The source is Lawrence Block's early novel, The Thief who Couldn't Sleep. The narrator is (among other things) a professional thesis writer working on a dissertation about Turkish prosecution of Armenians.
It was pleasant work. Research is a joy, especially when one is not burdened by an excessive reverence for the truth. By inventing an occasional source and injecting an occasional spurious footnote, one softens the harsh curves in the royal road of scholarship.