I'm writing my Master's thesis in a field where there exists a common misconception regarding the properties of a material, stemming from some papers published in the 80's and 90's and disproved in a more thorough study published in the 00's. While most of the serious publications in this field cite this newer paper, the misconception still thrives and is sometimes even used in the papers citing the article that disproved it. The properties of this material are of great importance for the field.
The only reasonable thing is of course to use the new data in my thesis, which I will do, but since the misconception is so common I wonder if I should mention it in the report. I can think of three different ways to handle this:
- Don't mention the misconception at all.
- Mention it, but in a general way and not providing sources. For example "A common misconception is ... "
- Mention it, and provide sources. "A common misconception, seen for example in [references]... "
Usually, it is a bad habit to make statements without backing them up with facts, which makes me doubt option 2. But on the other hand, option 3 seems a bit too aggressive.
(This is my first post on StackExchange, I hope I didn't mess things up to much.)