Citation to previous research is a basic tenet of the scientific process. Descriptions of what and how to cite range from basic âinstructions to authorsâ in scientific journals to extensive style manuals such as Suggestions to Authors of the Reports of the United States Geological Survey, a 200+ page work. Beyond mere style, these instructions shed light on the materials that practitioners in these disciplines deem important and worth citing. A comparison of style guides from a variety of disciplines reveals disparity between the citation habits of the sciences and that of other disciplines. Unlike practitioners in the arts and historical sciences, geoscientists tend to under-cite their usage of non-text based resources, leading to the impression that these resources are not utilized. At a time when support for the collection, curation and maintenance of geoscience collections is declining, the historic lack of citation to these resources fails to support the case for their preservation. Clearly, the geoscience community has much to learn from the arts and humanities about acknowledging the essential nature of non-text resources to their research.
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