Peer referral in library usage

Anita Cohen-Williams (IACAGC@ASUVM.INRE.ASU.EDU)
Fri, 4 Mar 1994 11:45:36 -0700

I have to deal with. "My professor told me...", "My colleague said there was
an article in...". Often, the reference given is incorrect, or the article has
been copied without giving the title of the journal or the year that it was
written. Merely having an author and title is never good enough! One needs to
have some idea when the article was written, and what type of journal it was
in (i.e. discipline).
One of the biggest problem areas I deal with is bibliographies handed
out by the professor in a course, or handed to a fellow researcher. Usually, a
great many of the citations are wrong. Sometimes it is due to the
bibliographer, but many time the original article was cited incorrectly in
whatever text the bibliographer was using. Editors of journals need to be more
critical of references cited, and make sure that these references are true to
fact. Being a few page numbers off is not so critical, but having the wrong
year, the incorrect spelling of the author's last name, or the wrong volume,
causes incredible confusion and frustration on the part of everyone!
If, as a professor, you plan to cite a source in your lecture, please
write it on the board so that there cannot be any confusion as to the spelling
of the last name.

Anita Cohen-Williams; Reference Services; Hayden Library
Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-1006
PHONE: (602) 965-4579 FAX: (602) 965-9169