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  • 1 Laboratório de Etnobotânica Aplicada, Departamento de Biologia, Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco, Rua Dom Manoel de Medeiros, s/n, Recife, PE, Brazil
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Abstract

Citation studies have become an important tool for understanding scientific communication processes, as they enable the identification of several characteristics of information-retrieval behavior. This study seeks to analyze citation behavior using two popular ethnobotany articles, and our analysis is guided by the following question: when an author references a work, is he pointing out the work's theoretical contribution, or is bias a factor in citing this reference? Citation analysis reveals an interesting phenomenon, as the majority of citing texts do not consider the theoretical contributions made by the articles cited. Two possible conclusions can be drawn from this scenario: (1) citing authors read the original texts that they cite only superficially, and (2) the works cited are not read by the vast majority of people who reference them. Thus, it is clear that even with sufficient access to reference texts; ethnobotanical studies highlight elements less relevant to the research and reproduce discussions in a non-reflective manner.

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