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Today I just found this website viXra.org

the paper I looked at has author name but no other info about the author such as university or work.

in addition there was no references at all?

Can I still cite this paper in my PhD thesis?

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    Given the lack of references, do you really trust the paper and its contents? About vixra. – Anyon Apr 8 at 3:35
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    If you cite something - surely its value is in the "chain of evidence"? So no university etc etc how can you validate the provenance? – Solar Mike Apr 8 at 4:53
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    If you cite something, surely it's value is in its actual content? (University affiliation is neither necessary nor sufficient to produce good research, after all.) But given vixra's reputation for crackpottery—well-deserved or not—are you sure the content is good? – JeffE Apr 9 at 5:38
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    You should cite whatever you use. Citations serves a. to attribute the source of ideas or facts and b. to help the reader find further information. Whether the source is a good one or not is a completely different issue; if you use it, you should cite it. – Dan Fox Apr 13 at 10:08
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You can, without doubt, but it might not be a good idea.

The first question is, of course, if the content of the paper is good.

The second question is, if you can find a more reliable source. Given the reputation of Vixra, almost any other source is more reliable, generally speaking.

I would suspect that, most of the time, when something is posted on viXra, either the content is not of high quality or you can find comparable material elsewhere.

But if you do happen to find a gem on viXra, certainly cite it. Just be very, very certain of the quality.

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    The quality of the content should not be the only consideration. viXra has a certain reputation and some of that would stick to OP and his thesis ... even if this particular viXra paper is perfectly fine. My point is: I think you didn't emphasise enough that this should be a last resort. – Szabolcs Apr 13 at 9:37
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    Seconding @Szabolcs's comment: if I saw/read a paper citing viXra that citation would make me wonder about the judgement of author. That is, citing viXra, with its dubious reputation, will make people likewise doubt the author doing the citing. Arguably "not fair", but reputations precede us... – paul garrett Apr 13 at 18:39
  • @Szabolcs Added a sentence to the third paragraph. Also consider writing your own answer if you think mine is misguided. – Tommi Brander Apr 14 at 6:32
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You haven't specified your field, so I don't know whether any of this applies.

If you want to cite the paper as bringing evidence for a theory you're proposing (or defending, or attacking), you should make sure that the content is good, and not blindly trust it - it's not peer-reviewed, and it's on viXra, after all.

If it contains a theoretical point that you agree with, or want to use in your dissertation, then not only can you cite it, it's your duty to cite it, just like any other source.

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