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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133
votes
14answers
28k views

How do I handle a colleague's gender change when citing their paper?

We are currently working on a conference paper where we plan to cite and discuss a paper as a related work. It was written by a colleague at the same university who has kindly offered to help us ...
125
votes
7answers
86k 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 ...
93
votes
13answers
14k views

Is it OK to refuse to cite paywalled papers?

I wonder how reviewers would react if authors of a submitted paper refuse to cite paywalled papers. Is it a valid reason to refuse citing some papers? I am mostly interested in the field of computer ...
89
votes
15answers
13k views

Why are some professors critical of even casual use of Wikipedia?

Many of the professors and lecturers I come across are very critical of Wikipedia, but they never give proper support for their claims of "Wikipedia is bullshit!". And they threaten "Do not use ...
87
votes
3answers
11k views

Counter strategy against group that repeatedly does strategic self-citations and ignores other relevant research

There is a group in our small field that almost exclusively cites themselves. Their latest paper has 35% self-citations, which is 80% of the citations within the field. They only reference their own ...
81
votes
8answers
12k 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 ...
80
votes
12answers
17k views

Is it acceptable to use non-English references in a computer science paper?

I am currently reviewing an interdisciplinary computer science paper which is heavily based on previous works in logistics and process engineering that have been unfortunately published only in German ...
77
votes
7answers
33k views

Are TED presentations academically credible?

Many people, including myself, are fascinated by TED speakers. They provide us a new perspective. For example, see the TED talk The best stats you've ever seen by Hans Rosling. However, when I talked ...
76
votes
4answers
45k 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, ...
75
votes
6answers
19k views

Is it okay to mention we're citing an article only because a reviewer told us to?

In a recent review, one reviewer said we must rework the paper in light of two other papers. One paper was a highly valuable suggestion, and we've enthusiastically taken it on board. However, the ...
74
votes
11answers
20k 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 ...
73
votes
20answers
19k 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 ...
70
votes
6answers
9k 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 ...
69
votes
4answers
9k views

Should I do anything if I am cited for something that wasn't in my paper?

I’ve just read a paper in which a previous paper of mine has been cited. The line in which the citation happens is something like: It has been shown that technique X is successful in this problem [...
69
votes
8answers
21k 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:...
66
votes
6answers
45k 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 ...
65
votes
13answers
12k 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 ...
65
votes
3answers
151k 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 ...
60
votes
6answers
8k views

Access to scientific articles that cite mine after leaving academia

I used to work in academia. I was lucky enough to publish important papers in peer reviewed journals that now regularly get cited by other papers in peer reviewed journals. I have left academia to ...
60
votes
5answers
5k views

How to substantiate the claim that something is not known?

I am writing a master's thesis (in Number Theory) and there are multiple places where I need to claim that something is not yet known. Since I am not an expert (and even if I were) I would like to ...
60
votes
7answers
31k views

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 ...
58
votes
3answers
10k views

How to acknowledge a MathOverflow user?

I am writing a research paper. A small but important idea for the paper was found on MathOverflow. I know the real name of the user. I tried contacting him and offered him co-authorship, but I got no ...
57
votes
11answers
10k 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://...
57
votes
6answers
7k views

How to get cited and how to boost the impact of one's work?

Six years ago while I was working in a company outside academia, I had been involved in improving a process which was hot in academia. I have developed a new method which, among other notable ...
56
votes
10answers
18k views

Got accused of plagiarism due to a reference lost during copying my own writing [closed]

Summary I was assigned to write an autobiography for a course and copied some sentences from a personal statement for an application. Those sentences in turn included material by somebody else, which ...
56
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
55
votes
4answers
7k views

Should I omit a citation if the authors ask me to?

"Program MARK: A gentle introduction" by Evan Cooch and Gary White is a guide to using a particular piece of statistical software. It is available in print form as well as in a free, online version. ...
52
votes
6answers
10k views

How should I respond to a reviewer's complaint about self-citation?

Recently, I submitted an article and got a response from a reviewer that I cited 6 of my own articles out of 44. The reviewer said that it’s a cheap act of self promotion. If I do not cite my own ...
50
votes
5answers
5k views

How to respond to intentional lack of citation?

I work in a field that heavily uses arxiv.org and posts papers before submitting them to journals, so it's common for people to send a citation request when they see a preprint that they think has ...
49
votes
4answers
10k views

How to refer to a source with typos in the title?

How to cite a paper with a typographical error in the title. In the reference list, should I correct it (and make it hard to find) or let it as is (and make an impression I was sloppy)?
49
votes
2answers
5k views

Citing an author who changed his name

I am writing a homework at the moment. One of the authors I cite, changed his name from A... to B... due to marriage (I know him personally). In the Bibliography I clearly should use the name given ...
48
votes
5answers
6k 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 ...
48
votes
3answers
8k views

What should I do if I found a citation error in a published paper?

I've found a mistake in a published paper, and am unsure what to do now. I was looking at all cited articles from a paper over 10 years old, and found one that is citing the paper in error. A ...
47
votes
4answers
10k 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 ...
46
votes
5answers
5k 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?
46
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
45
votes
6answers
12k views

Is it acceptable to cite people without putting the appropriate diacritics in their names?

I've begun preparing my thesis and several key papers in my field are written by people with foreign accents in their names. While I have found a way to include this in my thesis with BibTeX. However ...
45
votes
6answers
8k views

Is it appropriate to cite a paper in a language I don't understand?

Some months back I got into a situation where a paper with information that I considered important to prove a point was in a language I cannot understand. Since it was important but not crucial, I ...
45
votes
2answers
3k views

What to do if my paper is incorrectly cited in a journal?

Recently I got a cite in a research paper where the author cited my work as [first name] et al, where it should have been [last name] et al. Is there any problem for indexing purpose? should I contact ...
44
votes
5answers
8k views

As a referee, is it okay to ask for references to be removed?

Say I received a paper for review. Afterwards I discover that there are cited references that are not related to the discussed subject, or there are elements in the bibliography that are not ...
44
votes
4answers
7k views

Inappropriate reference requests from Journal reviewers

A journal article I submitted to a highly reputable journal has been returned with a number of revisions requested, most of which are useful and helpful and will improve the quality of the article. ...
44
votes
5answers
8k views

What is it called when authors trade citations?

Citation is one metric of researchers. That is why some of them lend citation to one another. For example, A writes a paper and cites B's work in it, and then B does the same for A, without the ...
43
votes
5answers
8k views

If I rederived a result (oblivious that it already existed), should I cite the original paper?

I derived a minor result on my own, as part of a paper that I'm working on. I recently discovered that this result already exists in the literature. If I cite the original work it will seem like I ...
41
votes
6answers
180k views

How to add citation for a whole paragraph?

If I write a report and a whole paragraph is based on one source but not cited verbally it seems unnecessary to include the reference after every sentence: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur ...
40
votes
4answers
3k views

How generous should I be with citations?

I am wondering if it is a bad thing to cite a paper in a scientific publication for a trivial or irrelevant reason. The specific instance I have in mind is the usage of certain terminology. I ...
39
votes
6answers
6k views

How can I express “I can't find any papers written about this”?

I'm an undergraduate writing a paper for a philosophy course in logic. My paper is exploring a relationship between Leibniz' logic and graph theory. In writing the paper, I've found some material in ...
39
votes
8answers
5k views

Is it ethical for authors to reference another paper, but not cite it formally, because they consider it unscientific?

I found in a medical paper from the 1990's a non-citation like this: The results and terminology by John Smith, Jane Poe, John Doe, Richard Roe, Larry Loe, Journal of Scientific Papers, 12345-698 (...
39
votes
8answers
2k 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 ...
39
votes
5answers
5k views

How to cite oneself as co-author without all names, for resume or presentation?

My questions regards the format of citation. For the context: I am a student, presenting my work (with slides) and referring to the publications in which I am co-author (never in the first three ...
38
votes
10answers
7k 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 ...