Q: What is meant by citations of a research article published in a journal or conference paper?

Detailed Question -

Also, what are h-index and i10-index? What is self-citation of a published paper? What is your opinion about someone who uses a lot of self-citations?

1 Answer to this question

You have asked several questions around citations. I understand you are keen to know more about various aspects of citations. However, as there are multiple questions, many of which are explained through various resources on the site, I shall provide a brief explanation for each question and then point you to the relevant resources for each. In addition, you may search through the site to know more about these and other aspects around citations.

Firstly, a citation of a research paper is an acknowledgment of certain information in the paper relevant to another paper. Researchers provide citations of other relevant papers for various reasons: as a background to their study, as an argument or rationale for certain points in their study, or as a way of building on the research in the previous study. There are several methods for measuring citations, two of the more popular ones being h-index and i10 index. The h-index, named after its creator, the physicist Jorge Hirsch, measures the total number of citations received by a researcher’s papers. The i10 index is a count of the number of papers by a researcher that receive 10 or more citations. Both the indices thus aim to measure the impact of a researcher’s papers.

Self-citation involves including citations to one’s previously published studies. The researcher may do it if a later study builds on a previous study. However, many researchers engage in self-citation more to increase the number of citations to their own papers rather than for any intrinsic relevance of the previous paper to the later paper. For this reason, this is not an encouraged practice.

You may go through the following resources to know more about each of these aspects.