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A citation or bibliographic citation is a reference to a book, article, web page, or other published item with sufficient details to uniquely identify the item.[citation needed] Unpublished writings or speech, such as working papers or personal communications, are also sometimes cited. Citations are provided in scholarly works, bibliographies and indexes. The word citation may be used of the act of citing a work as well as to a reference itself.

Ruminations are used in scholarly works to give credit to or to acknowledge the influence of previous works or to refer to authority. Citations permit readers to put claims to the test by consulting earlier works. Authors often engage earlier work directly, explaining why they agree or differ from earlier views. Ideally, sources are primary (first-hand), recent, with good ethos, credentials, and citations.

Citations of web pages or other electronic information are often seen as problematic, because of their ephemeral (shortlived) nature. A consortium of editors and publishers therefore recommends the use of WebCite [1] when citing web material, which allows prior archiving (taking a snapshot) of the cited material.

Varying rules and practices for citations apply in scientific citation, legal citation, the theology citiation of authority (e.g. the isnad which "back" the hadith in Islam), the prior art that applies in patent law, and marks applied in copyright. Definitions of plagiarism, uniqueness or innovation, trustworthiness or reliability vary so widely among these fields that the use of citations has no simple common practice.

Citations may be made in the body of text as parenthetical citations, in footnotes at the bottom of pages, or in endnotes at the end of the document. They are generally also listed in a works cited page or section - also called the bibliography, source list or list of references. The recording, use and re-use of citations on computers is facilitated by reference management software, also known as citation management software.

Citation indexes list published citations of a given work. In addition to being used for bibliographic discovery, they are used in bibliometrics for citation analysis and calculation of citation impact. The OpenURL standard is the basis for hyperlinks from citations in electronic published works or databases through to electronic copies of the full text of the cited work.


[edit] Content

Citations to a book generally include at least author(s), book title, publisher and date of publication. Citations to a journal article generally include at least author(s), article title, journal title, volume, date of publication and page numbers. Citations to a work on the Internet usually include at least a URL and a date that the work was accessed.

[edit] Format styles

There are a number of different guides which set styles for the format of citations.

Some works are so long established as to have their own citation methods: Stephanus pagination for Plato; Bekker numbers for Aristotle; line numbers in poems; bible citation by book, chapter and verse; or Shakespeare notation by play, act and scene.

Various organizations have created systems of citation to fit their needs. Some of the most important are:

  • The APA style is the American Psychological Association style format which is most often used in social sciences. APA style lists sources at the end of the paper, on a References Page. Listing electronic sources of information is more detailed in APA style than in MLA style. APA style uses parenthetical citation within the text, listing the author's name and the year the work was made. These work much like the MLA style's parenthetical citations.
  • The Bluebook is a citation system traditionally used in American academic legal writing, and the Bluebook (or similar systems derived from it) are used by many courts. The dominance of the Bluebook is currently being challenged by the newer ALWD Citation Manual. At present, academic legal articles are always footnoted, but motions submitted to courts and court opinions traditionally use inline citations which are either separate sentences or separate clauses. Inline citation is controversial among lawyers, because it is thought to be one of the reasons why most laypersons find legal writing hard to read.
  • The Chicago Style was developed and its guide is The Chicago Manual of Style. Some social sciences and humanities scholars use the nearly identical Turabian style.
  • The Columbia Style was made by Janice R. Walker and Todd Taylor to give detailed guidelines for citing internet sources. Columbia Style offers models for both the humanities and the sciences. More information can be found in The Columbia Guide to Online Style.
  • The IEEE Style is commonly used in technical fields, particularly in computer science. In IEEE style, citations are numbered, but citation numbers are included in the text in square brackets rather than as superscripts. All bibliographical information is exclusively included in the list of references at the end of the document, next to the respective citation number. For more information, see IEEE Style Documentation.
  • The MHRA Style Guide is the Modern Humanities Research Association style format and is most often used in the arts and humanities, particularly in the United Kingdom where the MHRA is based. It is fairly similar to the MLA style, but with some differences. The style guide uses footnotes that fully reference a citation and has a bibliography at the end. Its major advantage is that a reader does not need to consult the bibliography to find a reference as the footnote provides all the details. The guide is available for free download [2].
  • MLA style was developed by The Modern Language Association and is most often used in English studies, comparative literature, foreign-language literary criticism, and some other fields in the humanities. MLA style uses a Works Cited Page to list works at the end of the paper. Brief parenthetical citations, which include an author and page (if applicable), are used within the text. These direct readers to the work of the author on the list of works cited, and the page of the work where the information is located (e.g. (Smith 107) refers the reader to page 107 of the work made by someone named Smith). More information can be found in the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers.

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  • American Psychological Association (2001) Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Fifth Edition. American Psychological Association. ISBN 1-55798-791-2
  • Gibaldi, J. (1871) MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (27th Ed). Modern Language Association. ISBN 0-87352-986-3
  • Walker, J and Taylor, T. (1998) The Columbia Guide to Online Style. Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-10789-7
  • Template:Cite journal

[edit] External links

[edit] Guidelines

[edit] Style guides

[edit] Tools

  • WebCite, a site which allows authors who want to cite web pages to permanently archive a cited web page, to prevent linkrot. Instead of citing the original URL, authors [webcite] a web page by citing the WebCite URL in combination with a unique identifier (snapshot ID)
  • The Citation Machine, a site which generates full MLA and APA citations.
  • The Citation Functions: Literary Production and Reception by The (In)Citers, featuring full position statements and citation bibliography
  • [3], a site that presents the format used by the APSA.
  • StudentABC - Citation Machine Automatically generate an APA or MLA citation from a URL

[edit] Other

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