John Penniman — I will never recover from this...

It makes it very easy to be original – just pick a text nobody's looked at in 140 years, or better yet, ever!

But it also means you spend a lot of time wrangling terrible editions or working directly from manuscripts, and you have to steal all your theoretical angles from the French lit folks.


I feel like this wildly varies by field. In history courses I've taken I'll cite quite old things as there's not much scholarship on a topic, in ecology often a specific species doesn't have much recent scholarship.

In biochem anything pre-2000 is highly suspect


totally agree. I for the most part would not cite policy, law, or economics research from before the Great Recession unless I was seeking a historical perspective to make a point. But in other fields it makes a lot of sense

Max Somerset

seems like that would really vary based on the field and topic

a lot of interaction design research findings have not changed since then, e.g.

also in my personal endeavors, the ONLY papers i find for things are often 90s or older (medical stuff). quite a lot of it is considered settled


Well. It’s also a joke. Idk what the topic of the paper is. Could be “explain the rise of the internet and how it changed XYZ”. I as a 1990 baby can describe first hand accounts that student wouldn’t be able to understand about dial up or how large early 90 computers were.

The Money Charnel

It's called gallows humour.

It's 20 past midnight here in London, my wife is a wreck, we are 250 miles away, my two brothers-in-law are 200 and 5,000 miles away. Mother-in-law in care home. The last thing in my mind is nuance. Sorry.


"This paper would have benefited from citing additional sources; however, since it was published before the Internet was publicly available, the investigators could be forgiven for not being able to identify other contemporary works." -Critiquing a publication from 1993


😂😂. One of our librarians did a presentation on research for our students and emphasized that they would not want to use sources more than a decade old. I had to gently interrupt and explain that it depended on the field and that in mine you absolutely do and it’s a problem that young people don’t.

John Penniman

*Stares in having cited a report from 1854, as well as having **secondary** sources going back 500 years for thier PhD*

Please tell me this is in a subject where everything has to be super up to date because my medievalist arse is crumbling into bones of old age right now.

John Penniman