I have a citation of an online article that I used in my research for an essay, yet I haven't referenced this citation anywhere in the essay. Should I keep the citation, or delete it because nothing refers to it?

marked as duplicate by user3209815, scaaahu, OBu, Buzz, Enthusiastic Engineer Apr 13 '18 at 19:19

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A Works Cited by definition includes only the...works that you cited. So any extraneous entries should be removed.

In contrast, a bibliography can include all related work, even if you don't specifically refer to it. The goal of a bibliography is not only to cite the author's sources, but also to provide recommended reading for the reader.

In scientific journals, my experience is with the former. If you think a particular article has value, you can refer to it in the text, even obliquely (e.g., "X is widely discussed in the literature [1-15]. In this work, ...")


I would not include an entry in the bibliography of a paper if it is not mentioned in the essay in which it appears, for exactly the reason you cite. If a work is not mentioned in the essay, why should we believe that you used it in the article?

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