La bêtise des classements ?

BLOOMINGTON – « Citez vos sources. » Cet avertissement est un pont-aux-ânes pour tous les étudiants de premier cycle et pour tous les post-docs négligents. Mais accordons-nous une trop grande importance au devoir de citation ?

Très tôt, on nous apprend à reconnaître ceux dont les idées et points de vue influencent notre réflexion. Au cours de nos carrières universitaires, nous apprenons à citer correctement les mots, les données ou les images que nous utilisons. Et « rendre à César ce qui appartient à César » est le principe fondamental sur lequel se fonde l'ensemble du système de publication scientifique.

Dans le milieu universitaire, citer le travail des autres n'est pas une simple politesse : c'est une exigence normative. En effet, il est presque impossible d'imaginer qu'un article soit publié dans une revue de renom sans qu'il ne s'accompagne d'une liste de références. Le plagiat est l'un des rares actes qui peut mettre un terme à une brillante carrière universitaire.

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