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As we know, citation counts are important to judge one's research activity. Is it good to cite one's previous works? Will it be viewed as an act of advertisement or self-promotion?

1 Answer 1

As with all referencing, the referenced works must be pertinent to what is being described in the paper referencing them. If one writes about a specific topic where much of the work has been done by the same researcher or research group then self-citing will be quite common. There is of course a fine line between that and "self-promoting" self-citing. It is impossible to try to draw the line based on number or references or percentages of the total number of references. However, it is not common that most science in a field has been made by the same person so referencing own publications where they are only vaguely related is obviously not a good way.

Having many self-citations is clearly not a sign of widely spread science, either because it is not that interesting or because the field is very isolated (or very new). Citing ones own work will definitely become obvious when looking at the citations as you have done. The normal citation index or h-index obviously does not capture this although it is possible to calculate such indecees without self-citations. But as stated above a certain quantity of self-citation is inevitable since it is likely that one publication follows on many others from the same person or group. So self-citation is acceptable to a point. It becomes less and less acceptable when the reason for the citation is pogressievly less obvious and where other papers would be equally good (or better).