The proper use of citation – referencing the work of other scholars and researchers – is key to research integrity. It is vital to transparency – recognising and acknowledging the prior work of others, supporting one’s own argument and giving credit where it is due. However, citation manipulation is a form of research misconduct. Excessive self-citation, gaming journal metrics to increase impact, stacking citations to make evidence for one’s view appear to be high, honorary citations for journal editors or reviewers to seek endorsements are all examples of the abuse of the reasons for citing others’ work. Other forms of citation abuse occur when editors or reviewers insist upon their own work being cited, or when articles are ‘inflated’ by irrelevant citations, or when authors form mutual citation rings or cartels: “If you cite me, I will cite you.” The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) has much useful advice on how to avoid this.