2

Given two research articles A, B, is it common for them to have mutual citations, in the sense A is cited in B and B is cited in A?

Does it not create (an initial) confusion on which work is done first?

As an example, you can take paper A to be https://sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0001870813003022?via%3Dihub and paper B to be https://degruyter.com/document/doi/10.1515/CRELLE.2011.095/html

They have mutual citations. Both are written by same set of authors.

1 Answer 1

9

is it common for them to have mutual citations, in the sense A is cited in B and B is cited in A?

It is common enough in my experience, I've ended up with such reference chains with other authors. You'll know that often the core idea/initial draft of a paper is available in preprint form long before the final version's official appearance in print. The situation I've seen is:

Preprint A appears -> Preprint B cites A -> Article A goes through enough rounds of revision to delay it until after B has a proper acceptance/DOI -> Final version of article A cites final version of B, final version of B cites preprint version of A.

But there are of course other mechanisms for this to happen.

Does it not create (an initial) confusion on which work is done first?

This wording seems off to me. What creates confusion is the publication process's logistics and timing and the lack of detailed historical notes on the development of articles and ideas. But yes, if you have mutual references in two papers, it's harder to use those references by themselves to temporally date which paper was first publicly available. This is in a genre of problem which has been very common for the last few centuries. If you want to figure it out, I'd suggest arxiv as the next possible resource.

1
  • 1
    I really like the answer to the second question. It is so true that the so-called "confusion" is due to the lack of transparency and historical traceability of the publication. Oct 29 at 18:20

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .