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Bio 1B Library Guide: Citation: Citing Articles

Citing Articles

Citing Articles

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Why cite your sources?

Citations fulfill several functions:

  • They give proper credit to the work others have done.
  • They allow readers of your work to find the sources you've used.
  • They show that you are familiar with the scientific literature in the area you're writing about.

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Basic elements of journal article citations:

  1. Author name(s)
  2. Publication year
  3. Article title
  4. Journal title
  5. Volume number
  6. Issue number (omitted for many citation styles in the sciences)
  7. Page numbers (for articles published both in print and online) or article number (for online-only articles)
  8. For articles published online: URL or DOI (omitted for some citation styles)

What is a DOI?
Find an article using a DOI:
Try this example:

Freeman LA, Kleypas JA, Miller AJ. 2013. Coral reef habitat response to climate change scenarios. PLoS ONE 8: e82404. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0082404

Click on the "Find an article using a DOI" link above, copy and paste the DOI into the "Resolve a DOI" box, and click "Go." (Don't include "doi:") Were you able to access this article?


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Citation Styles

There are hundreds of different citation styles. Here is the same citation formatted in four different scientific citation styles. Note the differences in the number of authors listed and in the order, format and punctuation of the elements of the citation:

The journal Nature:
Barnosky, A. D. et al. Approaching a state shift in Earth's biosphere. Nature 486, 52-58 (2012).

The journal Science:
A. D. Barnosky et al., Approaching a state shift in Earth's biosphere. Nature. 486, 52-58 (2012).

Council of Science Editors, 8th edition:
Barnosky AD, Hadly EA, Bascompte J, Berlow EL, Brown JH, Fortelius M, Getz WM, Harte J, Hastings A, Marquet PA, et al. 2012. Approaching a state shift in Earth's biosphere. Nature 486(7401):52-8.

The journal BioScience:
Barnosky AD, et al. 2012. Approaching a state shift in Earth's biosphere. Nature 486: 52-58.

Your Librarian

Elliott Smith's picture
Elliott Smith
Bioscience & Natural Resources Library
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