52 States in 8 Months

Printed twice!

Posted in Stupidities, University stuff by Ulf on June 4, 2009

I’m currently changing some citations in my thesis. Originally I planned to cite some Wikipedia articles such the one about Differentiation of inverse functions. They have a section about higher derivatives of those inverses, and those were really useful for my work! Unfortunately I can’t find a normal textbook which also presents these formulas, so that’s why I wanted to cite Wikipedia.

Mascha was the first one who tried to convince me that citing Wikipedia is not a good idea. I didn’t listen to her. Alex was the second one, and I did listen to him (sorry Mascha!). Without any quotable source I had to add an appendix page in my thesis just for showing the derivation of these formulas. Okay, that Wikipedia citation is gone. Unfortunately there are still a few others left.

While I searched the formula in different textbooks, I found this the 1968 “Schaum’s Mathematical Handbook of Formulas and Tables” by Murray R. Spiegel. It claims to be printed both in the United States and in Korea. Sounds like good teamwork, eh?



4 Responses

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  1. Martin said, on June 4, 2009 at 8:10 am

    Where is the problem with wiki? I mean it’s clear that it shouldn’t be the only source for the thing you want to cite. But I think for someone who is interested in some more detailed information without having to search for a book I think a good wiki article is really nice and helpful.

  2. Ulf said, on June 4, 2009 at 8:19 am

    I also believe that Wikipedia is fine for these citations. The only bad thing is that too many of my readers believe it’s not okay, so that’s why I changed it.

  3. Mascha said, on June 6, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    I am hurt Ulf-er-stein.
    Alas, maybe next time you should take my advice =)

  4. Pingu said, on June 9, 2009 at 9:27 am

    @Mascha: well, I guess you just gotta be more convincing the next time :-) Never believed, that one day I’d be more convincing than a girl. ;-)

    @Martin: Indeed it’s way more comfortable just to look up some information on wiki instead of having to go to the library and finding the book (if lucky). However, afaik wiki still is just not seen as a serious and reliable source in academics, that’s why you should avoid it (at least for papers and theses, for a short talk it might be ok). Readers should be able to wiki (yes, I guess this work comes right after “to google” and “to facebook”) terms on their own even if not given the direct article, that’s not a big deal. But as it’s that simple, it also makes you look very lazy :). Often, the easiest way is to go on wiki, look up the article, and use the sources they cited.

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