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A country implements the most stringent environmental regulations in a region.

For a general statement/common knowledge like this, I cited a peer-reviewed journal paper, which has a similar claim in their introduction. However, the problem is neither this claim is the main findings of the journal paper, nor the paper provides any secondary citation. So it is a general claim made by the authors.

Can I cite the paper? or must I cite all the related environmental standards of all the countries from the region? I really think it is unnecessary, however, there is no such review in this region and in this subject.

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    You need to say who determined that based on which methodology/metrics. If you can't do that, it depends on the definitions of "stringent" and "environmental regulations" and is thus not comparable to textbook knowledge but more of a personal opinion. You should avoid personal opinions when writing a scientific manuscript. – Roland Sep 25 at 12:34
  • General practice shows that a citation is needed for recent, or technical, or disputable statements; whilst common knowledge statements come off as mere context drawing. However it is often tricky to acknowledge what is in fact common knowledge or not, especially when one is a seasoned specialist. – Scientist Oct 25 at 11:25
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If you want to use a fact, either prove it yourself or cite a reliable source. If that paper does not provide a source for that fact then it’s not good enough in my opinion, but standards across fields vary.

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