What types of citations fail to achieve their goal and do not benefit the reader? Explain.

What types of citations fail to achieve their goal and do not benefit the reader? Explain.


There are certain cases when references do not fulfill the actual goal of citations

and acknowledgments, and thus do not benefit the reader.

  1. Spurious citations: In certain cases, when citation is not required or an appro-priate one is not found, if the author nevertheless goes ahead with including one anyways, it would be considered as a spurious citation. These sorts of citations do not add any value to the reader in terms of properly understanding the paper. Such actions result in loss of time of the reader or reviewer in looking for the cited paper that is otherwise not relevant. Just as due credit should be given to a paper through citation, inappropriate credit must be avoided so that the credibility of a research work or of the journal or conference proceedings where that paper is published is not lost through this sort of carelessness 
  2. Biased citations:When authors cite thework of their friends or colleagues despite there being no significant connection between the two works, or when they do not cite work of genuine significance because they do not wish to give credit in the form of citation to certain individuals, then such actions can be classified as biased citations. Neglect of citations to prior work whose conclusions or data contradict the current work is also biased.
  3.  Self-citations: There is nothing wrong in citing one’s prior work if the citation is really relevant. Self-citation of prior papers is natural because the latest paper is often a part of a larger research project which is ongoing. Sometimes, it is also advantageous for the reader because citations of all the related works of the same author are given in one paper and this may reduce the effort of the reader in trying to find the full versions of those papers. However, it is helpful and ethical only if all the papers are really relevant to the present work. . However, there can also be negative impact on the journal as well as individual researchers due to inappropriate and irrelevant self-citations. Self-citations in such cases may be either spurious or biased or even both. Editors of journals who ignore such types of citations and allow by negligence or otherwise, to be included in published materials end up directly or indirectly altering the impact factor of those publications
  4.  Coercive citations: Despite shortcomings, impact factors remain a primary method of quantification of research, One side effect is that it creates an incentive for editors to indulge in coercion to add citations to the editor’s journal. Even if not explicitly stated, the implied message is that the author could either add citations or risk rejection. Such demands consequently diminish the reputation of the journal.

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