There is this investment bank specialized in the mining sector. I had access to one of their presentations where they have data regarding the production and end use of some chemical elements. They do not cite the data.

Do you think that is good or bad, trustful or not, to cite these data in my PhD thesis?

  • 1
    Is that presentation publicly available? If not, then the question is how a PhD reviewer would validate that you have correctly reproduced or interpreted the data (or that said data even exists in the first place).
    – xLeitix
    Feb 28, 2014 at 12:16
  • @xLeitix - Not sure I agree with that, from my experience a presentation does not typically contain enough information about the details of the study for the reviewer to either (1) fully assess the validity of the study or (2) replicate the research.
    – eykanal
    Feb 28, 2014 at 12:21
  • @eykanal I think you misunderstood. I think the presentation being publicly available is a necessary, but not a sufficient condition on it being a useful reference.
    – xLeitix
    Feb 28, 2014 at 12:23
  • @xLeitix - Then we're in agreement.
    – eykanal
    Feb 28, 2014 at 12:28
  • The presentation can be accessed here: superiorprospects.com/data/general-information/… or here slideshare.net/RareEarthsRareMetals/…
    – cinico
    Feb 28, 2014 at 15:19

2 Answers 2


If the source has been used, it generally must be cited, otherwise you assign yourself results or conclusions obtained by other researchers.

Providing the source is not a question for its reputability. If you think the source is not reputable enough, do not use it in your work. It is not very common but I have even seen "personal communication" as a type of the reference.


It depends on your research topic.

If you are conducting research on the marketing value of a chemical element, the trustfulness of a presentation without citation sources is unknown at best. All you know is that they did the presenation for purposes.

However, if you are conducting research on the investment bank marketing strategies, this presentation can be a research subject. The trustfulness of the presentation can be a research topic by itself. However, you will have the citation issue if the presentation is not publicly available as @xLeitix pointed out in the comment above.

  • In fact, the information I want to use is for introductory purposes. My main research is on the physical properties of niobium oxides. The data will help me explain why and how is niobium is a less expensive alternative to tantalum.
    – cinico
    Feb 28, 2014 at 15:28

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