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18 replies to this topic

#1 moljul

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Posted 07 September 2009 - 11:26 PM

hello out there,

im currently writing my PhD thesis, asking me whats the right way of citation.

can i cite the paper of which ive got a certain information from, or should i search for the ORIGINAL article where the information/experiment was FIRST described?

thanks in advance

#2 leelee

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Posted 07 September 2009 - 11:46 PM

You should cite the original article, where the work was first done- after all you want to give credit where it is due (that is, the people/person who actually did the work) rather than someone else who has since repeated/discussed it. Also, what if the paper you read misrepresented and/or misunderstood the original work, and is therefore not accurate??

#3 moljul

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Posted 07 September 2009 - 11:58 PM

You should cite the original article, where the work was first done- after all you want to give credit where it is due (that is, the people/person who actually did the work) rather than someone else who has since repeated/discussed it. Also, what if the paper you read misrepresented and/or misunderstood the original work, and is therefore not accurate??


thanks for suggestion.

often its a pretty hard work to find out the "original" paper, because citations of different papers are also often not lead to the original paper, where something was FIRST investigated...

can i give multiple citations to one information/experiment??

Edited by moljul, 07 September 2009 - 11:59 PM.


#4 pito

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 12:56 AM

You should cite the original article, where the work was first done- after all you want to give credit where it is due (that is, the people/person who actually did the work) rather than someone else who has since repeated/discussed it. Also, what if the paper you read misrepresented and/or misunderstood the original work, and is therefore not accurate??


thanks for suggestion.

often its a pretty hard work to find out the "original" paper, because citations of different papers are also often not lead to the original paper, where something was FIRST investigated...

can i give multiple citations to one information/experiment??

Sure you can.

And you do not always need to find the "original" paper that first noticed a certain thing.
Sometimes this is just impossible since the original paper is very old and often not avaible in a digital version or even hard to find in a paper copy.
But if you know the original is paper X , without even reading it, you can always refer to the authors of that paper.

As long as you always give the sources of where you got certain information its ok.

At least thats how I have been taught and told.
If you don't know it, then ask it! Better to ask and look foolish to some then not ask and stay stupid.

#5 gebirgsziege

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 03:19 AM

original paper if available.

Otherwise cite eg. "Smith et al. 1901 cited by Miller et al. 2005" so you can avoid that the mistakes leelee pointed out happen (I am sure you know the spinac/iron story....)
A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies. (Oscar Wilde)

#6 pito

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 04:06 AM

original paper if available.

Otherwise cite eg. "Smith et al. 1901 cited by Miller et al. 2005" so you can avoid that the mistakes leelee pointed out happen (I am sure you know the spinac/iron story....)


Is this a general rule ? That you need to use the cited by.... ?

They have never really told me I should do this and thus when I read a certain thing in X I most of the times quote that I found it in X eventough X found it in another paper...

Afterall: when someone reads your paper, they can check the paper you used to quote...
And its been done a lot in papers... a lot of authors simply quote the paper where they found a certain thing eventough those papers found it somewhere else..


Maybe it depends on faculty etc?

However I must admit I am a fan of giving the original source, but this is not always possible
If you don't know it, then ask it! Better to ask and look foolish to some then not ask and stay stupid.

#7 moljul

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 04:36 AM

original paper if available.

Otherwise cite eg. "Smith et al. 1901 cited by Miller et al. 2005" so you can avoid that the mistakes leelee pointed out happen (I am sure you know the spinac/iron story....)


Is this a general rule ? That you need to use the cited by.... ?

They have never really told me I should do this and thus when I read a certain thing in X I most of the times quote that I found it in X eventough X found it in another paper...

Afterall: when someone reads your paper, they can check the paper you used to quote...
And its been done a lot in papers... a lot of authors simply quote the paper where they found a certain thing eventough those papers found it somewhere else..


Maybe it depends on faculty etc?

However I must admit I am a fan of giving the original source, but this is not always possible


thanks pito for suggestions, i do my best to found out original papers (in case of reviews), even though it is very time consuming! but i wrote already 17 pages and already included lots of references until now, therefore i will not, in every case, try to find out original articles to one certain information! ill try to do the best in my knowledge!! hope that is enough

#8 gebirgsziege

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 06:21 AM

original paper if available.

Otherwise cite eg. "Smith et al. 1901 cited by Miller et al. 2005" so you can avoid that the mistakes leelee pointed out happen (I am sure you know the spinac/iron story....)


Is this a general rule ? That you need to use the cited by.... ?


This would be the correct way (at least I was taught this). Otherwise you are giving someone else the account of finding out fact x. With the - more complicated - cited by you give the account of a fact x to the person who did the original research. But this is only used when the original literature is not available. And it can cause you troubles....maybe your reviewer is the one who found out fact x and you are not citing....and you might be suprised why your manuscript is rejected :) :)

But if you are refering to general facts of something (like eg the necrotroph lifestyle of Botrytis) you can cite a review article as well without refering to all original sources (sometimes indicated as "reviewed by xyz" to make clear that you did not use primary sources at this point.

I think it always depends on the type of facts you are citing....eg. you will not need the primary source for "Botrytis is a necrotrophic pathogen" but for you will need it when you discuss the behaviour of Botrytis in the presence of different fungicides.
A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies. (Oscar Wilde)

#9 moljul

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 06:27 AM

original paper if available.

Otherwise cite eg. "Smith et al. 1901 cited by Miller et al. 2005" so you can avoid that the mistakes leelee pointed out happen (I am sure you know the spinac/iron story....)


Is this a general rule ? That you need to use the cited by.... ?


This would be the correct way (at least I was taught this). Otherwise you are giving someone else the account of finding out fact x. With the - more complicated - cited by you give the account of a fact x to the person who did the original research. But this is only used when the original literature is not available. And it can cause you troubles....maybe your reviewer is the one who found out fact x and you are not citing....and you might be suprised why your manuscript is rejected :) :(

But if you are refering to general facts of something (like eg the necrotroph lifestyle of Botrytis) you can cite a review article as well without refering to all original sources (sometimes indicated as "reviewed by xyz" to make clear that you did not use primary sources at this point.

I think it always depends on the type of facts you are citing....eg. you will not need the primary source for "Botrytis is a necrotrophic pathogen" but for you will need it when you discuss the behaviour of Botrytis in the presence of different fungicides.


thank you, helped a lot :)

#10 Penguin

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 07:43 AM

I have a related question, when writing the thesis how far do you have to go when citing methods that are in common use? I mean, someone first identified and optimised the protocol for SDS-PAGE/PCR/in vitro translation/transcription/use of GST tag in purification/co-immunoprecipitation assays etc etc etc!!! I assume we don't have to find the original papers for techniques like these??? :)

P

#11 gebirgsziege

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 08:44 AM

I have a related question, when writing the thesis how far do you have to go when citing methods that are in common use? I mean, someone first identified and optimised the protocol for SDS-PAGE/PCR/in vitro translation/transcription/use of GST tag in purification/co-immunoprecipitation assays etc etc etc!!! I assume we don't have to find the original papers for techniques like these??? :)

P


I think in a thesis this depends on your supervisor :(

you can cite the inventors, but with methods which are "common knowledge" (which are all methods used in CSI no matter if correct or not :P) you can just assume that the reader knows the principle behind it. Nevertheless for a thesis it is never a fault to repeat the priciple of the method in your own words and not using wikipedia (showing you understood what you did; it is really, really embarrassing if you defend your thesis and you cannot even explain the principle of PCR which you used all the time :)).....in a paper space is limited and this part is omitted usually.
A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies. (Oscar Wilde)

#12 GeorgeWolff

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 01:58 PM

Good advice, gebergszeige

Generally you have to establish the validity or your methodology and that's accomplished with data. As was said, you shouldn't use a hearsay citation.

#13 pito

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 04:36 AM

original paper if available.

Otherwise cite eg. "Smith et al. 1901 cited by Miller et al. 2005" so you can avoid that the mistakes leelee pointed out happen (I am sure you know the spinac/iron story....)


Is this a general rule ? That you need to use the cited by.... ?


This would be the correct way (at least I was taught this). Otherwise you are giving someone else the account of finding out fact x. With the - more complicated - cited by you give the account of a fact x to the person who did the original research. But this is only used when the original literature is not available. And it can cause you troubles....maybe your reviewer is the one who found out fact x and you are not citing....and you might be suprised why your manuscript is rejected :lol: :)

But if you are refering to general facts of something (like eg the necrotroph lifestyle of Botrytis) you can cite a review article as well without refering to all original sources (sometimes indicated as "reviewed by xyz" to make clear that you did not use primary sources at this point.

I think it always depends on the type of facts you are citing....eg. you will not need the primary source for "Botrytis is a necrotrophic pathogen" but for you will need it when you discuss the behaviour of Botrytis in the presence of different fungicides.


I can indeed accept this method or understand that this is indeed the correct method. On the other hand, its not always easy to find the correct literature.

What with the following problem: lets say you find that X dissolves in Y , you read this in a paper (paper 2) that got it from another paper.. (the original one, paper 1), but you can not find a copy of the original one.

What would you do then?

I would think: oh well, you know its from that paper (original one, paper 1) (because you saw the abstract or you know for sure its in that paper..) so you can refer to that one (the original one)...

Or would you then do it like you allready said: Otherwise cite eg. "paper 1" cited by "paper2"



I am asking this because my supervisors always assumed that I have every paper that I quoted... So often I couldnt coute the original ones because I did not have this paper.

Eventough you know 100% sure it is stated in that paper (commen knowledge or..)


And leelee sure got a point, when mistakes are made.. its easy to copy such a mistake.


Another point is that when you always need to search for the original ones: you could lose a lot of time.
If you don't know it, then ask it! Better to ask and look foolish to some then not ask and stay stupid.

#14 gebirgsziege

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 10:35 PM

pito, the abstract thing: as far as I am aware it is accepted that you cite the original paper only having the abstract.....BUT be careful when you read papers in the future: is the abstract the same than what is written in the paper???? It happens time by time that what is written in the abstract cannot be found anywhere in the article????
Nevertheless I would advice you to ask yourself the following question: Is this work covering a key point of your research? If the answer is yes, you should order the original article. Otherwise you have to decide if you trust the abstract before you cite it (e.g. by looking at other papers of the same author).
A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies. (Oscar Wilde)

#15 pito

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 10:45 PM

pito, the abstract thing: as far as I am aware it is accepted that you cite the original paper only having the abstract.....BUT be careful when you read papers in the future: is the abstract the same than what is written in the paper???? It happens time by time that what is written in the abstract cannot be found anywhere in the article????
Nevertheless I would advice you to ask yourself the following question: Is this work covering a key point of your research? If the answer is yes, you should order the original article. Otherwise you have to decide if you trust the abstract before you cite it (e.g. by looking at other papers of the same author).


I agree,

however I only use the abstract if I am sure its indeed covered in the text itself (by checking in other papers: if they say its like you read it in the abstract, then normally its ok or just when its cited so many times that you know its in there.)
However: I have only done thise twice and both of those times it was 100% sure it was indeed covered in the paper.


But , why would they say something in the abstract thats not in the text? That would make no sense to me.
If you don't know it, then ask it! Better to ask and look foolish to some then not ask and stay stupid.




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