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Science Writing: NST 194: Citations: Overview

for NST

What are citations?

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 guide for your needs.

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

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

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

Search using this subject heading to locate more books on writing styles, bibliographies, and more.
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