I submitted a paper recently and one of the major revisions that they ask for was this: "The references in general are not current."

What does the reviewer mean by this?

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    It likely means you did not cite the reviewers most recent paper(s). – StrongBad Feb 5 '15 at 14:55
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    If you do not know how to find more recent literature, that could be an interesting question on its own (but be sure to specify your field). – adam.r Feb 5 '15 at 15:10
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    Is that sentence correct English usage? I am not a native speaker, but it sounds unusual. – Federico Poloni Feb 5 '15 at 15:58
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    I think it's appropriate to note that @StrongBad is being sarcastic. – Cape Code Feb 5 '15 at 17:12
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    Might be easier to parse with commas: "The references, in general, are not current" – BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Feb 6 '15 at 3:43

Your references apparently refer to literature that is too old, and probably superseded by more recent research.

Look for more recent work pertinent to your topic and include it in your paper.


In mathematics, papers are often cited when they are preprints (usually on the arxiv).

If your references cite the preprint version of a paper when it has already appeared in a journal, they are not current.

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