Self-citation occurs in an article when an author references another of their own publications. This can be a legitimate way to reference earlier findings; but self-citations can sometimes be unduly made in attempt to inflate an individual's citation count.

Occasionally you might be asked to provide an article citation count excluding self-citations, this could be simply a preference from some communities to exclude self-citations from a citation count.

The Bibliometrics Service can provide citation data with self-citations excluded for staff and students upon request. Please email the Bibliometrics Service with details of the query. Alternatively, instructions are provided below for anyone wishes to retrieve this data using the Web of Science.


Web of Science Instructions

  1. Log into the Web of Science. Contact your subject librarian for guidance if you have never used this tool before
  2. Change the search from ‘Basic Search’ to ‘Cited Reference Search’
  3. In the ‘Cited Author’ field, enter the name of the author of the paper you wish to receive the report for. Then narrow down the search by changing the second field from ‘Cited Work’ to ‘Cited Title’ and enter the title of the article. Alternatively, select ‘Cited DOI’ and enter the DOI of the article using the ‘Cited DOI’ field. The DOI is a string of digits, usually beginning 10.111 that can be found on the published article. Then click ‘Search’
  4. You will be shown article records that fit the search requirements
    1. If your search was specific to a single record in the Web of Science database, you will see only one result. Check that this is the article you are interested in and tick the Select box on the left side of the record. Then click ‘Finish Search’
    2. If your search terms were broader, you will be shown multiple records that fit your search. Carefully select the correct article record that you are interested in and tick the Select box on the left side of the record. Then click ‘Finish Search’
  5. All of the articles that reference the article you identified in your search will now be displayed. Scroll down the Refine Results dark grey left side bar, find ‘Authors’ and expand it. Click ‘more options/values’
  6. Select the box next to the name of the author and any co-authors. Then click Exclude
  7. You now are viewing the cited references with any article authored by the original author and co-authors removed. With this you could either:
    1. Click ‘Create Citation Report’ on the top right. The citation report provides some basic metrics and the cited references at the bottom of the page. Note if you export this file you will receive citation report for these citing papers, not the cited paper of your original enquiry
    2. Export the references in another file format using the ‘Export’ button to use this data in another programme