So far we have had many positive comments about our book. However, a few people have mentioned that the little numbers (in-text citations like this 1) are a bit distracting. They also don’t feel that they need to be there.
First, we want thank you all for buying the book and giving us some feedback. With respect to these little numbers there are a few important reasons why they are there.
As we mentioned in S.P.E.E.D. (Appendix A: What is quality evidence?) there are different types of evidence, each playing a role in the process of understanding a topic. However, there are certain types of evidence that can allow us to make solid predictions of cause and affect. For a more in-depth understanding of this aspect we suggest that you read Appendix A in the book.
The main reason the numbers are included is so there is a clear connection between what we say and the evidence supporting it. This allows anyone to check that we have represented the research properly. They are also there to give credit to the researchers and authors of the published papers. Lastly, although most people will not check our sources, we feel that authors of science-based books have an obligation to have proper citations. If a book that is based on “science” does not have in-text citations or a reference section that has the pages associated with the references or, at least, a reference section with the specific references used per chapter then we would suggest that you do NOT read it. This does not necessarily mean that the author’s statements are incorrect, but how can we check? This also does not mean that if the proper referencing is used the person is correct in their interpretations or recommendations. But, due to the prevalence of poor information that pervades the health and fitness field it is even more important to have proper citations so that the wave of half-truths, misinterpretations, and down right lies can be curtailed. Again, most people wouldn’t check the references but we feel this is not a valid reason for not supporting information in the proper manner.
This general lack of caring about where the information comes from and the validity of information speaks to a larger problem; scientific illiteracy. This will be further discussed in another post.