Biases in References
There is a lot of work on bibliographics. Is there a good study of the biases in references in research papers?
There are many, many ways to subtly over or under represent prior/earliest work. One might
- not cite a prior work where it is needed, or
- cite a later work while an earlier work is more appropriate, or
- cite all relevant work but weight improperly by say placing a later work at the same level as the earliest work, by repeating references to a later work more, or slant natural language discussion towards the later work, and so on.
- selfish reasons (self-citations),
- social reasons (citations to students, friends, colleagues or ones we trust or know), or
- antagonistic reasons (jealousy towards a perceived peer, animosity towards someone for a perceived past slight, competition with another group, and so on).
I see a lot of work on bias in the scientific opinion of an author, or bias in selection and so on, but very little on biases in references or systematic ways to analyze and quantify them.