Citation amnesia: Not good for our health

Citation amnesia: Not good for our health

BLOG: Researchers fail to mention previous publications in findings

By Janet Raloff, 01:37 AM September 13, 2009

VANCOUVER, B.C. — On September 12, researchers reported uncovering a type of latent epidemic amnesia among certain biomedical scientists. The at-risk population: researchers testing new therapies on large groups of people. The chief symptom: Affected researchers write up their findings but neglect to put them into context by mentioning earlier human trials on the same topic.

Implications: Studies exhibiting this citation amnesia (a term apparently coined decades ago by Robert Merton of Colu...

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