Citation bias in published papers

In summary, researchers find citation bias in published papers and evidence that the problem is getting worse.
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Astronuc
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It was not what I thought it would be, but I do observe such bias in papers/journals I read, and it is only part of the problem.

Researchers find citation bias in published papers and evidence that the problem is getting worse
https://phys.org/news/2022-06-citation-bias-published-papers-evidence.html

When I first saw the article, but had not yet read it, the first thing that came to mind is authors who cite their own papers/works, and I've worked with older colleagues who did that persistently.

With regard to the Phys.org article, I've noticed papers from authors in various nations citing articles of the national peers, although not exclusively.

When I wrote reports, for clients in US, Europe and Asia, I often had a good balance of papers from US (and the Americas), Europe and Asia, if relevant work was available.

Another issue I have with some scientific literature is the same paper, or similar papers, describing the same work, in multiple journals, and sometimes the names of the same authors are rearranged. I've reviewed papers and rejected some that I have found redundant with previous publications, for that reason, and in some cases, where the paper is flawed, and the original should not have been published.
 
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The description is pretty terrible. People are going to cite work they are more familiar with, which is going to be from other people in the same research community. People are doing to cite work they know is high quality, which is going to be highly concentrated in the best research departments. Nobody has time to read all 20 million papers they parsed, or even all hundred thousand papers in their individual field. The claim that this is impeding scientific research is far from obvious, if step 1 to being a scientist is to make sure you familiarize yourself with every bit of research anyone has ever done, no one will ever get any new work done.

There is definitely an incredible amount of racial and gender bias in science, but this seems like it has missed the mark a bit in my opinion. There are real reasons for people to rationally behave like this.
 
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Office_Shredder said:
People are going to cite work they are more familiar with
And even if you don't buy that - and I do - you certainly have to believe that people won't cite papers they are not aware of.

This is, at least in part, a feature, not a bug. The government of China strongly encourages their scientists to publish in Chinese and Chinese language journals. They want Chinese to be the language of science going forward, as English is today, and German, French and Latin were in the past. Since many Western scientists can't read Chinese, the distributions evolve in the way you see.

To my mind, the bigger issue with citations is people citing papers they haven't read. I know they do, because typos in the citation end up propagated from paper to paper.
 
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Vanadium 50 said:
To my mind, the bigger issue with citations is people citing papers they haven't read. I know they do, because typos in the citation end up propagated from paper to paper.
🤖🐒
 

Related to Citation bias in published papers

What is citation bias in published papers?

Citation bias in published papers refers to the tendency for researchers to cite primarily or exclusively studies that support their own findings or beliefs, while ignoring or downplaying studies that contradict their findings. This can result in an incomplete or biased representation of the existing research on a topic.

Why is citation bias a problem in scientific research?

Citation bias can lead to a distorted view of the current state of knowledge on a topic, as well as perpetuate false or unsupported claims. It can also hinder the progress of science by limiting the dissemination and consideration of all relevant research, and can have negative implications for policy and decision making based on incomplete or biased evidence.

What are some potential causes of citation bias?

Citation bias can be caused by a variety of factors, including personal biases and preferences, pressure to support a particular viewpoint or theory, and the influence of funding sources or other conflicts of interest. It can also be perpetuated by the publication process, as studies with positive or significant results are more likely to be published and cited than those with negative or inconclusive results.

How can citation bias be addressed and minimized?

To address citation bias, it is important for researchers to critically evaluate and consider all available evidence, rather than only citing studies that support their own findings. Journals and publishers can also play a role by encouraging the inclusion of diverse perspectives and findings in published papers. Additionally, transparency and disclosure of potential conflicts of interest can help to mitigate the impact of citation bias.

What are the potential consequences of failing to address citation bias?

Failing to address citation bias can have serious consequences for the reliability and validity of scientific research. It can lead to the perpetuation of false or unsupported claims, hinder the progress of science, and have negative implications for policy and decision making. It can also undermine the trust and credibility of the scientific community and the research they produce.

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