Posted by: Jeremy Fox | April 18, 2012

What’s the worst you’ve ever been mis-cited?

As an academic, sooner or later you’ll be mis-cited. Sometimes badly. More than once as a reviewer I’ve had to correct authors who were trying to cite my papers (and those of others) in support of a claim that was actually the opposite of what those papers demonstrated! Which I suppose is the maximum mis-citation (“MMC”). Of course, those citations weren’t actually published. But if I hadn’t been the reviewer, I presume they would’ve been.

So what’s the worst you’ve ever been mis-cited?

HT Ayco Tack for the idea for this post.


  1. As a graduate student with few publications, opportunities of mis-citation of my work have been limited. I am still haunted by the embarrassment of mis-citing a reviewer (although he was technically anonymous, my manuscript’s review had his name associated as the author of the Word document… beware hidden personal properties in Word…). He was calm and courteous about it, possibly because it was a minor mis-citation of a lab experiment that I claimed was conducted in a field setting and there were others of his with field data, which were cited as well.

  2. My Grand Unified Theory of Persistent Ecological Conundra is so frequently mis-cited that I’ve given up counting or attempting to rectify same. I mean, do I really have to keep explaining this to people?

    • I’m afraid to ask for the citation for that. 😉

      • Well to be a little more exact, it’s a transient, intra-cranial, conceptual mapping of reality. Those are cite-able under the new rules I’ve recently instituted. If you just say the GUTPEC model, people will know what you mean

      • I was right to be afraid. 😉

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