Non-Referencing of GCN Circulars.
Dear GRB community,
There have been a number of recent astro-ph papers, specifically on
GRB 021004 and GRB 021211 (I would be happy to say which ones by
e-mail), using phrase "data reported in GCN Circulars" or something
like that, without specifying which Circulars etc. It is amazing to me
that this has to be even written about, but somehow many members of
the GRB community seem not to be aware of one of the rules of the
scientific conduct, which can be summarized very simply:
"If you use somebody's data, you have to indicate the source"
for two obvious reasons:
1) People might want to know what data you use;
2) Authors of the GCNs from which the data were taken would probably
like to get credit for their research;
Simply stated, if you use somebody's data, you have to cite the
source, and there are no excuses for not doing that, such as page
limits etc. Using data without citing the source is unethical, and
there is no difference between the GCNs and "real" papers in this
regard: nobody would use a phrase "data reported in astronomical
Moreover, such a behavior will quickly result in demise of the GCN
system, which so far has been working great. Simply put, if the
observers do not get credit for their work, they will not publish
We are all working fast and hard in this business, but this is not an
excuse for sloppiness or negligence.
You are welcome to write me on this subject, although I do not think
there is much to discuss.