I very much want to give credit where credit is due and avoid accusations of plagiarism. Obviously certain mathematical concepts (e.g., addition) and objects (e.g., the set of Fibonacci numbers) are so widely known that to provide citations for their definitions would be ludicrous. However, there are other concepts and objects that are familiar only to members of a small subset of mathematicians. At what point do I draw the line between citing and not citing?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ There is no general or sharp answer. It depends on your audience. If you're writing an article for a peer-reviewed journal, follow the journal's recommendations and the suggestions of the reviewers. $\endgroup$ – symplectomorphic Jan 13 at 21:11
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I would say that, especially in mathematics, if the concept was discussed when you were an undergraduate, no citation is necessary. $\endgroup$ – johnnyb Jan 13 at 21:14
  • $\begingroup$ @johnnyb That's a good rule of thumb there, thank you for that. $\endgroup$ – Guenterino Jan 13 at 21:19

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.