Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Does Not Follow Procedure

Because I tend to get bored, having nothing to do but lie around twiddling my thumbs all day, I rashly proposed a poster for MLA'13, which the organizers rashly accepted.

This means I have to actually make a poster based on my very boring citation-counting project, which is so clearly going to interrupt my thumb-twiddling schedule that I don't know why I ever thought this was a good idea in the first place. I'm having all kinds of questions about poster-making.

Like, do I have to cite references? The helpful poster advice sites talk about a references section, but...uh...I didn't actually do any research in the literature before undertaking my little project. I will hang my head in shame now. I know, it's ironic, considering my entire project is about citations, that I don't have anything to cite myself.

Obviously I should have reviewed the literature first, if only to make sure someone else hadn't already done what I was thinking of doing, but better, but I had an idea I thought was mildly interesting, and I was lazy and wanted to get started, and I just skipped that.

So I did not, in fact, refer to anyone else during the course of my work. Should I pretend I did, or should I just omit references and boldly declare, "Behold, I am a wretched novice researcher, and I didn't consult prior literature"?

The thing is, trying to find something to cite after the fact means more work, which, with all this thumb-twiddling to be done, is not entirely what I'm after. That, plus the fact that I think people in general should make a lot more bold declarations that begin with 'Behold' than they do, is kind of inclining me towards just admitting that I skipped the very important review of the current literature that we're always telling students they should start with, and leaving out the references section.

Or maybe there's a paper somewhere that describes the horrible things that happen to people who don't review the literature before undertaking a research project, and I can cite that.

Ha--actually, if I can find it, I will totally cite that. Don't even think I won't.

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