, Volume 46, Issue 4, pp 307-309
Date: 18 Mar 2011

Citations: The Rules They Didn’t Teach You

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Citations, so many citations, so what is right and what is wrong? As an editor-in-chief, as a reviewer, and as an author of my own journal articles I have personally dealt with this question on multiple levels. At times, the emergence of PubMed has resulted in a citation explosion and a resulting quagmire as many authors are just not selective about referencing papers and tend to be a bit over zealous in citing more and more papers many of which are not on the topic. In such cases, I often question whether these authors have read anything more than just the titles of these papers that they cite left and right to support their own work. Last August, Dr. William J. Pearce authored an intriguing opinion piece in The Scientist entitled “Citations: Too Many, or Not Enough” (The Scientist 24(8):29). In this piece he waxed somewhat nostalgic regarding the use of Index Medicus, bringing back fond memories of how we found citations in the “old days”. Of course, of late, I have been referred to ...