The title mostly says it all.

I am writing an article on a rarely researched topic in my field - 4-5 articles exist, as far as I know.

I recently published a related article, still making this topic a rarely researched one.

Would it be a bad practice to include my own published article in the literature review?

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    It is quite common that reviews are written by persons intimately familiar with the topic so to answer your question: quite the contrary – Peter Jansson Oct 17 '13 at 15:44
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    I recommend that you refer to your work as if another person wrote it. (That is, write "Noche (2013) discovered that ..." instead of "In 2013, the author discovered that ...".) This aids in the double-blind review of your paper. – Joel Reyes Noche Nov 8 '13 at 12:40
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    @JoelReyesNoche yup, I am going to treat myself as a third person. Unfortunately, double-bind review process is quite rare in my field... – user7112 Nov 8 '13 at 16:09
  • Note that in some fields not including your own relevant papers in a literature review can be considered academic misconduct. This is to prevent authors from publishing the same results multiple times. – pehrs Mar 15 '15 at 13:24

No, not at all. You should cover all publications which fall within the scope of the review, and if one of them happens to be a paper of yourself, then of course you still have to cover that in your review. Just make sure that you try to be objective in the way you discuss it. Best practice would be to review your paper as you would review a paper by any other author.

Maybe you have a coauthor in the review who was not coauthor on the research paper? Ask him/her to do the review section about that research paper.

Also note the positive aspect of this situation: having published a research paper in the area you are reviewing gives you more credibility as an author of a review in that area.


No, I don't think its particularly bad practice at all, assuming that the paper is indeed relevant to the topic, rather than being a stretch.

  1. The reader is reading a review paper to get a picture of the field as a whole - by not including your own papers, especially in a small field, you are in effect denying them an understanding of a significant percentage of the topic.
  2. Many fields have review papers invited (or proposed as "Would you like to invite...") by people who could be considered experts in that field. I think there's a pretty clear expectation that the people best qualified to write a review work in the field, and may end up mentioning their own papers.
  3. In meta-analysis, failing to include your own papers (or including your own unpublished work) has the potential to bias your findings. While your paper might not be a meta-analysis, the principle still holds - the paper should be an in-depth review of the available literature.

That being said, treat your own work with an even hand and, as has been suggested, possibly have someone else read it over to make sure no "Clearly the right answer is (Me, 2013) whose staggering genius is beyond the scope of this paper" has slipped in.


It is common to cite own works in science, and this is not considered a bad tone.


I just received a referee report a few weeks ago where my referee told me I needed to cite more of my own papers in the literature review section. So it definitely doesn't seem like it is bad practice, especially in mathematics.

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