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Monday, December 13, 2010

What I Meant Was, You Should See...

these works I've listed, not that I have seen them.

That was my thought on reading yet another book whose references consist in footnotes that list only the author and year of a dozen or so other works, works from which not a single quote is used, of which no analysis is performed, and which are never referenced again in the work being read.1

1 For early works on how to pile up an impressive number of references in your work without actually reading any of them, see Smith(1692), Jones (1743), Johnson (1894), and Filbert (1902). For more modern approaches to padding your bibliography, consult Murphy (1963), Mangrove-Throatwarbler (1975), Fitzsimmons (1987) and Depardieu (2001). A game theoretic approach to pretending you've read any number of books you've never even laid eyes upon is discussed in Bozo (1999), Hunter (2002), Lesh (2004), and Alias (2007).

4 comments:

  1. Been reading Hoppe and Kinsella again?

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  2. Silas, it's amazing how common this is now in the economics literature. I'm actually reading a respectable author right now, and he does this throughout.

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  3. The author may be referring to the work taken as a whole. Depending on the topic of the article/book and the generality of the point it's cited for, that may make sense.

    But if those are the only citations, that is indeed weird. (Alas, it seems that the APA style guide sanctions such laziness.)

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  4. Yes, PSH, doing this once in a while is fine. But when reference after reference is like this, I start to suspect bibliography padding.

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