A brief rant on citations

When did students start adding a list of "unused" references to the end of an essay or dissertation bibliography? Who taught them to do this and who is encouraging it? Please stop.

Let's review. References are not a vanity exercise to make you look well-read and clever. If you haven't cited it within the text, leave it out, and revel quietly and in private at your incredible ability to read stuff (or download it). We are all duly impressed, I'm sure.

Alternatively, upload your impressive list of citations to a public, online database like del.icio.us, CiteULike, Mendeley, Zotero, a wiki, list-serv, an online community or your undoubtedly self-absorbed blog. This process of engaging with other researchers for mutual benefit will at least convert your inability to follow academic convention into something more appropriate and useful.



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