Communications of the Association for Information Systems


The paper discusses the possibility of introducing quantitative and qualitative requirements on references/citations in academic publications having in mind the goal of creating recommendations on reference usage. Quantitative requirements concern the number of references, while qualitative requirements concern types of publications to which the references are made. To reach the goal, the classification of contexts of reference usage is suggested. It differentiates three categories of references, namely: (a) references to foundations of the current research, (b) references to the core knowledge in the discipline, and (c) references to (loosely) related research works. Possibilities of introducing quantitative and qualitative requirements for the first two categories of references are limited. For the third category of references, both quantitative and qualitative requirements can be justified. Based on the suggested classification, the paper also discusses such issues as meaning of the impact factors and misuse of references. The paper is based solely on the experience of the author in reading, writing, editing, and reviewing academic publications, and it should be considered as a preliminary framework for further research.