Citations, Citations, Citations

20 07 2007

I recently got a paper published in the ASM Workshop ’07. Two of my co-authors presented it in person in Norway, which I was unable to attend.

This was my first academic paper, and while it could have been better, I’m fairly satisfied with it. Finishing it off sucked up most of my time the first two weeks that I was out of school for the summer. I basically left Brown on a Saturday, slept the rest of that day, watched TV and drank soda on Sunday, and on Monday began two weeks’ worth of writing, initially cleaning up the draft submission which resulted in acceptance to the conference, and eventually rewriting the paper from scratch after our advisor took a closer look at it. Two days after final submission I flew out to California to begin my internship at Sun. I must admit that most of the reason this ate those two weeks was because we all put off the revisions for so long because of finals, but from other things Shriram has said, this seems to be pretty common among both inexperienced and veteran academics.

One thing he commented on while he was helping us to revise it was that a number of the citations we had in the paper were originally wrong. Many were taken from the homepages of paper authors kind enough to provide BibTeX information. Most of the others were taken (and somewhat corrected) from CiteSeer. However, Shriram caught that a number of these were still incorrect, and said that many (most?) of the citation information given on CiteSeer is incorrect or incomplete. When I asked what the normal way to find solid citations is, whether it’s anything more than spending lots of time researching, he answered in the negative.

Why is there no central, reputable, correct repository for this information? Or alternatively, why is CiteSeer going to the trouble of archiving all of these papers, and not doing so completely correctly?

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