Getting credit for what you write? Conventions and techniques of citation in German anthropology

S. Calkins, R. Rottenburg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Contemporary citing practices do something significant to developments in the sciences and the humanities: they create giants by attributing a scarce academic good – namely originality – to certain authors, while ignoring others. Originality is not a straightforward qualification of a contribution and its impact on academic disputes. Rather it is something that is made and stabilized through citation practices. We contend that the criteria by which authors select from an ocean of possible sources relate to structuring principles that organize the scientific field and various understandings of “what is” a proper publication and “what counts” in publishing scholarly work. The assertion is that these understandings can be identified as conventions of citation, which inform writing and citing practices. Thus far, this seems to be nothing particularly new. However, we bring existing arguments and approaches together to (1) make a first step towards a novel approach to citation analysis and (2) explore several conventions and techniques of citation in German-speaking anthropology after 1965. We show that some citing techniques have solidified more than others and contribute to aporetic debates about German anthropology’s parochialism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-129
JournalZeitschrift fur Ethnologie
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • citations
  • originality
  • conventions
  • science and technology studies
  • NLA
  • n/a OA procedure


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