Sarringhaus LA, McGrew WC, Marchant LF "Misuse of anecdotes in primatology: Lessons from citation analysis " American Journal of Primatology 65 (3): 283-288 MAR 2005
eugene.garfield at THOMSON.COM
Tue Aug 2 16:28:27 EDT 2005
E-mail Addresses: W.C. McGrew : mcgrewwc at muohio.edu
Title: Misuse of anecdotes in primatology: Lessons from citation analysis
Author(s): Sarringhaus LA, McGrew WC, Marchant LF
Source: AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PRIMATOLOGY 65 (3): 283-288 MAR 2005
Document Type: Article Language: English
Cited References: 21 Times Cited: 0
This study analyzes the accuracy of anecdotes cited in behavioral
primatology publications. Anecdotes (n = 1 cases) recounting tool use were
sought in the four main primatological journals. Citations of anecdotes in
the scientific literature that met three criteria were systematically coded
for recognition and accuracy. The results showed that 60% of the time,
authors who cited anecdotes did not explicitly acknowledge them as such. To
a lesser extent, the citations exaggerated the frequency of anecdotal
events or misrepresented their status. For tool use specifically, the actor
was misreported more often than the tool or its target. Multiple citations
were incorrect more often than single citations. Overall, it seems that
citation of anecdotes is problematic and may have far-reaching implications
in terms of misleading overgeneralizations. Primatologists should take care
in citing singular or rare events. (c) 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Addresses: McGrew WC (reprint author), Miami Univ, Dept Anthropol, 70 Upham
Hall, Oxford, OH 45056 USA
Miami Univ, Dept Anthropol, Oxford, OH 45056 USA
Miami Univ, Dept Zool, Oxford, OH 45056 USA
E-mail Addresses: mcgrewwc at muohio.edu
Publisher: WILEY-LISS, DIV JOHN WILEY & SONS INC, 111 RIVER ST, HOBOKEN, NJ
Subject Category: ZOOLOGY
IDS Number: 916TC
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