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The Order of Citations

VU International News and Reviews No. 123 November 03 2018

November 2018

Jeffrey Stevens e.a. from Nebraska in his article in the Psychonomic Bulletin & Review shows that “Order Matters: Alphabetizing in-text citations biases citation rates”: Whether the citations in a scholarly publication ordered by name of the first order, or by year of publication, or otherwise, has an impact on how much attention these citations get.

They found that surnames earlier in the alphabet were cited more often than those later in the alphabet when journals ordered citations alphabetically compared. They suggest that journals using alphabetically ordered citations switch to chronological ordering to minimize this arbitrary alphabetical citation bias.

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