Years back, I got a compliment that was the absolute best compliment I’ve ever received. A close friend said to me: “You make me want to go learn stuff.”
Obviously I love science and space exploration best, but on a more fundamental level I love learning. I love opening up my mind to find that the universe is a whole lot bigger and a whole lot more complicated than I could have possibly imagined it to be.
On this blog, I want to share some of the cool space and science stuff that I’ve learned. I also want to make it easy for you to go learn more on your own, if you want to. As a corollary to that, I also want to make it easy for you to fact check the things I say on this blog, because there’s way too much misinformation about science out there on the Internet, and I really, really, really don’t want to add to that problem if I can help it.
So it’s a little distressing to me when I get comments asking where I got my information from. I’ve gotten a few such comments in the last month or so, which makes me think that I need to change up the way I cite my sources. Currently, when I have a source I want to cite, I usually say something like “According to this paper” and make the words “this paper” a hyperlink to the paper in question.
That feels like a straightforward way to do it to me, but obviously that’s not working for everybody. Would it be better if I did a sources cited section at the end of my posts? Or is there something else I could do to make this clearer for readers (both regular readers and new people)?
Like I said before, I do not want to be responsible for spreading misinformation on the Internet. But also, if you read something here on Planet Pailly and want to learn more, I want to make that as easy for you as possible. Citing my sources clearly and easily addresses both of those concerns. So how can I do that better? Any and all feedback is welcome!