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Citing References

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Citing References

There are many styles for citing bibliographic references. However, most citations contain the same elements, although their order and appearance may differ. If you’re familiar with one style, you can understand other styles with little difficulty.

Journal Articles

Citations to journal articles usually contain the following: author(s), title of the article, title of the journal, volume and issue numbers, date of the journal, and the page numbers.

This is a citation for a journal article:

Beware the prolapsed disc. Lehmann OJ, et al. Br J Hosp Med 1991 Jul;46(1):52.


Citations to books usually contain the following: author(s) of the book, title of the book, place of publication, publisher, and date of publication. If the reference is to a specific chapter in a book, the citation will also contain the author(s) of the chapter, the chapter title, and page numbers.

This is a citation for a whole book:

Stryer L. Biochemistry. 2nd ed. San Francisco: WH Freeman Co., 1981.

This is a citation to a chapter in a book:

The rationale of physiotherapy in chiropractic. pp. 1-14. Jaskoviak PA, Schafer RC. In: Jaskoviak PA, Schafer RC. Applied physiotherapy: practical clinical applications with emphasis on the management of pain and related syndromes. Arlington, VA: Associated Chiropractic Academic Press, 1986.

More Citation Formats

For Scientific Format, model your paper after a recent article in a scientific journal. Most journals include a section on information for authors.

Consult a style guide such as The Chicago Manual of Style, NLM Recommended Formats for Bibliographic Citation, Scientific Style and Format, Medical Style & Format, AMA Manual of Style, or Electronic Styles. (These are located on the Reference shelves under WZ or Z.)

Additional Resources

  • EasyBib – Automatically generate a citation
  • Easy Citation Generator – Automatically create your bibliographies, citations, and works cited lists in the correct format using APA, MLA, Chicago, Vancouver, or Harvard referencing styles — instantly!
  • Getting Published – In-depth citation formatting