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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205 votes
8 answers
230k 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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159 votes
7 answers
16k views

My paper is being cited in vaccine misinformation. What do I do?

I have recently discovered that anti-vaxxers have been citing one of my papers on Twitter and elsewhere as evidence of a specific 5G-related conspiracy theory surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine. Of ...
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141 votes
14 answers
31k 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 ...
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93 votes
13 answers
15k 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 ...
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90 votes
3 answers
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 ...
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89 votes
15 answers
14k 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 ...
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  • 821
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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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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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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81 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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80 votes
12 answers
19k 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 ...
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80 votes
7 answers
46k 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 ...
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80 votes
3 answers
195k 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
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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77 votes
6 answers
20k 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 ...
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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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76 votes
4 answers
10k 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 [...
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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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74 votes
6 answers
12k views

How can I deal with low-key plagiarism?

I am relatively new to academic publishing. However, there is an uncomfortable situation which I have already encountered multiple times by now (about five). It is what I would call "low-key ...
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69 votes
7 answers
44k 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 ...
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68 votes
6 answers
66k 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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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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62 votes
6 answers
9k 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 ...
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62 votes
5 answers
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 ...
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  • 633
61 votes
6 answers
8k 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 ...
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60 votes
3 answers
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 ...
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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
59 votes
8 answers
16k views

Quoting a book whose title contains a racial slur

I'm writing a paper on the Front de Liberation du Quebec; a homegrown Quebec terrorist organisation in the 1960s. As research, I've extensively studied a book by one of the intellectual leaders of the ...
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58 votes
5 answers
15k 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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57 votes
10 answers
25k 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 ...
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  • 649
57 votes
7 answers
10k views

Peer review: Is this "citation tower" a bad practice?

I am peer-reviewing an article "A" and I found something interesting. The authors use a mathematical lemma (which is just an inequality) for which they cite article "B". I have ...
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55 votes
4 answers
8k 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. ...
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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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52 votes
6 answers
11k 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 ...
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  • 4,989
51 votes
4 answers
12k 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)?
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  • 2,236
50 votes
2 answers
7k 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 ...
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  • 493
50 votes
6 answers
232k 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 ...
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  • 1,314
49 votes
5 answers
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 ...
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  • 449
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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48 votes
6 answers
14k 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 ...
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  • 2,264
48 votes
3 answers
12k 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 ...
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47 votes
8 answers
12k views

I might be rediscovering someone else's result. What should I do?

I am writing a paper presenting a mathematical theorem I recently proved. However, while reading one of the papers that I am citing, I found out that the same result (or something very similar) might ...
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  • 879
47 votes
4 answers
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. ...
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  • 943
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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46 votes
2 answers
4k 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 ...
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45 votes
5 answers
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 ...
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  • 1,254
45 votes
5 answers
9k 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 ...
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  • 789
43 votes
5 answers
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 ...
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  • 483
43 votes
4 answers
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 ...
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43 votes
6 answers
9k 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 ...
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