Citation ideas 2

January 4, 2008

I think I can resolve the research assessment exercise-research excellence framework issue once and for all (Letters, December 14). Combine the virtues of peer review and metrics. Submit one's four best citations for contextual scrutiny by a panel of peers. Citations will receive a mark out of three on four dimensions in descending order of merit: strategic citation (an ingratiating nod to a well-known work); unread (a citation so irrelevant the paper has clearly not been read); appreciative (an author likes your work but does not necessarily understand it); and frankly insulting (your work is cited as evidence refuting your own arguments).

Other categories could include sarcastic (a citation followed by a bracketed exclamation mark); Freudian (mispelled, signifying repressed contempt) and trans-gendered (mis-stating the sex of the cited author).

Chris Hackley
Professor of marketing
Royal Holloway.

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