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Funny citation-year thing

So, I’m going through the final draft of Regression and Other Stories, adding index entries, cleaning up references, etc., and I noticed this:

Yes, I cite myself a lot—sometimes people call it “self-citation” and act like it’s a bad thing—but I think it’s helpful to point people to my earlier writings on various topics. Anyway, that’s not the point here.

The point here is that I saw the above reference, which has no volume or page number, and it seemed to make sense to update it. A quick search led me here:

But clicking through on the article gave no volume or page numbers. So I followed the link to the Journal of Quantitative Criminology webpage which had a link for Browse Volumes & Issues:

I clicked on Volume 33 (2017), and went through all four issues but didn’t find my article. Then I checked 2018, then 2019, . . . then I realized it must be in the “View articles not assigned to an issue.” And there it was! The very last one on the list, which I assume means it’s the next one to be assigned.

So I assigned year 2019 and volume 35 to my citation. It’s kinda funny, though, because the final final final version appeared in 2017.

I understand that this blog has a delay: I write things now and they don’t appear for six months. But I have a reason for that. It’s funny that journals have the same policy, but even more so, with a two-year delay.


  1. Malte says:

    (Some) Journals do this to inflate their impact factor, as the citations a paper racks up while “online ahead of print” in a year are counted towards the year it is published in.

  2. Ron Kenett says:

    impact factor or not – this blog got me to read this interesting paper. However, somehow, it does not get to the end of the story and reminds me of a neighbour above you who when going to sleep drops a shoe, and you can’t go to sleep until he drops the second one. So, also in this paper the second shoe has to drop. As I have commented before, the second shoe is about generalisation of findings. To do that, I proposed using alternative representations and a delineation of a boundary of meaning (BOM). That BOM can be tested with S-type error computation which involves the study design, see My goal is to increase the impact of that paper by getting more people to read it…..

  3. Hernan Bruno says:

    Very much looking forward to the book. I have bought two copies of the current edition and recommended it dozens of times

  4. Emmanuel Charpentier says:

    Wouldn’t the right way to quote a date for this paper be to state “In Press” ? Keeping 2017 as the date your paper was accepted is correct, though…

    • Andrew says:


      In this case, I’m pretty sure the article will appear in 2019 so that’s what I’ll use. It’s just kinda funny for it to be “in press” for two years.

      A related concern is articles that are first written in year X but don’t appear until year X+8 or something because of long, drawn-out review processes. In this case, X+8 can be a reasonable citation year, but the reader can be misled into not realizing that the relevant example or analysis or method was really done many years earlier.

  5. Frank says:

    This issue seems to come up regularly. Perhaps we need a new reference syntax to indicate when the article is first published online. For his example, perhaps something like…

    (2019, e2017) or
    (2019, o2017)

    Where the e and o are for electronic and online.

  6. D Kane says:

    Any updates on when the on-line version of the book will go live? Would love to use it this semester!

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