There have been several posts over at NewAPPS the past few years on citation practices in philosophy (see here, here, here, and here). Basically, there appear to be reasons to think that citation conventions in philosophy may be excessively lax, in ways that appear to systematically favor (1) men over non-men, (2) the "famous" over the non-famous, (3) articles that appear in "good journals" over those that appear in "bad journals", and finally, (4) "in groups" (i.e. people citing "friends" but not "people they've never heard of").
As the husband of someone who works in the sciences, I can attest to just how different citation conventions are in the sciences as compared to philosophy. In her field, an author is literally expected to cite everything that has appeared on the issue in the recent literature. It doesn't matter what journal the article is in, if it published and at all relevant, you are expected to cite it. If you don't, your paper will be summarily rejected.
This might seem overly onerous in philosophy, but with philpapers being what it is -- where you can literally search for any relevant term and have everything that has been recently published on a topic at your fingertips literally in seconds -- is it really too much to expect? In addition to the disturbing data out there (see the aformentioned NewAPPS posts), I have seen really bad citation practices firsthand. I have not only read several things in the literature recently that seemed to willfully ignore recent papers by "nonfamous" people; I also know a colleague who regularly reports her work being ignored by people who know her work on the subject, and even if they didn't, should know it (and cite it).
All of this suggests to me that things seriously need to change. Non-males, other minorities, and "non-famous" people in the discipline from small schools have a hard enough time in our discipline without being ignored in the literature. The least we can do -- or so I say -- is to insist as a discipline on more rigorous citation practices (APA are you listening?). Specifically, I want to propose that editors inform referees that they are expected to do a quick literature review and point out any omissions. In my view, this is not only good practice, morally and professionally; it is also not overly onerous. It is, in my understanding, already common practice in the sciences, and really easy to do (it only takes a few minutes to do on philpapers). It is worth our while. Or so say I.
What say you?