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Marcus, this is a really, really great start to addressing an important issue. Thank you so much!

Marcus Arvan

Thanks, anon! :)


Hello Marcus,

Thought you might enjoy this. I just got Frederick Schauer’s *The Force of Law* (Harvard 2015). Just after the preface, he has a “Note about the Notes.” He writes that HLA Hart “thought it useful to emphasize that he was not writing a book about other books”, so “his references were sparse, and, unconventionally at the time for scholarly writing, tucked away at the back of the book” (xiii).

Schauer laments the fact that many works today take this approach and thus contain “woefully” few references to other works. He thinks we should stop doing this. He writes that

“Scholarship is a collective enterprise, and scholarly works with few references tend to exaggerate the novelty of the author’s contributions, ignore the extent to which the work builds on what has been done by others, and provide scant assistance to the reader seeking informed guidance to other writings and the place of the instant work in the relevant scholarly environment. Accordingly, I believe it far better to provide too many references than too few. If these references can provide biographical assistance to the reader … that will be a valuable service. If they can make clear that my contributions build on those of others and are situated within a larger community of scholarship and scholars, that will be more valuable still.” (xiii)

The eleven substantive chapters that make up Schauer’s book are a combined 168 pages long. The footnotes with references are tucked away at the back of the book (they can be distracting, he concedes) but they make up 62 additional pages.

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