Re: Understanding Academia

From: Robin Hanson (
Date: Fri May 05 2000 - 10:36:58 MDT

Anders adds to Curt responding to Steve wrote:
> > > If an idea is genuinely new, then
> > > there are not going to be a lot of "references" you can cite, and
> academics
> > > love references since they have a community bonding function.
> >
> > I disagree. You will usually find references from people
> > who have tackled this problem in the past, and from people
> > who have tried techniques like yours in other fields and
> > areas.
>I agree with Curt. Even a totally radical new idea is linked to other
>subjects, and a paper about it needs to both have links to explain the
>subject it deals with, other theories to be shown less likely and
>often a lot of standard references for basic data. ... one of the
>surest signs of a crackpot theory is the complete absence of any
>references other than a few written by the author.

Yes. In fact, that advise warned against having too many citations exactly
because that suggests you are trying to publish too big/new an idea.

Robin Hanson
Asst. Prof. Economics, George Mason University
MSN 1D3, Carow Hall, Fairfax VA 22030
703-993-2326 FAX: 703-993-2323

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