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Biology: Cite Sources

Creating Citations

Introduction to the Basics of Citation

The first step is to identify the pieces of information that go into a citation. This will differ slightly depending on the format of the reference you are citing.  For example, the citation format for a book, a journal article, a web site, an encyclopedia article, a chart, an image or diagram will vary.  Biology students will be using the citation style laid out in the CSE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers which can be found in the library.  This portion of the guide will help you become familiar with the information you'll need and offers some tips to find that information for various resources.


Information you'll need: Author(s), title, publisher, date of publication, place of publication, page numbers you're citing.

Where to find the information: The title page and the reverse side of the title page.

 Journal articles:

Information you'll need: author(s), article title, title of the journal the article was published in, year of publication, volume of journal, issue or number of the journal, pages the article appears in the journal, where you accessed the article.

How to recognize this information: Journals are more complicated than books.  Finding and identifying the information you need can be confusing.  The examples below show how a record from a library database might look.  The parts you'll need for your citations are color coded to match the information you'll need as listed above.

Example 1:

Title: Clinical Epidemiology and In-Patient Hospital Use in the Last Year of Life (1990–2005) of 29,884 Western Australians with Dementia.

Authors: Zilkens, Renate R.

Spilsbury, Katrina

Bruce, David G.2

Semmensa, James B.

Source: Journal of Alzheimer's Disease; 2010, Vol. 17 Issue 2, p399-407, 12p, 4 charts

Example 2:

Alien-Nation: Zombies, Immigrants, and Millennial Capitalism

Comaroff, Jean.

Comaroff, John L., 1945-

The South Atlantic Quarterly, Volume 101, Number 4, Fall 2002, pp. 779-805 (Article)

 Web Sites:

You'll need: author; name of site; version number; name of institution/organization affiliated with the site (sponsor or publisher); date created; date you accessed the site; title of document.

Not all of this information will be available for each site, but it is important to look at the web site's home page and the page with the information you are citing. Another place to look is for a portion of the site named "About Us" or "About this site." Even if the information is not available, it is important to search the site to find as much of this information as possible to put into your citation.

Finding Journal Title Abbreviations

The links below will help you find the appropriate journal title abbreviations to use.

To Find an article by the DOI

DOI stands for Digital Object Identifier.  A DOI is more stable than a URL so using the DOI in your citation is preferred if it is available.  You can also copy and paste any DOI you find in references into this website to find the reference you have.  You may or may not gain full text access to the article since the publisher maintains the permanent DOI location and controls access.

The CSE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers