A Quote by Robert K. Merton on argument, justice, knowledge, learning, practice, science, and truth

We thus begin to see that the institutionalized practice of citations and references in the sphere of learning is not a trivial matter. While many a general reader - that is, the lay reader located outside the domain of science and scholarship - may regard the lowly footnote or the remote endnote or the bibliographic parenthesis as a dispensable nuisance, it can be argued that these are in truth central to the incentive system and an underlying sense of distributive justice that do much to energize the advancement of knowledge.

Robert K. Merton

Source: "The Matthew Effect in Science,II: Cumulative Advantage and the Symbolism of Intellectual Property," Isis, 1988.

Contributed by: Zaady