I’m currently reviewing a paper and thought it may be good to consult more people on this issue. I’m wondering where exactly should we include citations in article main text (in a science/psychology paper).
The paper starts with two paragraphs of intro with zero references in them with quite general claims. The logic behind it should be that later text will validate the claims. The same trick is used for literature-review paragraphs, where the first sentences make general claims/generalizations and the remaining paragraph seeks to validate them.
This system seems to me to be inconvenient for the reader as the remaining data given is more specific than the claims, and it needs work to see whether they actually cite enough studies to justify the earlier generalizations. Sometimes it seems they don’t but the style itself makes it difficult to immediately perceive.
I am used to the style that citations should be introduced whenever you introduce information (especially general claims). I am wondering if anyone can confirm that the other way works and is common also in practice, where the general claims are followed by more specific validation.
It seems appropriate for me that the sentences could really be left uncited if they are common knowledge and for introductory purposes. But not if they make claims to be built upon. The authors do think that these are claims, they just present the summary before the facts.
For example (made up of course, and to be read by someone who doesn’t know tea):
Tea leaves are generally green. They look green to most people and animals. For example they have been found to be green in sunlight (Authors 2012), and particularly the leaves of carnelia sinensis has been found to be very green (Other Authors 2011). [A few more specific cases …]
I’m sure academia is full of different styles of writing. I’d be happy to hear of different ways to approach presentation. Any style guides proposing this that you could point me to?