Your Papers and Footnotes, Please

Tim Parks questions the necessity of footnotes and strict references in academic publications:

There is, in short, an absolutely false, energy-consuming, nit-picking attachment to an outdated procedure that now has much more to do with the sad psychology of academe than with the need to guarantee that the research is serious. By all means, on those occasions where a book exists only in paper and where no details about it are available online, then let us use the traditional footnote. Otherwise, why not wipe the slate clean, start again, and find the simplest possible protocol for ensuring that a reader can check a quotation. Doing so we would probably free up three or four days a year in every academic’s life. A little more time to glean quotes from Barthes, Borges, and Derrida…

I must admit that I question texts that aren’t referenced, even on tumblr, and really like having footnotes, despite usually ignoring the actual content of the footnotes when reading for pleasure….

[For the sake of it: Parks, Tim. “References, Please.” NYRblog. N.p., 13 Sept. 2014. Web. 20 Sept. 2014.}

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