Drs. Rhine

Drs. Rhine at Duke University.

The Importance of Being Credible, Part 2

In a former life, I taught English Composition. During the course I stressed the importance of being credible. To cite sources. To present the information truthfully and to proffer the alternative view. College students struggled with the concepts. Rightfully so. They practice what they read; therefore, they question the need to cite. The Internet is ripe with “information,” but little of it is actually credited to reliable sources.

Properly citing sources is critical in developing credibility in the paranormal field. It is very easy to do. Follow this discussion about the Paranormal Field:

The term “paranormal” was coined around 1920. [1] Describing experiences that lie outside the accepted scientific field of study, the term encompasses ghosts, extra-terrestrials, and cryptids. [2]

American universities have had strong ties with paranormal research. They were housed at some of the most prestigious colleges in the US: Cornell, Harvard, Princeton, and Stanford. The Rhine Research Center (formerly at Duke University) was one of the most well-known university-based facilities researching the topic. [3] Although the Rhine is not directly affiliated with Duke University anymore, it continues to be the leader in paranormal research. Presently, the University of Virginia’s Division of Perceptual Studies is the only university-based facility operating in the US. [4]

There are several popular citation formats. I prefer to use the MLA; however, APA is preferable in the academic setting.

So, why this discussion? Well, I wanted to share this information with people interested in the paranormal. Further, I sprinkle my blog entries with citations and wanted to provide readers with a heads-up as to what they are and why they’re there. Finally, I realize that Wikipedia is the place people look for information on the Internet. It should not, however, be the last. Follow the citations within the articles and see where they lead. Be aware that if an article lacks citations there is a reason—probably a very good reason. Don’t trust everything you read on the Web.

[1] Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

[2] Stuart Gordon. (1993). The Paranormal: An Illustrated Encyclopedia.

[3] The Rhine Research Center, http://www.rhine.org.

[4] Jill Hanson. “13 University-Sanctioned Paranormal Research Projects.” Mental Floss.