A Short Note on Pointless Reference Formatting


In the last few years, several authors have opined that the multitude of reference styles used in scholarly journals is entirely pointless. In this brief note, a back-of-the-envelope calculation shows that this profusion of styles leads to significant waste of researchers’ time and financial resources, all of which could be spent on far more meaningful pursuits. A simple solution is for all journals to adopt a single reference format. This could happen relatively easily, it is argued, if major funding agencies decided to back the idea.