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Biological Sciences Writing: Citations: Overview

what is a CITATION?

Citations uniquely identify a published works (e.g. book, article, chapter, web site) in bibliographies, reference lists, in databases.  Citing a source allows you to give credit for words, quotes, data, figures, images from an author, a website, a report or another place.

Citations consist of standard elements and contain all the information necessary to identify and track down publications, including:

  • author name(s)
  • titles of books, articles, and journals
  • date of publication
  • page numbers
  • volume and issue numbers (for articles)

Parts of a citation

Citations may look different, depending on what is being cited and which style was used to create them. Choose the appropriate style for your needs.
PARTS:
Author
-
Ackerly, DD (Ackerly, David D.)

Article Title - Carbon assimilation and habitat segregation in resurrection plants

Source Title (Journal) - FUNCTIONAL ECOLOGY

Volume and issue - Volume 29, issue 12

Published: DEC 2015

Page numbers - 1499-1512

DOI: 10.1111/1365-2435.12462

EXAMPLES: of an article citation using four different citation styles, notice the common elements.

AMA (American Medical Association):

1.    Alcantara S, de Mello-Silva R, Teodoro GS, Drequeceler K, Ackerly DD, Oliveira RS. Carbon assimilation and habitat segregation in resurrection plants: a comparison between desiccation- and non-desiccation-tolerant species of Neotropical Velloziaceae (Pandanales). Functional Ecology. 2015;29(12):1499-1512.

Bioscience Style:
Alcantara S, de Mello-Silva R, Teodoro GS, Drequeceler K, Ackerly DD, Oliveira RS
. 2015. Carbon assimilation and habitat segregation in resurrection plants: a comparison between desiccation- and non-desiccation-tolerant species of Neotropical Velloziaceae (Pandanales). Functional Ecology 29:1499-1512.

CSE, Council of Science Editors:
Alcantara S, de Mello-Silva R, Teodoro GS, Drequeceler K, Ackerly DD, Oliveira RS
. Carbon assimilation and habitat segregation in resurrection plants: a comparison between desiccation- and non-desiccation-tolerant species of Neotropical Velloziaceae (Pandanales). Functional Ecology 2015;29(12):1499-1512.

American Psychological Association  (APA) style:
Alcantara, S., de Mello-Silva, R., Teodoro, G. S., Drequeceler, K., Ackerly, D. D., & Oliveira, R. S. (2015). Carbon assimilation and habitat segregation in resurrection plants: a comparison between desiccation- and non-desiccation-tolerant species of Neotropical Velloziaceae (Pandanales). [Article]. Functional Ecology, 29(12), 1499-1512.

Why is citing important

It is important to cite sources you use in your research:
  • To show your reader you've done proper research by listing sources you used to get your information
  • To be a responsible scholar by giving credit to other researchers and acknowledging their ideas
  • To avoid plagiarism by quoting words and ideas used by other authors
  • To allow your reader to track down the sources you used by citing them accurately in your paper by way of footnotes, a bibliography or reference list

Citation Styles

Citing Medicine, 2nd edition: The NLM Style Guide for Authors, Editors, and Publishers
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK7256/

Scientific style and format: the CSE manual for authors, editors, and publishers / Style Manual Committee Council of Science Editors.
http://oskicat.berkeley.edu/record=b21334450~S1

Use this subject heading to locate more books on writing styles, bibliographies, and more.
Technical writing -- Handbooks, manuals, etc.

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