It does sound like spam, but detecting it has nothing to do with Panda.
Panda is about detecting shallow content and that lies in between spam (Matt Cutts' team) and regular algo (Amit Singhal's team). Because Panda's target lies in between the two area, they are collaborating on the algorithm change that deals with it - and focusing on that for this entire year.
Self linking pages are an interesting spammer tactic that have been cropping up more and more. Maybe there is a big loophole here - or maybe there's so little content online for the terms where I find this method that, spam penalty or not, it's still among the few relevant results available and ends up ranking by default.