We’ve all seen the papers. You know, the ones that report a finding without citing the group that presented the same result years before. Or, more egregiously, claim outright to be the first to report it, when a simple literature search would reveal that not to be the case.
It’s a problem that affects every area of research: Authors omitting key citations, making the results appear more novel than they actually are. Sometimes it’s the result of an innocent oversight, sometimes an outright intent to deceive. The question is:
What should be done about it?
We’re resurrecting a regular feature on the site — “ask Retraction Watch” — to get your thoughts on the topic. Below, let us know how often you notice papers that lack essential citations — and how you believe journals should handle such omissions.
(In keeping with the topic, we’d like to make it clear we are certainly not the first to raise concerns about these types of “citation amnesia” — not by a long shot. There are simply too many references to include, but here’s one from 1980.)
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