Washing your hands regularly and brushing your teeth: these habits are important for the hygiene of your body. Similarly, good communication hygiene is important, tasks that make you a better communicator and make sure you are communicating well.
Communication hygiene essentially refers to making sure you are practicing proper techniques. A big part of this is properly sourcing the material you put out into the world. Did you ever play the game Telephone as a kid? It’s where you tell someone something, they say that thing to someone else, and so on. By the fifth kid, the message is so distorted, it’s funny.
Using peer reviewed sources, and properly citing them, enhances the credibility of your articles and posts. With the Internet, there’s lots of misinformation out there so it’s important to check with credible sources to verify the information, especially before telling it to others.
It’s important to be correct when you share information with others, for a whole range of reasons, including solidifying your own credibility. Your readers will begin to trust you if your information is consistently accurate and you give due credit to the proper people if quoting them. Citing sources also allows people to verify for themselves the information that you’ve shared.
Here are some great sources about why citing is important and the different styles that can be used.