Citation! Citation! Citation!

When you write a research or a review paper, keep in mind that specific formats vary considerably for each journal. If you want to submit your paper to a specific journal, you will be asked to follow the format of that journal. Some journals, such as Science and Nature, use a number system for citation. We are not presenting that system here, but you should expect to encounter it in the literature. (Can you cite Wikipedia?)

Citation in the Body of the Paper

Throughout the body of your paper, mainly the Introduction and Discussion), whenever you refer to outside sources of information, you need to cite those sources. A simple way of doing this is to parenthetically give the author’s last name and the year of publication, e.g., (Clarke 2001). You must report the relevant aspects of the work clearly, IN YOUR OWN WORDS, without copying their exact words. You must insert a reference to the work right after giving the information.

There are exceptions among the various science journals. Generally, in biological journals, the most common types of citations are shown in the following examples:

  • The Actinobacteria represent a diverse phylum of bacteria capable of immense secondary metabolic capacity (Monciardini et al., 2014).
  • Alignments were manually inspected and trimmed with trimAl (Capella-Gutiérrez et al., 2009) using the automated1 setting resulting in approximately 1500 bp of aligned sequence. The GTR+I+G evolutionary model was selected using MrModeltest (Nylander, 2004) and a maximum-likelihood tree was built using RAxML (Stamatakis, 2006) with 1000 bootstrap replicates. Visual aids were then added using the Interactive Tree of Life (iTOL) (Letunic & Bork, 2016).
  • For example, the Gac-Rsm system, the stationary phase sigma factor RpoS, a positive activator of rpoS, called PsrA and the stringent response (SR) all function to control expression of antifungal (AF) compounds (Poritsanos et al., 2006; Manuel et al., 2012; Selin et al., 2012, 2014).

If an author’s first name is hyphenated, as in Shu-Feng Tsao above, retain the hyphen.

Theses and dissertations are cited as follows:

Wilson, P.L. (2011). Pedagogical practices in the teaching of English language in secondary public schools in Parker County (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from //

Citation of the Internet sources: WWW citation should be done carefully since so many of the Internet posts are not peer reviewed. When necessary, report the complete URL, as well as the author’s name if possible:

For information on evaluating internet sources, look at:

Citation of personal communications: If some of the cited information was not gained from publications, but rather in a personal conversation with or letter from an expert on the subject, you should give credit to that person in the following format:

“It has been found that female mice …. phase three of courtship behavior (D. Miller, pers. comm.).”

You do not need to enter a date for a personal communication. It will not be entered in your Literature Cited section. However, You should thank the source of the information in your Acknowledgments for their contribution.

Hire an editor to fix your citation errors!

About Scientific Editing: ( Scientific Editing is a trusted science editing company that provides editing and proofreading services for the global research community. Scientific Editing was established with a goal to accelerate international scientific research communication. At Scientific Editing, we take great effort to understand our authors’ needs. We aim to help scientists and academic authors break through the language barriers, bridge the gap between authors and peer-reviewed journals, and accelerate the process of publishing high-quality articles.

proofreading university papers

Leave a Comment

Related Posts

What Is ISBN?

What Is ISBN (International Standard Book Number)?

There is more to being a writer than just simply putting words on paper and compiling them into chapters and then books. There are other aspects you need to be knowledgeable about to be a successful writer, i.e., finances, marketing, distribution, publishing, etc. Knowing what an ISBN is, what function it serves, and how to…
APA format - APA citation style

A Definitive Guide to APA Format/Citation Style

Introduction APA is an acronym for the American Psychological Association. The APA format is a style of documentation of sources used by the American Psychological Association. It is mainly used by researchers and students in the social sciences, for example, anthropology, psychology, sociology, etc., as well as those in education and other fields. The APA…
Can you cite wikipedia

Can You Cite Wikipedia in a Research Paper?

Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia that happens to be multilingual. Also, it was developed and to be maintained as an open collaboration project to a group of volunteers who are expected to use the wiki-based system of editing. Also, it is the most popular and largest general referenced work on the internet and is considered…
MLA Format and citation

MLA Format and MLA Citation

Introduction The Modern Language Association (MLA) is the organization responsible for the development and modification of MLA format, sometimes called the MLA style. The MLA format was developed for students, researches, and scholars in the language and literature fields to be able to use a uniform format of referencing for their assignments and papers. Also,…
What papers get many citations?

What Papers Get Many Citations?

  A citation is an official mention of a broadcast or non-broadcast supply that you simply consulted and acquired data from writing your analysis paper. The amount of times your work is cited is very important. As a result, it will indicate the impact that your analysis has in the particular sector. Papers with lots…