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Citing Sources

Introduce when and how to cite sources when you write a scholarly article; also introduce citation management software to organize your references and format your bibliography automatically.

Citation Style Overview

Typically, citation includes both of (1) an in-text citation and (2) a reference list at the end to provide full bibliographical information.

A bibliographic record typically includes:

  • Author(s)
  • Year of publication
  • Title of work (article, book chapter, paper)
  • Source (journal, book title, conference proceedings, patent number)
  • Format information if relevant--Web address, e-mail, personal communication, etc.--and date accessed by you
  • Page numbers used

Each discipline or a specific journal has one or more citation styles to format the in-text citation and reference list. See below for typical citation styles in various disciplines. Check with your professor or publication editor if they have a preferred style guide.

HOT TIP: When you're citing articles in a database (like ScienceDirect, ProQuest, or others),  the 'source' is usually not the name of that database. Instead, the source would be the journal that published the article. For example, if I were citing the article pictured below, I would cite the Aerospace Science and Technology journal as the source, not the ScienceDirect database. 

Screenshot of article record

Citation Styles in Various Disciplines


Council of Science Editors (CSE) Style


American Chemical Society (ACS) Style


Suggestions to Authors (STA) style by United States Geological Survey (USGS)
Geology Society of America (GSA) style

Liberal Arts

Modern Language Association (MLA) Style
Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychology Association (APA) Style


American Mathematics Society (AMS) Style


American Institute of Physics (AIP) style

Citation Styles in Various Disciplines

Computer Science

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Computer Society recommends Chicago Manual of Style


Chicago Manual of Style. See recommendations for Liberal Arts.


American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) recommend Chicago Manual of Style

Government Information

Metallurgy and Materials Science

See recommended styles for Chemistry or Engineering


See recommended styles for Engineering


American Association of Petroleum Geologist (AAPG) style
Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) style

Overview of Scientific Style Guide