Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Citation Accuracy on the Web, Steve Albini and Odd Future

Steve Albini recently had some rather choice words about Odd Future. Or did he? It depends on whether you unquestioningly believe everything you read on the web, and it shows the importance of making sure you cite accurately when you quote others.

Here's the background: Steve Albini is a legendary producer, having worked with Nirvana, the Pixies and many other artists with both high and low profiles. He is also legendarily prickly, especially because he is outspoken when he encounters nonsense (to use a polite term) from anyone. Odd Future is a rap group that has attracted attention for being outspoken in different ways. Albini recently shared an airport shuttle with the group, and posted some rather harsh words about them online.

John Robb reported this in a blog post on Louder Than War. The same entry was posted on Rock's Backpages Writers' Blogs. Robb quoted Albini at length, citing as his source Albini's studio’s Electrical Audio website, but the link was to Electrical Supply and Information Center.

So did Albini really make any statements about Odd Future? Good research means going back to primary sources to verify the accuracy, not just taking someone else's word for it, especially when someone gives an inaccurate citation. A Google search of Steve Albini and Odd Future shows that lots of web pages are discussing the topic, but that still doesn't make it true; false information repeated many times is still false information. However, at least one source reporting the issue,, included a link to the precise post by Albini in the Electric Audio website forum section.

Remember when you are doing your own research to cite your sources accurately because accurate information cited inaccurately carries no more weight than inaccurate information. And be willing to seek out primary sources for citations by others.

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