Rank Stupidity?

“Cite your sources” is an admonition that rings in the ear of every slapdash undergraduate and corner-cutting postdoc. But has academia taken the emphasis on scholarly citation too far?

BLOOMINGTON – “Cite your sources.” The admonition rings in the ear of every slapdash undergraduate and corner-cutting postdoc. But have we taken the emphasis on citation too far?

From an early age, we are taught to acknowledge those whose ideas and insights have shaped our thinking. During our academic careers, we learn to provide correct attribution for the existing words, data, or images that we are using. And “credit where credit is due” is the axial principle around which the entire scholarly publication system revolves.

In academia, citing the work of others is not a mere courtesy; it is a normative requirement. Indeed, it is almost impossible to imagine an article being published in a reputable journal without an accompanying list of references. Plagiarism is one of the few acts that can bring a glittering academic career to a halt.

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