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Citation Justice

This guide explains the concept of citation justice and provides links to informational materials.

Citation Justice

“Citation is an equity issue.”

As explained in a statement created by a task force of the National Council of Teachers of English,  

“Citation justice reflects the full scope of multiply marginalized people’s intellectual contributions. To do so, citation justice requires making an effort to see and make visible the fullness of BIPOC and other multiply marginalized scholars’ contributions to various areas of scholarly inquiry.”

The goals of the position statement capture the essence of the objectives of citation justice:

  • Redress citational erasures and exclusions in the literatures
  • Consider the material impacts of citation for minoritized communities and knowledges
  • Work toward a more just and inclusive disciplinary body of knowledge and academic community

Citation justice: is intersectional, reflects the full scope of multiply marginalized people’s intellectual contributions, resists and rejects intellectual empire building, and is accountable.

Related terms:

  • Inclusive citation: “…an approach to citing the intellectual and creative work of individuals and groups with a diversity of backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives.”
  • Inclusive referencing: “…the practice of including different voices and perspectives in your research.”
  • Citation diversity statement: One method of minimizing citation bias is to include a short citation diversity statement before the references section of a paper that acknowledges accountability for the references used. According to Dworkin et. al., the diversity statement includes

(i) …the importance of citation diversity, (ii) the percentage breakdown (or other diversity indicators) of citations in the paper, (iii) the method by which percentages were assessed and its limitations, and (iv) a commitment to improving equitable practices in science.