's specialization), the average increase in self-citation rates following introduction of the ASN is of 9.5%. The increase is common to all disciplines and academic ranks, albeit with diverse magnitude. Moreover, the increase is sensitive to the relative incentive, depending on the status of the scholar with respect to the scientific accreditation. A further analysis shows that there is much heterogeneity in the individual patterns of self-citing behavior, albeit with very few outliers.

Date: 2021-02
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-sog
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (3)

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