I'm writing a PhD thesis and I am using terminology such as maximum drawdown, maximum drawdown duration, lookahead bias, and survivorship bias.

Although I understand what these are, and they are documented well (on Investopedia, Wikipedia, and StackExcange for example) -- is there someone who I should cite and give credit to for these ideas?

Failing that, is there a respected finance book that I can cite for which I could point an interested reader to find out more about these concepts?

Many thanks


2 Answers 2


So two things a) they are commonly known. b) they are definitions. So if you define it yourself, theres no need to cite anyone. But if you lift the definition from somewhere verbatim, then you should cite that paper.

I wouldnt look the wikipedia for the formal definitions, I'd try to find them in academic literature, think about the definition, see if you agree and cite the person. Failing that, I would write them myself and then theres no need for a cite.

For ex, define survivorship bias as they do:


and cite them, or define it in a way thats related to what your doing.


All terminologies are common knowledge. I do not think it is good idea to cite someone. It is like using word "equity" and looking for someone to cite. It doesn't make sense.

  • $\begingroup$ It might be common knowledge to people who do finance but my project will be marked by mathematicians who probably haven't seen it before. Still, thank you for your opinion. $\endgroup$
    – Kian
    Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 10:14

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