Imagine that a paper by [Author A] has pulled together some literature on the misuse of a technology in context X. I now want to talk about misuse of the same technology but in context Y. When creating a different narrative and putting together different arguments, much of what I say uses the references of [Author A] with a similar or the same opinion.

Take the following made-up quote from (Author A):

Technologies have values embedded in their design (Author B).

I think it would be wrong to only directly cite [Author B] and make a similar statement without acknowledging [Author A] since the idea really comes from the way that the latter uses the former. Also, it would just feel wrong since someone else has done a lot of the work in finding the references.

This occurs many times and so it would also be obvious how I found the sources (of course, I will state in the background section that I did a backward search to find sources). At the same time, my analysis is different and hence I cannot just say “read [Author A] for a literature review]” – I need to connect it all to my topic (and also other areas not covered by [Author A].

What is the correct and, if allowed, most elegant way to handle second-order citations? Particularly when I need to do it many times. Is there an alternative to using second-order citations?

N.b., this isn’t a meta-survey like you would find in medical science or similar.

It is generally expected that European names be spelled correctly in academic correspondence and citations. This is expected, even when they use symbols not in the English language, when publishing in English (provided that a modern typesetting system will support it).

For instance, the German name “Müller” is expected to be spelled correctly, even though it could be spelled “Mueller” in the English Alphabet (without loss of information). Similarly, Gaelic names such as “Ó Ceallaigh” would not be Anglicised, despite a long history of this having been done before.

However, this is not the case for Asian languages, even Japanese names where they do not typically have the culture of adopting a nickname in Western Countries. For example, “田中” would be spelled as “Tanaka” to confirm with English language readers, despite Japan having it’s own phonetic conventions to give the desired reading (e.g., “タナカ”).

For a more comparable example, why is it ok to spell “Tokyo” in English when “Muller” is incorrect. The correct romanisation of 東京 is Tōkyō. Yet this is not used, nor is Toukyou or とうきょう which would both be more accurate. This misspelling occurs for names of people in Asian languages as well as names of places.

It’s typically argued that this is because English-speaking audiences could not read Japanese names in their writing system but the same could be said for the umlaut, which is often mispronounced or misused (e.g., Mötley Crüe). With digital typesetting systems, would be entirely possible to spell “田中” correctly in a citation, even by someone who cannot understand the meaning, just as we do for diacritics for European names.

If spelling someone’s name correctly is a matter of respect, when is it necessary to do so and why are there exceptions to this?

Is there any tool which could answer the following type of queries:
“Count the # of publications citing all of a given set of publications”
e.g. let A, B and C be publications. I would like to know how many cite
A, B, C, A and B, A and C, B and C, A and B and C.

A tool which supports pairs of publications would already be helpful.

If not, are there any API’s to the citation graph which would allow me to easily create such tool myself?


I am writing a paper and I have to include all the historical eras of Greece as a pre-defined “vocabulary” for a metadata schema. This vocabulary has to be online and be accessible via a URL.

So I am searching for a URL that contains all the historical eras of Greece in a format like “era name” – “date started” – “date ended”.

I cannot find a valid source. I want the source to be official. I used lots of keywords, Googling but nothing worthy except wikipedia. Can you suggest anything more official and trustworthy?


I’m about to submit a research paper to the Intel STS competition. I am basically finished with everything about my paper, but I need to cite a certain algorithm that I invented in my own paper. I do not want to put it inside the paper because it’s outside the scope of what I talked about in the paper, and besides the paper is already twenty pages so I can’t fit in any more material.

Is it acceptable if I simply post the code to a website like GitHub, and cite the link in my references?

I use data() from R, i get the following info from the sunspot dataset:

Yearly numbers of sunspots from 1700 to 1988 (rounded to one digit).
Source: H. Tong (1996) Non-Linear Time Series. Clarendon Press, Oxford, p. 471.

But in the way I need to reference it, It seems that it is not enough information. The data I need:

author = {Claire O'Brien},
title = {{Impact of Colonoscopy Bowel Preparation on Intestinal Microbiota},
doi = {10.4225/13/511C71F8612C3},
howpublished= {url{}} 

Im not sure about how to reference properly a data set, in terms of which info is enough, not the style of references.

For example, I am conducting research in “human attention”.

Two papers both use the terminology “attention maps”. However, actually one paper refer “attention maps” as “gaze maps” and the other refer “attention maps” as “importance maps”. They are both right as “gaze maps” and “importance maps” are just the sub-classes of “attention maps”. The terms “gaze maps” and “importance maps” are just made up by me to clarify the two concepts.

Normally, when I cite other people’s work, I just use their terminology directly. But now I have to cite them both with the same name. How to deal with this situation? Is there a conventional way?

I have now several times experienced recieving mails after publishing a preprint, from authors asking me to cite their work before I submit it to a journal. In some cases it is probably fair, but in other cases a bit of a stretch. It is of course often people I know, and who could possibly be future colleagues, so I don’t want to be too snarky.

I have never done it myself. I have, however, approaced authors to refer them to my own work, after a related article had been published in a journal.

Do you have a standard reply for such solicitations?

Do you engage in this practice yourself? I imagine that it could do wonders to your citation count.

In my research, I am using data from the commercial IBISWorld database. The report I am referencing, however, has a given individual author (ex. John Doe). However, IBISWorld isn’t a collection of reports written by “freelancers”; it writes its own curated reports, so John Doe was effectively writing in IBISWorld’s name. In this case, is it more appropriate to reference the report with the individual author’s name or the corporate author? That is, should I use (Doe, 2017) or (IBISWorld, 2017) (and respectively in the bibliography)?