The purpose of the present investigation was to determine to what extent authors of scientific articles cite their previous publications and what are the principal distinguishing features of this particular type of citation. We have analysed the bibliographies of a group of articles from the areas of plant physiology and neurobiology, and have examined the relationship of the self‐citations to some characteristics of the articles in which they occurred. We found self‐citations to be more recent and to be cited more frequently in the text of the citing articles than citations of other authors. The extent of self‐citing did not appear to be related to the number of co‐authors and to the bibliography size of the citing articles, or to their authors' productivity.

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