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SELF CITATION LETTERS Vol 1, April 2011.

CONSISTENT SELF CITATION


ANALYSIS OF NELSON TANSU
Peter Raisin
Self citation analyst.

Abstract - Self-citation, where an author cite his own works, account for a significant portion
of total citations. Self citation or self referencing can be a result of an author’s social and
psychological need for personal gratification. It is used as a tactical tool to get famous, in the
struggle for visibility and scientific authority. This paper provides a consistent self citation
analysis on a famous self-proclaimed youngest professor in the history, Nelson Tansu. The
analysis reveals the author has a high self citation, able to cite himself 10 to 40 times in a
publication. Tansu deliberately consistently cite himself in large volume to increase his citation
number. The activity of self citation is more than 50% of the number of citations he received.
This consistent self citation doubled his h-index.

Keywords: AlGaN quantum wells; deep UV lasers; III-Nitride; laser diodes; optical gain;
broadband terrahertz; dipole radiation; light-emitting diodes; efficiency-droop.

I. INTRODUCTION
A self-citation is a reference an author provide in a document to other documents written
by himself. Self-citation, where an author cite his own works, account for a significant portion
of all citations. Self citation or self referencing can be a result from the cumulative nature of
individual research, and the need for personal gratification. The value of self-citation is used a
rhetorical and tactical tool in the struggle for visibility and to become famous [1].
Author self-citation is of interest because it reveals about the social behavior of the
author. Self-citation is a form of academic egotism, selfishness and self-centeredness [2]. It is a
strategy for emphasizing a researcher’s contribution to a piece of research and strengthening his
or her knowledge claims, research credibility, and wider standing in the discipline. It is used for
the promotional strategies of the individual [3].
Nelson Tansu made claims that he is the youngest professor in the US history. He also
listed having more than 200 publications and more than 1200 citations. This research found out
SELF CITATION LETTERS Vol 1, April 2011.

whether the publication of Nelson Tansu is really important, have a high impact, or is this really
just because of high self citation. A consistent self citation analysis is performed rigorously.

II. METHODOLOGY
The research was conducted in the OSU Science and Engineering Library, Columbus
OH, during Spring 2011. A database search of “Nelson Tansu” publication and citation is
done on Scopus. Scopus is a database of abstracts and citations for scholarly journal articles.
Scopus also offers author profiles which cover affiliations, number of publications and their
bibliographic data, references and details on the number of citations each published document
has received. A self consistent citation analysis is performed.
The author “Tansu N” was identified as the right author at the right affiliation. The
number of publications and their references and details on the number of citations each published
document was retrieved from year 2000 to 2011. In addition, the number of citations that is
without self citation was recorded.

III. NUMBER OF PUBLICATIONS


The total number of publications for author Nelson Tansu recorded in Scopus up to
Spring 2011 was 153. Fig. 1. Tansu showed the publication each year since 1999. Tansu had
start publishing since 1999 from his PhD at University of Wisconsin, Madison. His publication
increased until year 2005, but dropped in 2006 and 2007. Since 2008, it jumps suddenly until
2010, with more than 20 publications per year. See also Table 1.
SELF CITATION LETTERS Vol 1, April 2011.

Fig. 1 The number of publications by Nelson Tansu.

IV. NUMBER OF SELF CITATIONS


The total number of citation recorded by Scopus for all of Tansu publication up to Spring
2011 was 1253. The recorded h-index was 20, which means of the 153 documents considered,
20 have been cited at least 20 times.The h-index is an indicator of the author’s productivity and
impact through citation. A person has an h-index of h if he has published h papers of which each
would have been cited by others at least h times.
In Scopus, there was an option to exclude from citation overview “Self citations of all
authors”. This is done for the Tansu’s record. the result of total number of citation by other
people (without self citation) is 601. The 601 citations came from 401 other publications,
meaning that normally other people just cited Tansu’s publication on average 1 to 2 times in a
publication. The h-index is just 13, which means of the 153 documents considered, 20 have been
cited at least 20 times.
This analysis meant that of all of total 1253 citation, 652 citation is self referencing or
self citation. This means 52% of the citation is not the recognition by another people, but a result
of self citation. The action of self citation results in increase h index for Tansu. The real h-index
was just 13, but with self citation jumped to 20. This strategy of self citation was to increase h-
index of the author. The h-index is very easy to manipulate by self citation.
SELF CITATION LETTERS Vol 1, April 2011.

Table 1. Citation statistic of Nelson Tansu from Scopus.


Including self Without self citation
citation

Number of papers 153 153

Number of citation 1253 601

Citation per paper 8.19 3.93

h-index 20 13

Fig. 2 The number of citations received by Tansu’s publication every year since 2000. The
blue line is the total number of citation received. The red line is the number of citation received
excluding any self citation by the author. The green line is the number of self citation by Tansu.

Fig. 2 showed the number of citations to Tansu publication each year from year 2000,
when he was still doing his PhD at University of Wisconsin. The blue line was the total number
SELF CITATION LETTERS Vol 1, April 2011.

of citation Tansu received for all of his publications every year. The red line was the number
of citation Tansu received from researchers other than his own publication. The red line was the
real indicator of how important is Tansu work. If Tansu publication was important, many other
researchers will give citation. And the blue line was the self citation, meaning the citation made
by Tansu himself.
From the red line, the real number of citation, Tansu citation increased from year 2000
to 2005 and it peaked. Up until 2005 his work was somewhat important and referenced by other
people. This meant Tansu work from his PhD at Wisconsin is important. After 2003, he moved
and become the self-proclaimed youngest professor at Lehigh, the red line decreased sharply.
This meant Tansu work was not important anymore, of no relevance and consequence. Tansu
real impact was declining sharply every year.
The green line, the self citation line, is rising slowly after year 2000 but stayed constant
until year 2007. This is when Tansu is panicked as his citation is getting low. The green line
shoots up from 2007 to 2010 meaning the self citation activity increase every ear. This reflected
that the number of citation dropped sharply in 2007. Tansu is desperate to get attention. So he
keep increasing his self citation activity as showed in the green line. This is the most important
finding in the history, the self consistent citation.

V. EVIDENCE OF HIGH SELF CITATION


There were 2 different ways to seek for evidence of high self citation. The first was to see
in each publication how many self referencing in a publication. Self referencing is the number
of references Tansu provide in a document to other documents written by himself. The examples
were:
● Tansu, N., Zhao, H., Zhang, J., et al 2011. Proceedings of SPIE - The International
Society for Optical Engineering 7954, art. no. 795418. This publication has 40 self
referencing.
● Li, X.-H., Tong, H., Zhao, H., Tansu, N. 2010 . Proceedings of SPIE -The International
Society for Optical Engineering 7597, art. no.75970H. This publication has 23 self
referencing.
● Tong, H., Zhang, J., Zhao, H., Liu, G., Handara, V.A., Herbsommer, J.A., Tansu, N.
2010 Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
7602, art. no. 76020U. This publication has 19 self referencing.
● Zhao, H., Liu, G., Tansu, N. Applied Physics Letters 97 (13), art. no. 131114. This
publication has 16 self referencing.
The examples showed that Tansu in total has 10 to 40 self referencing in a publication.
Each publication reference himself up to 40 times. This is an excessive self referencing.

The second way to track self citation was to see how many times Tansu create citation
SELF CITATION LETTERS Vol 1, April 2011.

to a publication. If a publication received many citations by the author himself, it is a direct


evidence that the author manipulates the citation volume and h index. The examples were:
● Tansu N., Kirsch N.J., Mawst L.J. 2002, Applied Physics Letters, (14) 2523. This
publication is cited 41 times by Tansu
● Tansu N., Mawst L.J. 2003, IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics. This publication is
cited 12 times by Tansu.
● Ee Y.-K., Arif R.A., Tansu N., Kumnorkaew P., Gilchrist J.F. 2007, Applied Physics
Letters. This publication is cited 11 times by Tansu.
The examples showed that Tansu can cumulatively cite his own article up to 41 times to increase
the volume of citations.

VI. CONCLUSION
Considering the resort to increase citation and h-index statistic, Nelson Tansu deliberately
consistently cite himself to increase his citation volume. This cause his h-index to increase
almost 50%. The real impact of Nelson Tansu work is declining after year 2005, no one cares
about his work. However Nelson Tansu self citation keep increasing every year since 2007. Self
citation is a result to seek fame and fortune and to make the author looks good and manipulates h
index. The analysis reveals the author has a high self citation, able to cite himself 10 to 40 times
in a publication. The activity of self citation is more than 50% of the number of citations he
received. As a result of self consistent elf citation his h index increase from 13 to 20.

Acknowledgement
The authors would like to acknowledge helpful technical discussions with Prof. LJM regarding
the calculation and analysis of self citation. The author declares no conflict of interest with the
subject of this paper.

REFERENCES
[1] Snyder, H. & Bonzi, S. (1998). Patterns of self-citation across disciplines (1980-1989).
Journal of Information Science, 24(6), 431-435.
[2] Hyland, K. (2003). Self-citation and self-reference: Credibility and promotion in academic
publication. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 54(3),
251-259.
[3] Lawani, S. M. (1982). On the heterogeneity and classification of author self-citations. Journal
of the American Society for Information Science, 33(5), 281-284.