Inappropriate Use of Citations and Corrupting the Body of Knowledge: Accepting Urban Legends as Truth


  • Richard G. Platt
  • E. Brian Peach


Peach & Platt (2002) contended that one of the critical aspects of any good research publication is the list of references provided by the authors. Such a list provides readers not only with insights into the rigor of the current effort, but an immediate and convenient pathway to the relevant previously published research upon which the current research is based.. Even occasional failure to properly cite references can allow false or misleading information to be incorporated into what could be considered ‘accepted truth’ that many people might feel does not need a reference. This paper provides examples of supposed research widely accepted as truth, one with significant potential impacts on education and the choice of pedagogical approach. It concludes with recommendations for maintaining rigor in the citation process.