Questions tagged [citations]

Questions about when to cite a certain work, which work to cite, etc. For questions on formatting a given citation, use [citation-style].

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69 votes
7 answers
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Is it acceptable to write a reference letter for yourself?

If a student needs a reference letter for graduate admissions or that sort of thing, some profs will ask the student to write a reference letter for themself before sending it off to the prof for ...
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53 votes
4 answers
3k views

Attributing contributions to academic work that occur in Stack Exchange

Sometimes we may ask questions on stack exchange or online forums wherein the response is helpful or even essential to a piece of work that gets published in an academic journal. If this occurs, how ...
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63 votes
11 answers
13k views

Are there instances where citing Wikipedia is allowed?

For example, suppose you're writing an article about triangles, and you want to include a short proof of Pythagoras' theorem, but you can't quite remember how to derive it, so you pop over to: https://...
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14 votes
5 answers
5k views

How should I cite a website URL?

I am currently writing a report and I have been compiling a list of references (from IEEE mostly) and I also have a number of websites. My question is, what is the best way to note a website URL? ...
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207 votes
8 answers
231k views

How do you cite a Github repository?

I am working on a honours thesis and have developed a Fortran library that I would like to cite in it. In some places they suggest to quote the documentation of the project but this is something I ...
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  • 2,173
20 votes
4 answers
1k views

Referencing the reference?

Suppose I have a paper with the following text: Roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet, and so are you [3],[4]. As one can see, the author got the information from two other references. ...
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29 votes
5 answers
3k views

Citing sources of problems in assignments

This question was raised by Dave Clarke here. When a textbook author approaches a topic in a novel way or presents a particularly interesting example, I believe that a teacher who creates lecture ...
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26 votes
5 answers
3k views

How to react to your work being cited incorrectly or in a misleading way?

This morning when I opened my email I was very excited to find a Google Scholar update telling me of two new citations from two different sets of authors each to a different paper of mine. As usual, I ...
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  • 7,737
26 votes
0 answers
2k views

What do you do when you find yourselves with an unreadable/inaccessible paper? [duplicate]

Since I started my life in Academia, I sometimes found that there are some seminal papers to which I cannot get any access. Either they are very old, and the journal that published them charges for ...
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77 votes
11 answers
28k views

Is it unethical to cite a paper or book that you have never looked at?

Suppose I see that Book X is cited by several papers with reference to some particular Fact Y. I wish to cite Fact Y. As far as I know, Book X is the only reference for Fact Y. I have never looked ...
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49 votes
5 answers
7k views

Should I cite author names as they appear in the journal or as I know them to be complete?

Since I've been using Mendeley to manage and extract metadata from my PDFs, I've come to notice that authors are sometimes denoted with all their initials and sometimes with just one. I assume this ...
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11 votes
1 answer
1k views

Adding a citation after paper is accepted

I am a junior researcher in mathematics. I worked simultaneously on proving Theorem A and Theorem B. They both generalize Theorem X in two different directions. Theorem X was proved several years ago (...
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82 votes
13 answers
16k views

Why is it bad to judge a paper by citation count?

I hear a lot from the experts that citation count is a bad idea as a measure of judging a paper. This seems simply counter-intuitive to me. I would like to know if any study has been done in this ...
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30 votes
3 answers
5k views

What software to cite in a manuscript, and how?

When writing a manuscript for a scientific article, I often wonder what software I should cite or acknowledge, and how. The first problem is to make a choice which software to cite. On the one hand, ...
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47 votes
5 answers
6k views

Will self-citation be viewed as self-promotion in academia?

As we know, citation counts are important to judge one's research activity. Is it good to cite one's previous works? Will it be viewed as an act of advertisement or self-promotion?
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22 votes
3 answers
14k views

How to cite lecture notes? (and should I even do this?)

When learning a new subject, I would frequently use lecture notes found somewhere in the Internet. When writing a paper (or a master thesis, as in my case, but the rules should be similar, I believe) ...
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30 votes
2 answers
10k views

How should references in non-Latin script language be treated in English paper?

Let's say I want to cite a Russian text in my own paper which is written in English. Should I: reference it as is, in the original Cyrillic alphabet, although the readers won't be able even to ...
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18 votes
5 answers
2k views

On citing "common knowledge" statements

I am an undergraduate student with no experience at all. If you are writing a research paper, that you are planning to submit for publication, how do you state that a particular statement/fact is ...
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13 votes
4 answers
89k views

How to cite sources written in a different language than English?

Assume one wants to cite a paper written in a different language than the article citing said paper (e.g., ones own article is written in English, but the source is French). How to properly handle ...
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  • 1,750
82 votes
8 answers
28k views

Free, open-source substitutes for Mendeley?

Mendeley is (mainly) a proprietary social network to share basic citation data and research papers. see also Are there any free and open source substitutes for this service? A technical possibility:...
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89 votes
4 answers
90k views

How do I reference the Python programming language in a thesis or a paper?

I'm writing a scientific article and a dissertation in biology, for which I used Python for simulations. Some people in our department, especially the "non-computer-people", don't know what Python is, ...
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  • 2,134
80 votes
3 answers
196k views

Are citations in abstracts considered bad style?

I'd like to know your opinion on citations in abstracts. At my university, there is no rule on that matter so it's basically a question of preference. Do you think it's okay to have citations in an ...
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  • 903
39 votes
11 answers
11k views

Tool to manage and/or make available a list of my publications on the web?

This some kind of follow up question to How to prevent plagiarism of my papers?, since I've been clearly convinced that it was in my best interest to put my own papers on my webpage. Now, since I ...
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26 votes
1 answer
1k views

Getting secondary citations right

I have some questions regarding secondary citations (in an computer-science research paper that should be published in a journal). I know that they should be avoided when possible, but it is not ...
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37 votes
6 answers
5k views

Is it ethical to obtain journal articles from places other than the publisher's official sites?

When I am at home and looking for journal articles I often find article PDFs through google that have been uploaded to various websites (e.g., universities, institutions, arbitrary websites, etc...). ...
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  • 703
26 votes
3 answers
3k views

Is it a good idea to cite paper from publisher listed in Beall’s list

While writing the literature review for my paper, I found another paper which is closely related to my research. Unfortunately, the paper’s publisher is on Beall’s List. Hence, I wonder if citing the ...
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  • 1,062
19 votes
2 answers
544 views

How to search for list of papers citing both papers A and B?

For given papers A and B, I would like to search for all papers that cite both A and B. I guess one can generalize to papers {A,B,C,...} and find all papers that cite all of them. A quick Google ...
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35 votes
7 answers
8k views

Why is it acceptable to cite unpublished works?

If an article, theorem, etc. is unpublished, presumably the work is only available to people who track down the author and get a draft copy. Today we have arXiv and can find many preprints on the ...
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  • 497
32 votes
2 answers
14k views

How to display your own name in publications list when you are a middle-author on a publication with a large number of authors?

My Name is among tens of authors of a paper on global health. For the purpose of my CV update, I need to show my name without showing the names of all authors of the paper. My preferred style ...
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  • 321
21 votes
9 answers
57k views

Should student or supervisor be corresponding author for publications based on student research?

Papers published from an academic project (MSc or PhD) usually have two authors; the first author is the student who mainly conducted the research, and the second author is the professor who ...
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  • 7,549
12 votes
4 answers
3k views

Is it okay to incorporate a block of citations from a review paper into my own paper?

I'm currently writing a paper on a certain topic for which a review article was recently published. Of course, I want to contrast my new approach to existing techniques. For that purpose, I have ...
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78 votes
20 answers
25k views

Is it acceptable to have a research paper with no references?

I (an undergrad) and 2 other profs from my department have been working on something and we were thinking of submitting our work to a conference (a pretty well known one) this week. The fact is there ...
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35 votes
6 answers
4k views

Does Impact Factor reflect the quality of a journal?

Is the impact factor really useful for judging the quality of a journal article?
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23 votes
7 answers
8k views

How should I cite something learned second-hand (eg, from Wikipedia) when I haven't seen the primary source?

I want to cite something that I have learned from a Wikipedia page. However, I'm loathe to cite Wikipedia because of the perception of it by my tutors, so I try to cite the original source. What ...
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60 votes
4 answers
4k views

How to discourage irrelevant self-citation?

I once reviewed a manuscript whose authors cited many of their own published papers, which were not relevant to the subject of the manuscript. This kind of practice is evidently frowned upon by the ...
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  • 8,391
24 votes
6 answers
7k views

Recently published paper does not cite my very relevant work

Before I start my PhD I worked in a group that researched on the application of a particular area to a particular domain. No other research group published work in this area+domain. So I can safely ...
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11 votes
4 answers
33k views

How to reference studies mentioned in a paper without having to read the original papers?

I'm review the literature at the moment. Now I'm reading a paper that mention other studies. How can I reference them without reading the original papers?
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  • 377
17 votes
4 answers
4k views

Is there a problem with citing the original source instead of the source where the information was first found?

I'm writing a Bachelor's Thesis. I found a seemingly convenient way of making my research paper successful, but I'm not sure if it counts as plagiarism. This is mainly concerned with the methods ...
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  • 1,573
18 votes
9 answers
19k views

Should we put the references in slides/poster when we already have them in paper?

After reading this question about slides making and asking myself two questions about poster making and TED talking, I realize that these activities are for showing what you found, make the audience ...
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  • 8,120
11 votes
5 answers
515 views

Choosing which version of an article to cite

I sometimes find an article published in several conferences. If similar material is published in different conference proceedings, how do I choose which one to cite?
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9 votes
3 answers
31k views

How do I cite same reference multiple times in a paper?

I am writing a report on CPUs and I need to constantly need to cite technical information from a single reference multiple times throughout the report, specifically the datasheet for an Intel ...
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  • 91
41 votes
8 answers
3k views

Literature searches in publications when you have limited access to journals

I'm currently at an institution that has a phenomenal library system. I think every journal article or book I've ever needed, no matter how old or obscure, was available to me. I consider myself ...
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  • 1,503
87 votes
8 answers
14k views

Citing paywalled articles accessed via illegal web sharing

There are a few sites which offer paid articles for free. It’s something unethical, especially for those who upload to that site, but for me, it’s good for expanding knowledge. As a readers, can we ...
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76 votes
6 answers
14k views

Do you need to read a whole article before citing it?

During writing my academic paper, I need to cite a definition in a scientific paper. The other part of the paper, is irrelevant to my work. I have been advised that if you will cite a paper, you ...
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  • 921
68 votes
6 answers
67k views

Is there such thing as too many references for one paper?

I'm currently reviewing a paper that has an uncommonly large number of references compared to the average number for that particular venue (more than 60 versus around 30). This is a regular paper, not ...
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13 votes
1 answer
7k views

What is the best way of keeping track of academic readings and persons?

I have started a brand new research from start of the year. I would like to know what are the easiest way of keeping track of the academic papers, journals and authors. I use sites like Google ...
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38 votes
6 answers
30k views

Should I add references to conference presentations?

I am preparing a CS conference presentation and wondering how can I handle the references. I am thinking about three different possibilities: Ignore them! Just list them at the end of the ...
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  • 13.6k
37 votes
4 answers
10k views

How to deal with an unreasonable reviewer asking to cite irrelevant articles?

Two years ago, when I was doing my master’s degree, I was working on a computational project. My supervisor was well-known in the field and a highly reputed person. We were doing a great job, trying ...
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58 votes
5 answers
16k views

Should I cite all R packages I used?

Intro: R is a open-source software tool for statistical analyses and graphics, which is heavily used in different science disciplines and which is becoming more and more popular (although it is ...
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26 votes
2 answers
2k views

How far back should one go in citing classic works?

I once jokingly included in a thesis: The equations of motion [1] for a rigid body can be reformulated as… [1] I. Newton, Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, 1687. While citing ...
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