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Christina's LIS Rant
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
  Should authors attest that they did a minimal lit search?
I keep coming back to this piece:
Gallagher, R. (2009). Citation Violations: Scientists are guilty of bibliographic negligence. The Scientist 23, p13. http://www.the-scientist.com/2009/05/1/13/1/ (free registration may be required)

The title goes back to stuff from Eugene Garfield - basically about authors omitting references to work because they either weren't aware of earlier work or they had "citation amnesia." The piece discusses when articles don't cite work that support theirs, whether or not they read or used the work - "disregard for antecedent research" as a complaint about a Cell article went.

As discussed here earlier
, there are lots of theories of citation - but reference lists aren't supposed to provide comprehensive coverage of the field. As Merton found, there are multiple independent discoveries, too.

I'm all about people doing good literature reviews, and peer reviewers and editors will catch some missing references... but I'm not sure there can or should be a standard across science, particularly where there are such differences in the various research areas.
 
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This is my blog on library and information science. I'm into Sci/Tech libraries, special libraries, personal information management, sci/tech scholarly comms.... My name is Christina Pikas and I'm a librarian in a physics, astronomy, math, computer science, and engineering library. I'm also a doctoral student at Maryland. Any opinions expressed here are strictly my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer or CLIS. You may reach me via e-mail at cpikas {at} gmail {dot} com.

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Christina Kirk Pikas

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