Thursday, June 02, 2005

 

Why we cite & a call for a UCC

The Slurrier has some interesting thoughts on the changing role of academic citation here:

It struck me the other day that there has been a shift in the social role of citation in academia. From what little I understand of it, bibliography arose as credentialing for the citing author, not as a chit paid to the cited. More recently, however — perhaps just since libraries and search have become more automated? — citation has come to be something owed to the cited. You write a paper in hopes that, or perhaps expecting that others will cite you, if only in a review article, somewhere down the line.
I'm not sure I buy the argument. After all, hasn't citation always played a dual function of an author showing familiarity with and acknowledging prior art? Nonetheless, the question whether online search changes citation in important ways is an interesting one. Online search cheapens research, but the lower cost also lowers the bar on what constitutes research. Moreover, online search does little to eliminate the WORN (write once, read never) phenomenon of postmodern times.

Thinking along these lines begs us to ask whether we can eliminate the plethora of citation standards that now exist and the lack of reference work standards. For example, wouldn't it be nice to have a UCC (universal citation code) like a UPC (universal product code). That way we could label citations once in a single database, and have them called up correctly whenever needed. The UCC would also make it easier to track citation usage, as the placement of the UCC in a document could be reported to a tracking website that would keep tabs on citation statistics.

Comments:
Hello!! :D

WORN!!! What a nice word!! Write Once, Read Never!! I have to tell it to my friends at University.

I think that it(WORN) happens a lot with some major articles from a research field, like EC. Sometimes when I'm reading some article and I find some idea that I think really strange and/or the EC community finds the idea is not the only way to work with GA's/ES's, I ask to myself if I should keep reading the article. In the most part of the cases I continue to read expecting to find something useful.

Well, I don't know if the creation of a UCC (universal citation code) could be REALLY a good idea, because, the researchers that make their work in a way different from that the community makes, they could be segregate. Low citation ratio could produce segregation and the community of a specific research field could be trapped in a much more standardized thought (today the research communities already are in a standardized thought). For the newbies, the UCC could be very harmful, because the newbies couldn't have the chance to study the evolution of a research field and to know the reasons that tranformed some research field in what it is now.

We have ideas and ideas. :D

[]´s

Marcelo (a.k.a Nosophorus, the Captain of S.S Genetic Argonaut Blog) :D
 
I love the WORN expression :-)

But seriously, I think UCC would be very helpful for both those who are writing papers as well as those who need to find out their citation statistics. Especially, I find the gathering of statistics on one's citations very frustrating and time consuming.
 
Olá!!

But, Martin, Does Citeseer already do that (the statistics) ?

[]´s

Nosophorus
 
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