Cites matter for evaluation—at least somewhat. I am much less worried about my cites than I once was. Here’s why.

I once wrote a paper that cited a older paper. I wrote about two sentences about that paper, both of which were kind of vague, and easy to misinterpret (my bad.) People read my paper, and gave me a cite. But more interestingly, they liked the way I cited that older paper, and they basically copied my cite—although based on their work, it seems clear to me that they had not really read the original paper. So how important was the cite for their thinking?

(I got the idea for the post from this: A Gentleman’s C.)


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