A citation is a reference to a published or unpublished source. More precisely, a citation is an abbreviated alphanumeric expression embedded in the body of an intellectual work that denotes an entry in the bibliographic references section of the work for the purpose of acknowledging the relevance of the works of others to the topic of discussion at the spot where the citation appears.
Generally the combination of both the in-body citation and the bibliographic entry constitutes what is commonly thought of as a citation (whereas bibliographic entries by themselves are not). References to single, machine-readable assertions in electronic scientific articles are known as nanopublications, a form of microattribution.
Citations have several important purposes: to uphold intellectual honesty (or avoiding plagiarism), to attribute prior or unoriginal work and ideas to the correct sources, to allow the reader to determine independently whether the referenced material supports the author's argument in the claimed way, and to help the reader gauge the strength and validity of the material the author has used.
A citation style, sometimes called a reference style, is a set of rules on how to refer to your sources in academic writing. Often, style guidelines are published in an official handbook containing explanations, examples, and instructions.
There are many different citation styles. In the past, each discipline followed its own referencing rules, but today there’s a growing tendency among universities and colleges to choose one single style.
The most common citation styles in English include APA, Chicago, Harvard, and MLA. These styles, among others, are widely used throughout many different academic disciplines.
There are many different ways of citing resources from your research. Choosing a citation style is important as universities and academic journals have specific requirements.
You can find the required citation style for your target journal or field of study in the corresponding submission guidelines, style guide or style manual.
If you use a program such as RefWorks or Mendeley to manage your references, then you can simply select your target journal from a list, and the correct citation style will loaded automatically.
APA (American Psychological Association) is used by Education, Psychology, and Sciences
MLA (Modern Language Association) style is used by the Humanities
Chicago/Turabian style is generally used by Business, History, and the Fine Arts
You will need to consult with your professor to determine what is required in your specific course.
APA citation style is most frequently used in the social and behavioral sciences (psychology, education, anthropology, social work, etc).
The first style rules were published in 1929. The American Psychological Association has produced 6 editions of the Publication Manual in the ensuing 80+ years.
APA style relies on in text citations (author, date) for paraphrased, summarized, or quoted material within a paper. In text citations correspond to sources in the References list at the end of the paper.
What is a DOI?
Digital Object Identifiers are unique identifiers that may be assigned to published articles. Their purpose is ensure persistant access to online content.
If a DOI is available, you should include it in your APA citation.
Chicago style is most frequently used within the field of history, although it is used by other humanities-based disciplines as well. The first edition of the Manual was published in 1906 by the Unversity of Chicago Press.
Chicago style offers two options for in text documentation:
1. Superscript numbers within a paper to designate paraphrased, summarized, or quoted material, which correspond to footnotes or endnotes that specify the author, title, and page(s) cited.
2. (Author Date) parenthetical citations within a paper to indicate paraphrased, summarized or quoted material.
In both cases, the Bibliography at the end of the paper includes full citations for all sources referenced in a paper. In addition, it may include sources the writer consulted but did not paraphrase, summarize or quote.
Every time you use someone else’s work, either through quoting, summarizing or paraphrasing, you need to credit the original author or creator.
MLA is one of the most common citation styles used by students and academics. This MLA Citation Quick Guide lays out the guidelines of the eighth (most recent) edition of the MLA Handbook, published in 2016.
MLA citations consist of two major components:
1. The list of Works Cited
This is where all the sources you’ve used are cited in full. The Works Cited list is also known as a bibliography or reference list.
2. In-text citations
These are the brief references in the text that help the reader identify the full reference in the list of Works Cited. Only the author’s last name and page number are included, e.g. (Smith 205).
AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors is the style guide of the American Medical Association. It is written by the editors of JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) and the Archives journals and is most recently published by Oxford University Press. It specifies the writing and citation styles for use in the journals published by the American Medical Association. The manual was first published in 1962, and its current edition, the 10th, came out in 2007. It covers a breadth of topics for authors and editors in medicine and related health fields. The online edition also has updates (style points that have changed since the last print edition), a blog, monthly tips from the editors, quizzes, and an SI unit conversion calculator.
AMA style is widely used, either entirely or with modifications, by hundreds of other scientific journals (including medical and other public health journals), in many textbooks, and in academia (for papers written in classes). Along with APA style and CSE style, it is one of the major style regimes for such work. Many publications have small local style guides that cascade over AMA, APA, or CSE style (for example, "follow AMA style unless otherwise specified herein" or "for issues not addressed herein, follow AMA style").
References are found at the end of a manuscript and are titled “Reference List,” and each item should be listed in numerical order (two references should not be combined under a single reference number) as opposed to alphabetically. Additionally, each item should be single-spaced.