Talk about Citations

Last night the British Library held the first of their Talk Science events. The topic of the evening was ‘Citation in Science – don’t quote me on that’ and it was hosted by Tim Birkhead, is Professor of Evolutionary Biology at the University of Sheffield. Back in January Tim wrote a piece for the Times Higher Education suppliment

discussing citation in science, and specifically mis-citation in science. This formed the core of the

discussion last night. Tim chatted about his views on the topic for about 20 minuets and then opened it up to the floor. There were a great diversity of people present, from publishers, funders, senior academics, journalists, PhD students

to library staff. There may even have been some elusive members of the genreal public (if so they were keeping quiet.) The discussions mainly revolved around the burden of perr review, the way that citation metrics change the practice of science, and how citation should be viewed and practised. I found the discussions very informative. It’s a big topic, and one that is bound to get most academics animated, one way or antoher. One area the we have discussed on this blog from time to time is how people can get credit for work outside of the traditional peer reviewed literature, and this didn’t really

come up last night, but that again is a topic worth spending more than a little time discussing. They also served some free booze, and we all got a choclate bar (which I am polishing off as I type this). The discusison has rolled over to Nature Network so you can head over and join in if you wish.


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