Citation games: comments on the paper by Annette Risberg

Michael Wood

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    This is fascinating stuff which confirms what I have always suspected, but never had the energy to check – namely that the long lists of references in academic works are (sometimes at least) largely for show, and may not stand up to scrutiny as serious evidence. The list of crimes detected includes referring to untraceable secondary sources (are these sometimes fabricated, one wonders?), using sources with no academic standing to support claims in academic articles, multiple secondary references to the same source, and so on. The end result is that references may be used to create “a taken for granted truth” which may not be accurate, but is probably persuasive because of the number of apparently credible references that are cited. The evidence here is about writings on mergers and acquisitions, but I am sure the position is similar in many (but possibly not all) other fields.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)26-27
    Number of pages2
    JournalNotework: Museletter of the Standing Conference on Organization and Symbolism
    Publication statusPublished - May 2005


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