Doc Becca tweeted:
ZOMG this proposal has over 250 references.
— Dr Becca, PhD (@doc_becca) January 27, 2015
which set off a discussion of review papers, etc (again).
But, my current irritation with the sods who write grants is not so much the number of cites. Nor is it a total failure to cite me. Because, in fact they did. In a most infuriating way. The following is a paraphrase, and I hope, non-specific enough not to be violating confidentiality.
No one has worked on X, and as a result, understands problem Y, for which data from X are necessary (except see ).
Well, cite  is one paper of a series of about 20 that I did lo those many years ago. I'm not first author - the student was, and students are the first authors on all (I think) of the 20 papers. We (my students and I) solved X pretty thoroughly before many of you were born. Not all aspects, and lots of interesting parts remain unsolved, and I changed fields because. But the fundamental problem of X has been worked on, even if you don't like what my students and I found. One may take it and run from there, but as it stands, what is proposed is significantly duplication. I don't object to the duplication, but I suspect these guys would not be getting a major grant to do so.
I am considering recusing myself from the review. I try to never to cite myself in anonymous reviews. I do not want to be the reviewer who sniffs and says "this paper neglects the most important thing ever done since eukaryotes invented sex". I do not know the PI's. I do not want to know the PI's. I do not want to tell them that their mastery of the literature leaves a great deal to be desired.
It must be scotch o'clock somewhere.