Outbreak of 'Endnotitis'

July 29, 2010

Your article "Style points" (15 July) reminded me of the notes for contributors to the Journal of Education for Teaching, edited at the time by the late Ed Stones. He was known for his no-nonsense approach to style and his notes included the advice: "References should be used economically and only when essential. The editorial board is unimpressed by extensive citation which is currently used by many authors to convey a (spurious) air of scholarship, or even to lend support to the most banal statements."

As his successor, I would add to his advice the need for authors to inoculate themselves against a pernicious disease, Endnotitis, this being an infection that allows (some) authors to give the impression that they have read material when in fact they appear only to be able to cite it.

Peter Gilroy, Editor, Journal of Education for Teaching.

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