Consequences of Poor Citation Customs

STEM scientists have a different way of citing their research as compared to other scholars. Their way of explaining their outcomes and arguments is different from other disciplines. The rate at which researchers offer references in the humanity field is significantly lower than in their life science and medical area of study. 

In general, social sciences have better citation practices as compared to the humanities. Their citation rate is slightly above that of engineering. The degree of a citation for the branch of natural science is two times that of social sciences. It is also two and a half times greater than life sciences. 

There is a wide gap when it comes to academic journals. Scholars in humanities and social sciences have dismissed journal citations traditionally. Although academic books are a vital source of data for research papers, many do not cite them. The WoS reporting of journals varied across different disciplines. Astronomy and physics covered more than 90%, while social sciences covered at most 40%. The humanities coverage was a little as 20%. Scopus, however, did a better job at journal citation as compared to WoS.

Google’s Scholar Metrics, however, has changed the game. Google can measure citations from various sources such as books, research papers, and other articles. Google has exceptional indicators of average journal citing rates. It gives an h score of journals written in five years. An h5 index 20 means researchers referenced 20 articles twenty times. Google’s h5 indicators are robust average indicators that differ from the highly discredited JIF. 

According to the h5 indicators, the best journal scores for literacy studies and English Literature have an average of 10 h5 points. Few journals in history have a score of 20, while the political sciences h5 scores are 50. 

Most scientists do not cite STEM science articles. Scientists view comprehensive writing as habitual conduct by a scientist. Social scientists rarely acknowledge the degree of research that STEM scientists have to undertake weekly. STGEM scientists have to do this to keep up with the ever-changing literary works in their field. 

The way we cite other works shows how integral we are when it comes to practicing science. Accurate and complete citations are a vital indication of the existence of 7 crucial academic virtues.

Scholars who cite works done by others selectively qualify as poor researchers. As a good researcher, you need to appreciate and consider other points of view and contrary indications. A poor researcher misleads scholars who look up to him or her. Their poor practices not only harm them but others too. 

There is a need for a combined effort to break the poor citation habits in the humanities and social sciences disciplines. There are many tools we can use to understand and summarize existing texts better. Technical advancements in scholarly knowledge and science have made it easier to keep up with the specialist areas. 

Innovations in technology have specific and factual approaches regrouping what the entire text entails. One of the vital tactics across social sciences is the Systematic Review. The reviewer needs to define the subject, the focus, and the limits of the review. You need to have a clear benchmark to evaluate and categorize your sources as high, medium, or low rate. 

When doing a review, begin by considering all the resources available. Then apply the approach systematically while focusing on high-value resources. From high-value methodology, you need to pick the best references. They need to have reliable evidence-based on your paper.

The conclusion has to include three components:

  • A sum of the key findings
  • Clear evidence of the resources supporting the findings
  • A sensibility study of the difference in conclusion in the case a different approach is in use.

Recently most literature reviews carried out in the humanistic disciplines, and social sciences are very inadequate. They do not put enough effort into ensuring the review is comprehensive. Most of them conclude with a personal point of view instead of considering other opinions. For you to handle a quantitative analysis of your research, you need to adopt a systematic review.


You can strengthen your knowledge of academic features in a citation by improving your citation practices. We can slowly begin to shift the characteristic self-harm by going beyond the referencing status quo.

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