Should all journals have one universal referencing style?

There are thousands of ways of citing source material.  This is confusing for students and tedious for authors and editors (I confess to having a submission sent back to me from a neurosurgery journal last week because I used the incorrect referencing style...yes, I know, I should have checked).  Even experienced authors may puzzle over the correct referencing of a blog, an e-book or a podcast.  In this week's Times Higher Education, Alec Gill asks if journals should have one standard referencing system. He concludes 'the reform of academic referencing is long overdue'. Is it? The article is available here:


  • Posted by Elizabeth Wager, 4/7/2009 12.25pm

Uniform(?) Requirements

The ICMJE's Uniform Requirements (1st drawn up over 25 years ago) were a response to exactly this problem at a time when secretaries had to type manuscripts -- but now in the age of word processors and bibliographic software, journal requirements seem to be anything but uniform. It's not exactly an ethical question, but it does make you wonder whether researchers time wouldn't be better spent doing something more creative than reformatting references!