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Reference List: Basic Rules

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This resourse, revised according to the 7 th  edition APA Publication Manual, offers basic guidelines for formatting the reference list at the end of a standard APA research paper. Most sources follow fairly straightforward rules. However, because sources obtained from academic journals  carry special weight in research writing, these sources are subject to special rules . Thus, this page presents basic guidelines for citing academic journals separate from its "ordinary" basic guidelines. This distinction is made clear below.

Note:  Because the information on this page pertains to virtually all citations, we've highlighted one important difference between APA 6 and APA 7 with an underlined note written in red.  For more information, please consult the   Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association , (7 th  ed.).

Formatting a Reference List

Your reference list should appear at the end of your paper. It provides the information necessary for a reader to locate and retrieve any source you cite in the body of the paper. Each source you cite in the paper must appear in your reference list; likewise, each entry in the reference list must be cited in your text.

Your references should begin on a new page separate from the text of the essay; label this page "References" in bold, centered at the top of the page (do NOT underline or use quotation marks for the title). All text should be double-spaced just like the rest of your essay.

Basic Rules for Most Sources

  • All lines after the first line of each entry in your reference list should be indented one-half inch from the left margin. This is called hanging indentation.
  • All authors' names should be inverted (i.e., last names should be provided first).
  • For example, the reference entry for a source written by Jane Marie Smith would begin with "Smith, J. M."
  • If a middle name isn't available, just initialize the author's first name: "Smith, J."
  • Give the last name and first/middle initials for all authors of a particular work up to and including 20 authors ( this is a new rule, as APA 6 only required the first six authors ). Separate each author’s initials from the next author in the list with a comma. Use an ampersand (&) before the last author’s name. If there are 21 or more authors, use an ellipsis (but no ampersand) after the 19th author, and then add the final author’s name.
  • Reference list entries should be alphabetized by the last name of the first author of each work.
  • For multiple articles by the same author, or authors listed in the same order, list the entries in chronological order, from earliest to most recent.
  • Note again that the titles of academic journals are subject to special rules. See section below.
  • Italicize titles of longer works (e.g., books, edited collections, names of newspapers, and so on).
  • Do not italicize, underline, or put quotes around the titles of shorter works such as chapters in books or essays in edited collections.

Basic Rules for Articles in Academic Journals

  • Present journal titles in full.
  • Italicize journal titles.
  • For example, you should use  PhiloSOPHIA  instead of  Philosophia,  or  Past & Present   instead of  Past and Present.
  • This distinction is based on the type of source being cited. Academic journal titles have all major words capitalized, while other sources' titles do not.
  • Capitalize   the first word of the titles and subtitles of   journal articles , as well as the   first word after a colon or a dash in the title, and   any proper nouns .
  • Do not italicize or underline the article title.
  • Deep blue: The mysteries of the Marianas Trench.
  • Oceanographic Study: A Peer-Reviewed Publication

Please note:  While the APA manual provides examples of how to cite common types of sources, it does not cover all conceivable sources. If you must cite a source that APA does not address, the APA suggests finding an example that is similar to your source and using that format. For more information, see page 282 of the   Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association , 7 th  ed.

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A Quick Guide to Harvard Referencing | Citation Examples

Published on 14 February 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on 15 September 2023.

Referencing is an important part of academic writing. It tells your readers what sources you’ve used and how to find them.

Harvard is the most common referencing style used in UK universities. In Harvard style, the author and year are cited in-text, and full details of the source are given in a reference list .

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Table of contents

Harvard in-text citation, creating a harvard reference list, harvard referencing examples, referencing sources with no author or date, frequently asked questions about harvard referencing.

A Harvard in-text citation appears in brackets beside any quotation or paraphrase of a source. It gives the last name of the author(s) and the year of publication, as well as a page number or range locating the passage referenced, if applicable:

Note that ‘p.’ is used for a single page, ‘pp.’ for multiple pages (e.g. ‘pp. 1–5’).

An in-text citation usually appears immediately after the quotation or paraphrase in question. It may also appear at the end of the relevant sentence, as long as it’s clear what it refers to.

When your sentence already mentions the name of the author, it should not be repeated in the citation:

Sources with multiple authors

When you cite a source with up to three authors, cite all authors’ names. For four or more authors, list only the first name, followed by ‘ et al. ’:

Sources with no page numbers

Some sources, such as websites , often don’t have page numbers. If the source is a short text, you can simply leave out the page number. With longer sources, you can use an alternate locator such as a subheading or paragraph number if you need to specify where to find the quote:

Multiple citations at the same point

When you need multiple citations to appear at the same point in your text – for example, when you refer to several sources with one phrase – you can present them in the same set of brackets, separated by semicolons. List them in order of publication date:

Multiple sources with the same author and date

If you cite multiple sources by the same author which were published in the same year, it’s important to distinguish between them in your citations. To do this, insert an ‘a’ after the year in the first one you reference, a ‘b’ in the second, and so on:

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A bibliography or reference list appears at the end of your text. It lists all your sources in alphabetical order by the author’s last name, giving complete information so that the reader can look them up if necessary.

The reference entry starts with the author’s last name followed by initial(s). Only the first word of the title is capitalised (as well as any proper nouns).

Harvard reference list example

Sources with multiple authors in the reference list

As with in-text citations, up to three authors should be listed; when there are four or more, list only the first author followed by ‘ et al. ’:

Reference list entries vary according to source type, since different information is relevant for different sources. Formats and examples for the most commonly used source types are given below.

  • Entire book
  • Book chapter
  • Translated book
  • Edition of a book

Journal articles

  • Print journal
  • Online-only journal with DOI
  • Online-only journal with no DOI
  • General web page
  • Online article or blog
  • Social media post

Sometimes you won’t have all the information you need for a reference. This section covers what to do when a source lacks a publication date or named author.

No publication date

When a source doesn’t have a clear publication date – for example, a constantly updated reference source like Wikipedia or an obscure historical document which can’t be accurately dated – you can replace it with the words ‘no date’:

Note that when you do this with an online source, you should still include an access date, as in the example.

When a source lacks a clearly identified author, there’s often an appropriate corporate source – the organisation responsible for the source – whom you can credit as author instead, as in the Google and Wikipedia examples above.

When that’s not the case, you can just replace it with the title of the source in both the in-text citation and the reference list:

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Harvard referencing uses an author–date system. Sources are cited by the author’s last name and the publication year in brackets. Each Harvard in-text citation corresponds to an entry in the alphabetised reference list at the end of the paper.

Vancouver referencing uses a numerical system. Sources are cited by a number in parentheses or superscript. Each number corresponds to a full reference at the end of the paper.

A Harvard in-text citation should appear in brackets every time you quote, paraphrase, or refer to information from a source.

The citation can appear immediately after the quotation or paraphrase, or at the end of the sentence. If you’re quoting, place the citation outside of the quotation marks but before any other punctuation like a comma or full stop.

In Harvard referencing, up to three author names are included in an in-text citation or reference list entry. When there are four or more authors, include only the first, followed by ‘ et al. ’

Though the terms are sometimes used interchangeably, there is a difference in meaning:

  • A reference list only includes sources cited in the text – every entry corresponds to an in-text citation .
  • A bibliography also includes other sources which were consulted during the research but not cited.

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the ‘Cite this Scribbr article’ button to automatically add the citation to our free Reference Generator.

Caulfield, J. (2023, September 15). A Quick Guide to Harvard Referencing | Citation Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved 18 March 2024, from https://www.scribbr.co.uk/referencing/harvard-style/

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Citing sources: Overview

  • Citation style guides

Manage your references

Use these tools to help you organize and cite your references:

  • Citation Management and Writing Tools

If you have questions after consulting this guide about how to cite, please contact your advisor/professor or the writing and communication center .

Why citing is important

It's important to cite sources you used in your research for several reasons:

  • To show your reader you've done proper research by listing sources you used to get your information
  • To be a responsible scholar by giving credit to other researchers and acknowledging their ideas
  • To avoid plagiarism by quoting words and ideas used by other authors
  • To allow your reader to track down the sources you used by citing them accurately in your paper by way of footnotes, a bibliography or reference list

About citations

Citing a source means that you show, within the body of your text, that you took words, ideas, figures, images, etc. from another place.

Citations are a short way to uniquely identify a published work (e.g. book, article, chapter, web site).  They are found in bibliographies and reference lists and are also collected in article and book databases.

Citations consist of standard elements, and contain all the information necessary to identify and track down publications, including:

  • author name(s)
  • titles of books, articles, and journals
  • date of publication
  • page numbers
  • volume and issue numbers (for articles)

Citations may look different, depending on what is being cited and which style was used to create them. Choose an appropriate style guide for your needs.  Here is an example of an article citation using four different citation styles.  Notice the common elements as mentioned above:

Author - R. Langer

Article Title - New Methods of Drug Delivery

Source Title - Science

Volume and issue - Vol 249, issue 4976

Publication Date - 1990

Page numbers - 1527-1533

American Chemical Society (ACS) style:

Langer, R. New Methods of Drug Delivery. Science 1990 , 249 , 1527-1533.

IEEE Style:

R. Langer, " New Methods of Drug Delivery," Science , vol. 249 , pp. 1527-1533 , SEP 28, 1990 .

American Psychological Association   (APA) style:

Langer, R. (1990) . New methods of drug delivery. Science , 249 (4976), 1527-1533.

Modern Language Association (MLA) style:

Langer, R. " New Methods of Drug Delivery." Science 249.4976 (1990) : 1527-33.

What to cite

You must cite:

  • Facts, figures, ideas, or other information that is not common knowledge

Publications that must be cited include:  books, book chapters, articles, web pages, theses, etc.

Another person's exact words should be quoted and cited to show proper credit 

When in doubt, be safe and cite your source!

Avoiding plagiarism

Plagiarism occurs when you borrow another's words (or ideas) and do not acknowledge that you have done so. In this culture, we consider our words and ideas intellectual property; like a car or any other possession, we believe our words belong to us and cannot be used without our permission.

Plagiarism is a very serious offense. If it is found that you have plagiarized -- deliberately or inadvertently -- you may face serious consequences. In some instances, plagiarism has meant that students have had to leave the institutions where they were studying.

The best way to avoid plagiarism is to cite your sources - both within the body of your paper and in a bibliography of sources you used at the end of your paper.

Some useful links about plagiarism:

  • MIT Academic Integrity Overview on citing sources and avoiding plagiarism at MIT.
  • Avoiding Plagiarism From the MIT Writing and Communication Center.
  • Plagiarism: What It is and How to Recognize and Avoid It From Indiana University's Writing Tutorial Services.
  • Plagiarism- Overview A resource from Purdue University.
  • Next: Citation style guides >>
  • Last Updated: Jan 16, 2024 7:02 AM
  • URL: https://libguides.mit.edu/citing

Writing Center Home Page

OASIS: Writing Center

Reference list: common reference list examples, article (with doi).

Alvarez, E., & Tippins, S. (2019). Socialization agents that Puerto Rican college students use to make financial decisions. Journal of Social Change , 11 (1), 75–85. https://doi.org/10.5590/JOSC.2019.11.1.07

Laplante, J. P., & Nolin, C. (2014). Consultas and socially responsible investing in Guatemala: A case study examining Maya perspectives on the Indigenous right to free, prior, and informed consent. Society & Natural Resources , 27 , 231–248. https://doi.org/10.1080/08941920.2013.861554

Use the DOI number for the source whenever one is available. DOI stands for "digital object identifier," a number specific to the article that can help others locate the source. In APA 7, format the DOI as a web address. Active hyperlinks for DOIs and URLs should be used for documents meant for screen reading. Present these hyperlinks in blue and underlined text (the default formatting in Microsoft Word), although plain black text is also acceptable. Be consistent in your formatting choice for DOIs and URLs throughout your reference list. Also see our Quick Answer FAQ, "Can I use the DOI format provided by library databases?"

Jerrentrup, A., Mueller, T., Glowalla, U., Herder, M., Henrichs, N., Neubauer, A., & Schaefer, J. R. (2018). Teaching medicine with the help of “Dr. House.” PLoS ONE , 13 (3), Article e0193972. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0193972

For journal articles that are assigned article numbers rather than page ranges, include the article number in place of the page range.
For more on citing electronic resources, see  Electronic Sources References .

YouTube

Article (Without DOI)

Found in a common academic research database or in print.

Casler , T. (2020). Improving the graduate nursing experience through support on a social media platform. MEDSURG Nursing , 29 (2), 83–87.

If an article does not have a DOI and you retrieved it from a common academic research database through the university library, there is no need to include any additional electronic retrieval information. The reference list entry looks like the entry for a print copy of the article. (This format differs from APA 6 guidelines that recommended including the URL of a journal's homepage when the DOI was not available.) Note that APA 7 has additional guidance on reference list entries for articles found only in specific databases or archives such as Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, UpToDate, ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global, and university archives. See APA 7, Section 9.30 for more information.

Found on an Open Access Website

Eaton, T. V., & Akers, M. D. (2007). Whistleblowing and good governance. CPA Journal , 77 (6), 66–71. http://archives.cpajournal.com/2007/607/essentials/p58.htm

Provide the direct web address/URL to a journal article found on the open web, often on an open access journal's website. In APA 7, active hyperlinks for DOIs and URLs should be used for documents meant for screen reading. Present these hyperlinks in blue and underlined text (the default formatting in Microsoft Word), although plain black text is also acceptable. Be consistent in your formatting choice for DOIs and URLs throughout your reference list.

Weinstein, J. A. (2010).  Social change  (3rd ed.). Rowman & Littlefield.

If the book has an edition number, include it in parentheses after the title of the book. If the book does not list any edition information, do not include an edition number. The edition number is not italicized.

American Nurses Association. (2015). Nursing: Scope and standards of practice (3rd ed.).

If the author and publisher are the same, only include the author in its regular place and omit the publisher.

Lencioni, P. (2012). The advantage: Why organizational health trumps everything else in business . Jossey-Bass. https://amzn.to/343XPSJ

As a change from APA 6 to APA 7, it is no longer necessary to include the ebook format in the title. However, if you listened to an audiobook and the content differs from the text version (e.g., abridged content) or your discussion highlights elements of the audiobook (e.g., narrator's performance), then note that it is an audiobook in the title element in brackets. For ebooks and online audiobooks, also include the DOI number (if available) or nondatabase URL but leave out the electronic retrieval element if the ebook was found in a common academic research database, as with journal articles. APA 7 allows for the shortening of long DOIs and URLs, as shown in this example. See APA 7, Section 9.36 for more information.

Chapter in an Edited Book

Poe, M. (2017). Reframing race in teaching writing across the curriculum. In F. Condon & V. A. Young (Eds.), Performing antiracist pedagogy in rhetoric, writing, and communication (pp. 87–105). University Press of Colorado.

Include the page numbers of the chapter in parentheses after the book title.

Christensen, L. (2001). For my people: Celebrating community through poetry. In B. Bigelow, B. Harvey, S. Karp, & L. Miller (Eds.), Rethinking our classrooms: Teaching for equity and justice (Vol. 2, pp. 16–17). Rethinking Schools.

Also include the volume number or edition number in the parenthetical information after the book title when relevant.

Freud, S. (1961). The ego and the id. In J. Strachey (Ed.),  The standard edition of the complete psychological works of Sigmund Freud  (Vol. 19, pp. 3-66). Hogarth Press. (Original work published 1923)

When a text has been republished as part of an anthology collection, after the author’s name include the date of the version that was read. At the end of the entry, place the date of the original publication inside parenthesis along with the note “original work published.” For in-text citations of republished work, use both dates in the parenthetical citation, original date first with a slash separating the years, as in this example: Freud (1923/1961). For more information on reprinted or republished works, see APA 7, Sections 9.40-9.41.

Classroom Resources

Citing classroom resources.

If you need to cite content found in your online classroom, use the author (if there is one listed), the year of publication (if available), the title of the document, and the main URL of Walden classrooms. For example, you are citing study notes titled "Health Effects of Exposure to Forest Fires," but you do not know the author's name, your reference entry will look like this:

Health effects of exposure to forest fires [Lecture notes]. (2005). Walden University Canvas. https://waldenu.instructure.com

If you do know the author of the document, your reference will look like this:

Smith, A. (2005). Health effects of exposure to forest fires [PowerPoint slides]. Walden University Canvas. https://waldenu.instructure.com  

A few notes on citing course materials:

  • [Lecture notes]
  • [Course handout]
  • [Study notes]
  • It can be difficult to determine authorship of classroom documents. If an author is listed on the document, use that. If the resource is clearly a product of Walden (such as the course-based videos), use Walden University as the author. If you are unsure or if no author is indicated, place the title in the author spot, as above.
  • If you cannot determine a date of publication, you can use n.d. (for "no date") in place of the year.

Note:  The web location for Walden course materials is not directly retrievable without a password, and therefore, following APA guidelines, use the main URL for the class sites: https://class.waldenu.edu.

Citing Tempo Classroom Resources

Clear author: 

Smith, A. (2005). Health effects of exposure to forest fires [PowerPoint slides]. Walden University Brightspace. https://mytempo.waldenu.edu

Unclear author:

Health effects of exposure to forest fires [Lecture notes]. (2005). Walden University Brightspace. https://mytempo.waldenu.edu

Conference Sessions and Presentations

Feinman, Y. (2018, July 27). Alternative to proctoring in introductory statistics community college courses [Poster presentation]. Walden University Research Symposium, Minneapolis, MN, United States. https://scholarworks.waldenu.edu/symposium2018/23/

Torgerson, K., Parrill, J., & Haas, A. (2019, April 5-9). Tutoring strategies for online students [Conference session]. The Higher Learning Commission Annual Conference, Chicago, IL, United States. http://onlinewritingcenters.org/scholarship/torgerson-parrill-haas-2019/

Dictionary Entry

Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Leadership. In Merriam-Webster.com dictionary . Retrieved May 28, 2020, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/leadership

When constructing a reference for an entry in a dictionary or other reference work that has no byline (i.e., no named individual authors), use the name of the group—the institution, company, or organization—as author (e.g., Merriam Webster, American Psychological Association, etc.). The name of the entry goes in the title position, followed by "In" and the italicized name of the reference work (e.g., Merriam-Webster.com dictionary , APA dictionary of psychology ). In this instance, APA 7 recommends including a retrieval date as well for this online source since the contents of the page change over time. End the reference entry with the specific URL for the defined word.

Discussion Board Post

Osborne, C. S. (2010, June 29). Re: Environmental responsibility [Discussion post]. Walden University Canvas.  https://waldenu.instructure.com  

Dissertations or Theses

Retrieved From a Database

Nalumango, K. (2019). Perceptions about the asylum-seeking process in the United States after 9/11 (Publication No. 13879844) [Doctoral dissertation, Walden University]. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses.

Retrieved From an Institutional or Personal Website

Evener. J. (2018). Organizational learning in libraries at for-profit colleges and universities [Doctoral dissertation, Walden University]. ScholarWorks. https://scholarworks.waldenu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=6606&context=dissertations

Unpublished Dissertation or Thesis

Kirwan, J. G. (2005). An experimental study of the effects of small-group, face-to-face facilitated dialogues on the development of self-actualization levels: A movement towards fully functional persons [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center.

For further examples and information, see APA 7, Section 10.6.

Legal Material

For legal references, APA follows the recommendations of The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation , so if you have any questions beyond the examples provided in APA, seek out that resource as well.

Court Decisions

Reference format:

Name v. Name, Volume Reporter Page (Court Date). URL

Sample reference entry:

Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954). https://www.oyez.org/cases/1940-1955/347us483

Sample citation:

In Brown v. Board of Education (1954), the Supreme Court ruled racial segregation in schools unconstitutional.

Note: Italicize the case name when it appears in the text of your paper.

Name of Act, Title Source § Section Number (Year). URL

Sample reference entry for a federal statute:

Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1400 et seq. (2004). https://www.congress.gov/108/plaws/publ446/PLAW-108publ446.pdf

Sample reference entry for a state statute:

Minnesota Nurse Practice Act, Minn. Stat. §§ 148.171 et seq. (2019). https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/148.171

Sample citation: Minnesota nurses must maintain current registration in order to practice (Minnesota Nurse Practice Act, 2010).

Note: The § symbol stands for "section." Use §§ for sections (plural). To find this symbol in Microsoft Word, go to "Insert" and click on Symbol." Look in the Latin 1-Supplement subset. Note: U.S.C. stands for "United States Code." Note: The Latin abbreviation " et seq. " means "and what follows" and is used when the act includes the cited section and ones that follow. Note: List the chapter first followed by the section or range of sections.

Unenacted Bills and Resolutions

(Those that did not pass and become law)

Title [if there is one], bill or resolution number, xxx Cong. (year). URL

Sample reference entry for Senate bill:

Anti-Phishing Act, S. 472, 109th Cong. (2005). https://www.congress.gov/bill/109th-congress/senate-bill/472

Sample reference entry for House of Representatives resolution:

Anti-Phishing Act, H.R. 1099, 109th Cong. (2005). https://www.congress.gov/bill/109th-congress/house-bill/1099

The Anti-Phishing Act (2005) proposed up to 5 years prison time for people running Internet scams.

These are the three legal areas you may be most apt to cite in your scholarly work. For more examples and explanation, see APA 7, Chapter 11.

Magazine Article

Clay, R. (2008, June). Science vs. ideology: Psychologists fight back about the misuse of research. Monitor on Psychology , 39 (6). https://www.apa.org/monitor/2008/06/ideology

Note that for citations, include only the year: Clay (2008). For magazine articles retrieved from a common academic research database, leave out the URL. For magazine articles from an online news website that is not an online version of a print magazine, follow the format for a webpage reference list entry.

Newspaper Article (Retrieved Online)

Baker, A. (2014, May 7). Connecticut students show gains in national tests. New York Times . http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/08/nyregion/national-assessment-of-educational-progress-results-in-Connecticut-and-New-Jersey.html

Include the full date in the format Year, Month Day. Do not include a retrieval date for periodical sources found on websites. Note that for citations, include only the year: Baker (2014). For newspaper articles retrieved from a common academic research database, leave out the URL. For newspaper articles from an online news website that is not an online version of a print newspaper, follow the format for a webpage reference list entry.

Online Video/Webcast

Walden University. (2013).  An overview of learning  [Video]. Walden University Canvas.  https://waldenu.instructure.com  

Use this format for online videos such as Walden videos in classrooms. Most of our classroom videos are produced by Walden University, which will be listed as the author in your reference and citation. Note: Some examples of audiovisual materials in the APA manual show the word “Producer” in parentheses after the producer/author area. In consultation with the editors of the APA manual, we have determined that parenthetical is not necessary for the videos in our courses. The manual itself is unclear on the matter, however, so either approach should be accepted. Note that the speaker in the video does not appear in the reference list entry, but you may want to mention that person in your text. For instance, if you are viewing a video where Tobias Ball is the speaker, you might write the following: Tobias Ball stated that APA guidelines ensure a consistent presentation of information in student papers (Walden University, 2013). For more information on citing the speaker in a video, see our page on Common Citation Errors .

Taylor, R. [taylorphd07]. (2014, February 27). Scales of measurement [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDsMUlexaMY

Walden University Academic Skills Center. (2020, April 15). One-way ANCOVA: Introduction [Video]. YouTube. https://youtu.be/_XnNDQ5CNW8

For videos from streaming sites, use the person or organization who uploaded the video in the author space to ensure retrievability, whether or not that person is the speaker in the video. A username can be provided in square brackets. As a change from APA 6 to APA 7, include the publisher after the title, and do not use "Retrieved from" before the URL. See APA 7, Section 10.12 for more information and examples.

See also reference list entry formats for TED Talks .

Technical and Research Reports

Edwards, C. (2015). Lighting levels for isolated intersections: Leading to safety improvements (Report No. MnDOT 2015-05). Center for Transportation Studies. http://www.cts.umn.edu/Publications/ResearchReports/reportdetail.html?id=2402

Technical and research reports by governmental agencies and other research institutions usually follow a different publication process than scholarly, peer-reviewed journals. However, they present original research and are often useful for research papers. Sometimes, researchers refer to these types of reports as gray literature , and white papers are a type of this literature. See APA 7, Section 10.4 for more information.

Reference list entires for TED Talks follow the usual guidelines for multimedia content found online. There are two common places to find TED talks online, with slightly different reference list entry formats for each.

TED Talk on the TED website

If you find the TED Talk on the TED website, follow the format for an online video on an organizational website:

Owusu-Kesse, K. (2020, June). 5 needs that any COVID-19 response should meet [Video]. TED Conferences. https://www.ted.com/talks/kwame_owusu_kesse_5_needs_that_any_covid_19_response_should_meet

The speaker is the author in the reference list entry if the video is posted on the TED website. For citations, use the speaker's surname.

TED Talk on YouTube

If you find the TED Talk on YouTube or another streaming video website, follow the usual format for streaming video sites:

TED. (2021, February 5). The shadow pandemic of domestic violence during COVID-19 | Kemi DaSilvalbru [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGdID_ICFII

TED is the author in the reference list entry if the video is posted on YouTube since it is the channel on which the video is posted. For citations, use TED as the author.

Walden University Course Catalog

To include the Walden course catalog in your reference list, use this format:

Walden University. (2020). 2019-2020 Walden University catalog . https://catalog.waldenu.edu/index.php

If you cite from a specific portion of the catalog in your paper, indicate the appropriate section and paragraph number in your text:

...which reflects the commitment to social change expressed in Walden University's mission statement (Walden University, 2020, Vision, Mission, and Goals section, para. 2).

And in the reference list:

Walden University. (2020). Vision, mission, and goals. In 2019-2020 Walden University catalog. https://catalog.waldenu.edu/content.php?catoid=172&navoid=59420&hl=vision&returnto=search

Vartan, S. (2018, January 30). Why vacations matter for your health . CNN. https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/why-vacations-matter/index.html

For webpages on the open web, include the author, date, webpage title, organization/site name, and URL. (There is a slight variation for online versions of print newspapers or magazines. For those sources, follow the models in the previous sections of this page.)

American Federation of Teachers. (n.d.). Community schools . http://www.aft.org/issues/schoolreform/commschools/index.cfm

If there is no specified author, then use the organization’s name as the author. In such a case, there is no need to repeat the organization's name after the title.

In APA 7, active hyperlinks for DOIs and URLs should be used for documents meant for screen reading. Present these hyperlinks in blue and underlined text (the default formatting in Microsoft Word), although plain black text is also acceptable. Be consistent in your formatting choice for DOIs and URLs throughout your reference list.

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University Library

Start your research.

  • Research Process
  • Find Background Info
  • Find Sources through the Library
  • Evaluate Your Info
  • Cite Your Sources
  • Evaluate, Write & Cite

Cite your sources

  • is the right thing to do  to give credit to those who had the idea
  • shows that you have read and understand  what experts have had to say about your topic
  • helps people find the sources  that you used in case they want to read more about the topic
  • provides   evidence  for your arguments
  • is professional and  standard practice   for students and scholars

What is a Citation?

A citation identifies for the reader the original source for an idea, information, or image that is referred to in a work.

  • In the body of a paper, the  in-text citation  acknowledges the source of information used.
  • At the end of a paper, the citations are compiled on a  References  or  Works Cited  list. A basic citation includes the author, title, and publication information of the source. 

Citation basics

From:  Lemieux  Library,  University  of Seattle 

Why Should You Cite?

Quoting Are you quoting two or more consecutive words from a source? Then the original source should be cited and the words or phrase placed in quotes. 

Paraphrasing If an idea or information comes from another source,  even if you put it in your own words , you still need to credit the source.  General vs. Unfamiliar Knowledge You do not need to cite material which is accepted common knowledge. If in doubt whether your information is common knowledge or not, cite it. Formats We usually think of books and articles. However, if you use material from web sites, films, music, graphs, tables, etc. you'll also need to cite these as well.

Plagiarism is presenting the words or ideas of someone else as your own without proper acknowledgment of the source. When you work on a research paper and use supporting material from works by others, it's okay to quote people and use their ideas, but you do need to correctly credit them. Even when you summarize or paraphrase information found in books, articles, or Web pages, you must acknowledge the original author.

Citation Style Help

Helpful links:

  • MLA ,  Works Cited : A Quick Guide (a template of core elements)
  • CSE  (Council of Science Editors)

For additional writing resources specific to styles listed here visit the  Purdue OWL Writing Lab

Citation and Bibliography Resources

Writing an annotated bibliography

  • How to Write an Annotated Bibliography
  • Zotero Basics
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Land Acknowledgement

The land on which we gather is the unceded territory of the Awaswas-speaking Uypi Tribe. The Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, comprised of the descendants of indigenous people taken to missions Santa Cruz and San Juan Bautista during Spanish colonization of the Central Coast, is today working hard to restore traditional stewardship practices on these lands and heal from historical trauma.

The land acknowledgement used at UC Santa Cruz was developed in partnership with the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band Chairman and the Amah Mutsun Relearning Program at the UCSC Arboretum .

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5 Accessing Scientific Literature and Referencing

An essential skill for all scientists to master is the ability to access relevant and reliable scientific information from a variety of sources.

You will need access to scientific literature for a variety of reasons:

  • designing an experiment
  • writing an article or essay
  • designing a poster.

All of these tasks involved sourcing reliable, authoritative literature, and you’ll need to know how to reference it.

This chapter will provide student scientists with assistance in navigating the many avenues for locating scientific literature and referencing it, including using the reference management software EndNote.

5.1 Types of scientific literature

Screenshot of a report titled effects of systemic hypoxia in human muscular adaptions to resistance exercise training

The two main types of scientific literature are original investigations and literature reviews.

Original investigations ( Figure 5.1 ) are published accounts of new studies undertaken on a particular topic. They will generally step the reader through the stages of the study:

  • introduction

Screenshot of article titled cerebral oxygenation and hyperthermia

Published literature reviews ( Figure 5.2 ) present a synthesis and evaluation of the existing literature on a particular topic with the aim of gaining a new, deeper understanding of the topic. The review article will be structured around themes rather than stages of the scientific method.

5.2 Accessing scientific literature

You can locate scientific literature via Google Scholar , online databases such as PubMed, and the University of Southern Queensland library website when you are looking for a specific article or searching for literature on a specific topic.

Google Scholar

Google Scholar provides a simple way to perform a broad search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources:

  • court opinions.

Academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites all publish these types of literature. Google Scholar helps you find relevant work across the world of scholarly research.

Box 5.1: Search tips

  • Set your preferences to retrieve your university library resources: For example, select Settings > Library Link > add University of Southern Queensland Library > Save
  • Use the asterisk * (e.g. child* will find child, children, childhood, childless)
  • Use the asterisk as a placeholder to find a word within words e.g. “acquired * injury” finds acquired brain injury
  • Use quotes to search by phrase (e.g. “type 2 diabetes” or “social media”)

Try this search in Google Scholar: “patient information” AND “back pain”

Extra help with using Google scholar is at this webpage. 

Databases, what are they and how do I use them to find information?

Databases are another way to find quality academic and scholarly information. The USQ library subscribes to many databases that are relevant to your studies in human physiology, such as:

  • Web of Science
  • ClinicalKey
  • ScienceDirect
PubMed is a database that comprises of more than 26 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals and online books. Citations may include links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher websites.

Journals contain scholarly articles written by experts in specific disciplines. This tutorial explains what scholarly journals are and how to access them from the USQ library.

5.3 Determining if an article is scholarly or peer reviewed

It can be hard to work out if a journal is scholarly or peer reviewed. There is a lot of information online that looks like proper science, but isn’t! These tips can help you determine if you are accessing reliable information.

If searching in a library database:

  • Check to see if there is a box on the database search page that allows you to limit your search results to refereed or peer-reviewed journal articles.

If you already have a journal article or title, use these option to check if it is scholarly or peer reviewed: 

  • Look at the article itself for a header or similar that indicates refereed or reviewed.
  • Look at the table of contents of the journal. Often items are grouped under a heading like ‘reviewed articles’.
  • Check the journal’s website to see if a statement is made about the content being peer reviewed or refereed. However, be aware that not all the contents of a refereed journal will be refereed (e.g. books reviews, practice, commentaries, editorials are not peer reviewed).
  • Look for the Ulrichsweb database in your library catalogue. If you have access, use the ‘Quick Search’ drop down and select ‘Title (keyword)’ and type in the journal title. Next to journal titles that include at least some refereed content is the image of a black and white striped  ‘referee’s shirt’.  You can also click on the journal title and you will see ‘Refereed – yes or no’.

5.4 Library website resources to assist with searching for authoritative information

Your university library will provide tutorials and resources to help you search for authoritative information.

5.5 Referencing

Anyone who reads your work will need to know where you got your information from if you didn’t generate it yourself (e.g. the results of your experiment). The reference section provides a list of the references that you cited in the body of your work, whether it be a literature review, original investigation research article or essay.

It is important to accurately cite references in research papers to acknowledge your sources and ensure credit is appropriately given to authors of work you have referred to. An accurate and comprehensive reference list also shows your readers that you are well-read in your topic area and are aware of the key papers that provide the context to your research.

It is important to keep track of your resources and to reference them consistently in the format required by the publication in which your work will appear. Most scientists will use referencing software to store details of all of the journal articles (and other sources) they use while writing their review article. This software also automates the process of adding in-text references and creating a reference list.

In-text citations indicate where (within your sentences) you have used the ideas of other scientists. The in-text citations will either be provided as a number, or as the name of the author and date of publication. A reference list is a list of all the sources that you have used as in-text references in your scientific paper that enables the reader of your work to locate and verify the sources you have use.

Here are two basic formats for a reference list:

  • an alphabetical listing by first author’s last name (author–date system)
  • a numerical listing that reflects the order of the citations in the body of the paper (number format).

The format will depend on the journal of publication, as each journal has their own specific referencing format.

A bibliography tends to use the author–date format, as the works might not be cited in the text.

Author–date system

Author-date reference styles indicate in-text citations by placing the author’s surname and the date of publication in brackets, and the reference list is in alphabetical order by author’s surname. Harvard and APA are examples of author date styles.

The associated images show a section of the discussion, and a section of the reference list of a research article (Bain et al., 2014) that has used an author-date system.

Example of author date referencing, with annotations showing in-text citations and two examples of the formatting of references in a reference list

Your university library will provide guidance and examples of the referencing styles you are expected to use. Ask your tutor which style you are to use for your assignment.

This short video shows you the basics of Harvard referencing. Please note there are different interpretations of the style and use the resources provided by your university library when composing your own in-text citations and reference lists.

Click the drop down below to review the terms learned from this chapter.

Bain, A.R., Morrison, S.A., & Ainslie, P.N. (2014). Cerebral oxygenation and hyperthermia. Frontiers in Physiology, 5 , 92.

How To Do Science Copyright © 2022 by University of Southern Queensland is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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  • Citing Sources

Citing Sources: What are citations and why should I use them?

What is a citation.

Citations are a way of giving credit when certain material in your work came from another source. It also gives your readers the information necessary to find that source again-- it provides an important roadmap to your research process. Whenever you use sources such as books, journals or websites in your research, you must give credit to the original author by citing the source. 

Why do researchers cite?

Scholarship is a conversation  and scholars use citations not only to  give credit  to original creators and thinkers, but also to  add strength and authority  to their own work.  By citing their sources, scholars are  placing their work in a specific context  to show where they “fit” within the larger conversation.  Citations are also a great way to  leave a trail  intended to help others who may want to explore the conversation or use the sources in their own work.

In short, citations

(1) give credit

(2) add strength and authority to your work

(3) place your work in a specific context

(4) leave a trail for other scholars

"Good citations should reveal your sources, not conceal them. They should honeslty reflect the research you conducted." (Lipson 4)

Lipson, Charles. "Why Cite?"  Cite Right: A Quick Guide to Citation Styles--MLA, APA, Chicago, the Sciences, Professions, and More . Chicago: U of Chicago, 2006. Print.

What does a citation look like?

Different subject disciplines call for citation information to be written in very specific order, capitalization, and punctuation. There are therefore many different style formats. Three popular citation formats are MLA Style (for humanities articles) and APA or Chicago (for social sciences articles).

MLA style (print journal article):  

Whisenant, Warren A. "How Women Have Fared as Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Since the Passage of Title IX." Sex Roles Vol. 49.3 (2003): 179-182.

APA style (print journal article):

Whisenant, W. A. (2003) How Women Have Fared as Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Since the Passage of Title IX. Sex Roles , 49 (3), 179-182.

Chicago style (print journal article):

Whisenant, Warren A. "How Women Have Fared as Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Since the Passage of Title IX." Sex Roles 49, no. 3 (2003): 179-182.

No matter which style you use, all citations require the same basic information:

  • Author or Creator
  • Container (e.g., Journal or magazine, website, edited book)
  • Date of creation or publication
  • Publisher 

You are most likely to have easy access to all of your citation information when you find it in the first place. Take note of this information up front, and it will be much easier to cite it effectively later.

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Reference section Citation end-matters

The reference section is an important part of a researched academic paper. This page looks at what a reference section is , explains the difference between a reference section and a bibliography , and finally looks at reference section formats for the three most common referencing conventions, namely Harvard , APA ( 7th edition ) and MLA ( 8th edition ) .

What is a reference section?

citztions

For another look at the same content, check out the YouTube » or Youku » videos.

The Reference Section, also called the Reference List or Cited Works List, is a list of the full text (or 'biographical') details of the in-text citations which have used in the main text. It includes information such as author, year of publication, title, and publisher or URL. The Reference Section allows the reader to find the text easily, and can be considered as the long-hand format of the in-text citation. It is found at the end of the piece of writing. It is similar to but not the same as a bibliography (see below). The works in a reference section should be listed in alphabetical order , in other words from A-Z.

Reference Section vs. Bibliography

The format of a reference section and a bibliography will be exactly the same, and will depend on which referencing convention you are using (see main ones below). The difference between them is that a reference section contains only the works which have been cited in the main text. A bibliography, on the other hand, contains additional sources, which the writer has referred to while writing the work but not actually used in the main text. You should check with your tutor which type is required for your submission. Sometimes both are needed: a reference section with works cited, and a separate bibliography which lists works referred to but not used.

Reference section formats

This section gives information on compiling a reference section for the three most common formats, namely Harvard , APA and MLA . This is shown in the same format as you need to use in your reference section (e.g. Title means you need to put the title in italics). Referencing can be a confusing area, with books and websites striving for completeness by considering every possible source of information. To simplify matters, this page considers only the most common sources of information used by students, which are: website articles; journal articles; books; and chapters of edited books.

The Harvard style, despite its American origins, is the most common system used in the UK. The following table shows the information needed in the reference section if using the Harvard style of referencing.

Example Reference Section (Harvard style)

Cornell University (2005) What is the difference between documentation, citation, and reference? Available at:  https://plagiarism.arts.cornell.edu/tutorial/logistics3.cfm (Access date: 10/11/15).

Leithwood, K., Harris, A., and Hopkins, D. (2008) 'Seven strong claims about successful school leadership', School Leadership & Management , 28(1), pp.27-42.

Pears, R. and Shields, G. (2013) Cite them right: The essential guide to referencing . 9th edn. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.

Tosey, P. (2003) 'The Learning Organization', in Jarvis, P., Holford, J. and Griffin, C. (eds.) The Theory and Practice of Learning . London: Kogan Page, pp.144-156.

The APA (American Psychological Association) style of referencing is used in social science subjects, especially in the USA. It is very close to the Harvard style. If using APA style, the section is always called References (level 1 heading, meaning it should be in bold and centred). The following table shows the information needed in the reference section if using the APA style of referencing.

Example Reference Section (APA style)

Cornell University (2005). What is the difference between documentation, citation, and reference? https://plagiarism.arts.cornell.edu/tutorial/logistics3.cfm

Leithwood, K., Harris, A., and Hopkins, D. (2008). Seven strong claims about successful school leadership. School Leadership & Management, 28 (1), 27-42.

Pears, R. and Shields, G. (2013). Cite them right: The essential guide to referencing . 9th edn. Palgrave MacMillan.

Tosey, P. (2003) The Learning Organization. In Jarvis, P., Holford, J. and Griffin, C. (eds.) The Theory and Practice of Learning (pp.144-156). Kogan Page.

The MLA (Modern Language Association) referencing style is used in some humanities subjects, including language and literature, especially in the USA. The reference section in MLA style is always called the Cited Works List . The following table shows the information needed in the reference section if using the MLA style of referencing.

Example Cited Works List (MLA style)

Cornell University. What is the difference between documentation, citation, and reference? 2005. plagiarism.arts.cornell.edu/tutorial/logistics3.cfm. Accessed 10 November 2015.

Leithwood, Kenneth, Alma Harris and David Hopkins. "Seven strong claims about successful school leadership." School Leadership & Management . 28.1 (2008): 27-42.

Pears, Richard and Graham Shields. Cite them right: The essential guide to referencing . 9th edn. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan, 2013.

Tosey, Paul. "The Learning Organization". The Theory and Practice of Learning . Ed. Peter Jarvis, John Holford, and Colin Griffin. London: Kogan Page, 2003, 144-156.

Multiple authors

As mentioned in the in-text citations section, one area of difference between the above styles is how they deal with multiple authors. For the Harvard style, all authors are listed in the reference section, no matter how many there are. With APA style, up to 20 authors' names are listed; if more than 20, use ... after the 19th name, followed by the final author's name. With MLA style, if the phrase et al. is used for multiple authors in the text, then only the first author and the phrase et al. is given in the Cited Works List.

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Below is a checklist for checking the reference section of an academic paper. Use it to check your own writing, or get a peer (another student) to help you.

American Psychological Association (2016) How do you cite website material that has no author, no year, and no page numbers? Available at: http://www.apastyle.org/learn/faqs/cite-website-material.aspx (Access date: 1/1/2016).

Leabharlann, A., Ollsciole, A., and Cliath, B.(2011) MLA Referencing Style . Available at: http://www.ucd.ie/t4cms/Guide70.pdf (Access date: 31/12/2015).

Pears, R. and Shields, G. (2013). Cite them right: The essential guide to referencing . 9th edn. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.

Russell, T., Brizee, A., Angeli, E., Keck, R., Paiz, J., Campbell, M., Rodríguez-Fuentes, R., and Kenzie, D. (2014) MLA In-Text Citations: The Basics . Available at: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/02/ (Access date: 31/12/2015).

Southern Cross University (2014) Harvard Referencing Style . Available at: http://libguides.scu.edu.au/content.php?pid=269507&sid=2223231 (Access date: 1/1/2016).

University of Maryland University College (2016) MLA Citation Examples . Available at: http://www.umuc.edu/library/libhow/mla_examples.cfm . (Access date: 1/1/2016).

Next section

Find out about reporting verbs in the next section.

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Author: Sheldon Smith    ‖    Last modified: 27 March 2021.

Sheldon Smith is the founder and editor of EAPFoundation.com. He has been teaching English for Academic Purposes since 2004. Find out more about him in the about section and connect with him on Twitter , Facebook and LinkedIn .

Compare & contrast essays examine the similarities of two or more objects, and the differences.

Cause & effect essays consider the reasons (or causes) for something, then discuss the results (or effects).

Discussion essays require you to examine both sides of a situation and to conclude by saying which side you favour.

Problem-solution essays are a sub-type of SPSE essays (Situation, Problem, Solution, Evaluation).

Transition signals are useful in achieving good cohesion and coherence in your writing.

Reporting verbs are used to link your in-text citations to the information cited.

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Writing Research Papers

  • What Types of References Are Appropriate?

When writing a research paper, there are many different types of sources that you might consider citing.  Which are appropriate?  Which are less appropriate?  Here we discuss the different types of sources that you may wish to use when working on a research paper.   

Please note that the following represents a general set of recommended guidelines that is not specific to any class and does not represent department policy.  The types of allowable sources may vary by course and instructor.

Highly appropriate: peer-reviewed journal articles

In general, you should primarily cite peer-reviewed journal articles in your research papers.  Peer-reviewed journal articles are research papers that have been accepted for publication after having undergone a rigorous editorial review process.  During that review process, the article was carefully evaluated by at least one journal editor and a group of reviewers (usually scientists that are experts in the field or topic under investigation).  Often the article underwent revisions before it was judged to be satisfactory for publication. 

Most articles submitted to high quality journals are not accepted for publication.  As such, research that is successfully published in a respected peer-reviewed journal is generally regarded as higher quality than research that is not published or is published elsewhere, such as in a book, magazine, or on a website.  However, just because a study was published in a peer-reviewed journal does not mean that it is free from error or that its conclusions are correct.  Accordingly, it is important to critically read and carefully evaluate all sources, including peer-reviewed journal articles.

Tips for finding and using peer-reviewed journal articles:

  • Many databases, such as PsycINFO, can be set to only search for peer-reviewed journal articles. Other search engines, such as Google Scholar, typically include both peer-reviewed and not peer-reviewed articles in search results, and thus should be used with greater caution. 
  • Even though a peer-reviewed journal article is, by definition, a source that has been carefully vetted through an editorial process, it should still be critically evaluated by the reader. 

Potentially appropriate: books, encyclopedias, and other scholarly works

Another potential source that you might use when writing a research paper is a book, encyclopedia, or an official online source (such as demographic data drawn from a government website).  When relying on such sources, it is important to carefully consider its accuracy and trustworthiness.  For example, books vary in quality; most have not undergone any form of review process other than basic copyediting.  In many cases, a book’s content is little more than the author’s informed or uninformed opinion. 

However, there are books that have been edited prior to publication, as is the case with many reputable encyclopedias; also, many books from academic publishers are comprised of multiple chapters, each written by one or more researchers, with the entire volume carefully reviewed by one or more editors.  In those cases, the book has undergone a form of peer review, albeit often not as rigorous as that for a peer-reviewed journal article.

Tips for using books, encyclopedias, and other scholarly works:

  • When using books, encyclopedias, and other scholarly works (that is, works written or produced by researchers, official agencies, or corporations), it is important to very carefully evaluate the quality of that source.
  • If the source is an edited volume (in which case in the editor(s) will be listed on the cover), is published by a reputable source (such as Academic Press, MIT Press, and others), or is written by a major expert in the field (such as a researcher with a track record of peer-reviewed journal articles on the subject), then it is more likely to be trustworthy.
  • For online encyclopedias such as Wikipedia, an instructor may or may not consider that an acceptable source (by default, don’t assume that a non-peer reviewed source will be considered acceptable). It is best to ask the instructor for clarification. 1

Usually inappropriate: magazines, blogs, and websites  

Most research papers can be written using only peer-reviewed journal articles as sources.  However, for many topics it is possible to find a plethora of sources that have not been peer-reviewed but also discuss the topic.  These may include articles in popular magazines or postings in blogs, forums, and other websites.  In general, although these sources may be well-written and easy to understand, their scientific value is often not as high as that of peer-reviewed articles.  Exceptions include some magazine and newspaper articles that might be cited in a research paper to make a point about public awareness of a given topic, to illustrate beliefs and attitudes about a given topic among journalists, or to refer to a news event that is relevant to a given topic. 

Tips for using magazines, blogs, and websites:

  • Avoid such references if possible. You should primarily focus on peer-reviewed journal articles as sources for your research paper.  High quality research papers typically do not rely on non-academic and not peer-reviewed sources.
  • Refer to non-academic, not peer-reviewed sources sparingly, and if you do, be sure to carefully evaluate the accuracy and scientific merit of the source.

Downloadable Resources

  • How to Write APA Style Research Papers (a comprehensive guide) [ PDF ]
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Home » Research Paper – Structure, Examples and Writing Guide

Research Paper – Structure, Examples and Writing Guide

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Research Paper

Research Paper

Definition:

Research Paper is a written document that presents the author’s original research, analysis, and interpretation of a specific topic or issue.

It is typically based on Empirical Evidence, and may involve qualitative or quantitative research methods, or a combination of both. The purpose of a research paper is to contribute new knowledge or insights to a particular field of study, and to demonstrate the author’s understanding of the existing literature and theories related to the topic.

Structure of Research Paper

The structure of a research paper typically follows a standard format, consisting of several sections that convey specific information about the research study. The following is a detailed explanation of the structure of a research paper:

The title page contains the title of the paper, the name(s) of the author(s), and the affiliation(s) of the author(s). It also includes the date of submission and possibly, the name of the journal or conference where the paper is to be published.

The abstract is a brief summary of the research paper, typically ranging from 100 to 250 words. It should include the research question, the methods used, the key findings, and the implications of the results. The abstract should be written in a concise and clear manner to allow readers to quickly grasp the essence of the research.

Introduction

The introduction section of a research paper provides background information about the research problem, the research question, and the research objectives. It also outlines the significance of the research, the research gap that it aims to fill, and the approach taken to address the research question. Finally, the introduction section ends with a clear statement of the research hypothesis or research question.

Literature Review

The literature review section of a research paper provides an overview of the existing literature on the topic of study. It includes a critical analysis and synthesis of the literature, highlighting the key concepts, themes, and debates. The literature review should also demonstrate the research gap and how the current study seeks to address it.

The methods section of a research paper describes the research design, the sample selection, the data collection and analysis procedures, and the statistical methods used to analyze the data. This section should provide sufficient detail for other researchers to replicate the study.

The results section presents the findings of the research, using tables, graphs, and figures to illustrate the data. The findings should be presented in a clear and concise manner, with reference to the research question and hypothesis.

The discussion section of a research paper interprets the findings and discusses their implications for the research question, the literature review, and the field of study. It should also address the limitations of the study and suggest future research directions.

The conclusion section summarizes the main findings of the study, restates the research question and hypothesis, and provides a final reflection on the significance of the research.

The references section provides a list of all the sources cited in the paper, following a specific citation style such as APA, MLA or Chicago.

How to Write Research Paper

You can write Research Paper by the following guide:

  • Choose a Topic: The first step is to select a topic that interests you and is relevant to your field of study. Brainstorm ideas and narrow down to a research question that is specific and researchable.
  • Conduct a Literature Review: The literature review helps you identify the gap in the existing research and provides a basis for your research question. It also helps you to develop a theoretical framework and research hypothesis.
  • Develop a Thesis Statement : The thesis statement is the main argument of your research paper. It should be clear, concise and specific to your research question.
  • Plan your Research: Develop a research plan that outlines the methods, data sources, and data analysis procedures. This will help you to collect and analyze data effectively.
  • Collect and Analyze Data: Collect data using various methods such as surveys, interviews, observations, or experiments. Analyze data using statistical tools or other qualitative methods.
  • Organize your Paper : Organize your paper into sections such as Introduction, Literature Review, Methods, Results, Discussion, and Conclusion. Ensure that each section is coherent and follows a logical flow.
  • Write your Paper : Start by writing the introduction, followed by the literature review, methods, results, discussion, and conclusion. Ensure that your writing is clear, concise, and follows the required formatting and citation styles.
  • Edit and Proofread your Paper: Review your paper for grammar and spelling errors, and ensure that it is well-structured and easy to read. Ask someone else to review your paper to get feedback and suggestions for improvement.
  • Cite your Sources: Ensure that you properly cite all sources used in your research paper. This is essential for giving credit to the original authors and avoiding plagiarism.

Research Paper Example

Note : The below example research paper is for illustrative purposes only and is not an actual research paper. Actual research papers may have different structures, contents, and formats depending on the field of study, research question, data collection and analysis methods, and other factors. Students should always consult with their professors or supervisors for specific guidelines and expectations for their research papers.

Research Paper Example sample for Students:

Title: The Impact of Social Media on Mental Health among Young Adults

Abstract: This study aims to investigate the impact of social media use on the mental health of young adults. A literature review was conducted to examine the existing research on the topic. A survey was then administered to 200 university students to collect data on their social media use, mental health status, and perceived impact of social media on their mental health. The results showed that social media use is positively associated with depression, anxiety, and stress. The study also found that social comparison, cyberbullying, and FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) are significant predictors of mental health problems among young adults.

Introduction: Social media has become an integral part of modern life, particularly among young adults. While social media has many benefits, including increased communication and social connectivity, it has also been associated with negative outcomes, such as addiction, cyberbullying, and mental health problems. This study aims to investigate the impact of social media use on the mental health of young adults.

Literature Review: The literature review highlights the existing research on the impact of social media use on mental health. The review shows that social media use is associated with depression, anxiety, stress, and other mental health problems. The review also identifies the factors that contribute to the negative impact of social media, including social comparison, cyberbullying, and FOMO.

Methods : A survey was administered to 200 university students to collect data on their social media use, mental health status, and perceived impact of social media on their mental health. The survey included questions on social media use, mental health status (measured using the DASS-21), and perceived impact of social media on their mental health. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and regression analysis.

Results : The results showed that social media use is positively associated with depression, anxiety, and stress. The study also found that social comparison, cyberbullying, and FOMO are significant predictors of mental health problems among young adults.

Discussion : The study’s findings suggest that social media use has a negative impact on the mental health of young adults. The study highlights the need for interventions that address the factors contributing to the negative impact of social media, such as social comparison, cyberbullying, and FOMO.

Conclusion : In conclusion, social media use has a significant impact on the mental health of young adults. The study’s findings underscore the need for interventions that promote healthy social media use and address the negative outcomes associated with social media use. Future research can explore the effectiveness of interventions aimed at reducing the negative impact of social media on mental health. Additionally, longitudinal studies can investigate the long-term effects of social media use on mental health.

Limitations : The study has some limitations, including the use of self-report measures and a cross-sectional design. The use of self-report measures may result in biased responses, and a cross-sectional design limits the ability to establish causality.

Implications: The study’s findings have implications for mental health professionals, educators, and policymakers. Mental health professionals can use the findings to develop interventions that address the negative impact of social media use on mental health. Educators can incorporate social media literacy into their curriculum to promote healthy social media use among young adults. Policymakers can use the findings to develop policies that protect young adults from the negative outcomes associated with social media use.

References :

  • Twenge, J. M., & Campbell, W. K. (2019). Associations between screen time and lower psychological well-being among children and adolescents: Evidence from a population-based study. Preventive medicine reports, 15, 100918.
  • Primack, B. A., Shensa, A., Escobar-Viera, C. G., Barrett, E. L., Sidani, J. E., Colditz, J. B., … & James, A. E. (2017). Use of multiple social media platforms and symptoms of depression and anxiety: A nationally-representative study among US young adults. Computers in Human Behavior, 69, 1-9.
  • Van der Meer, T. G., & Verhoeven, J. W. (2017). Social media and its impact on academic performance of students. Journal of Information Technology Education: Research, 16, 383-398.

Appendix : The survey used in this study is provided below.

Social Media and Mental Health Survey

  • How often do you use social media per day?
  • Less than 30 minutes
  • 30 minutes to 1 hour
  • 1 to 2 hours
  • 2 to 4 hours
  • More than 4 hours
  • Which social media platforms do you use?
  • Others (Please specify)
  • How often do you experience the following on social media?
  • Social comparison (comparing yourself to others)
  • Cyberbullying
  • Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)
  • Have you ever experienced any of the following mental health problems in the past month?
  • Do you think social media use has a positive or negative impact on your mental health?
  • Very positive
  • Somewhat positive
  • Somewhat negative
  • Very negative
  • In your opinion, which factors contribute to the negative impact of social media on mental health?
  • Social comparison
  • In your opinion, what interventions could be effective in reducing the negative impact of social media on mental health?
  • Education on healthy social media use
  • Counseling for mental health problems caused by social media
  • Social media detox programs
  • Regulation of social media use

Thank you for your participation!

Applications of Research Paper

Research papers have several applications in various fields, including:

  • Advancing knowledge: Research papers contribute to the advancement of knowledge by generating new insights, theories, and findings that can inform future research and practice. They help to answer important questions, clarify existing knowledge, and identify areas that require further investigation.
  • Informing policy: Research papers can inform policy decisions by providing evidence-based recommendations for policymakers. They can help to identify gaps in current policies, evaluate the effectiveness of interventions, and inform the development of new policies and regulations.
  • Improving practice: Research papers can improve practice by providing evidence-based guidance for professionals in various fields, including medicine, education, business, and psychology. They can inform the development of best practices, guidelines, and standards of care that can improve outcomes for individuals and organizations.
  • Educating students : Research papers are often used as teaching tools in universities and colleges to educate students about research methods, data analysis, and academic writing. They help students to develop critical thinking skills, research skills, and communication skills that are essential for success in many careers.
  • Fostering collaboration: Research papers can foster collaboration among researchers, practitioners, and policymakers by providing a platform for sharing knowledge and ideas. They can facilitate interdisciplinary collaborations and partnerships that can lead to innovative solutions to complex problems.

When to Write Research Paper

Research papers are typically written when a person has completed a research project or when they have conducted a study and have obtained data or findings that they want to share with the academic or professional community. Research papers are usually written in academic settings, such as universities, but they can also be written in professional settings, such as research organizations, government agencies, or private companies.

Here are some common situations where a person might need to write a research paper:

  • For academic purposes: Students in universities and colleges are often required to write research papers as part of their coursework, particularly in the social sciences, natural sciences, and humanities. Writing research papers helps students to develop research skills, critical thinking skills, and academic writing skills.
  • For publication: Researchers often write research papers to publish their findings in academic journals or to present their work at academic conferences. Publishing research papers is an important way to disseminate research findings to the academic community and to establish oneself as an expert in a particular field.
  • To inform policy or practice : Researchers may write research papers to inform policy decisions or to improve practice in various fields. Research findings can be used to inform the development of policies, guidelines, and best practices that can improve outcomes for individuals and organizations.
  • To share new insights or ideas: Researchers may write research papers to share new insights or ideas with the academic or professional community. They may present new theories, propose new research methods, or challenge existing paradigms in their field.

Purpose of Research Paper

The purpose of a research paper is to present the results of a study or investigation in a clear, concise, and structured manner. Research papers are written to communicate new knowledge, ideas, or findings to a specific audience, such as researchers, scholars, practitioners, or policymakers. The primary purposes of a research paper are:

  • To contribute to the body of knowledge : Research papers aim to add new knowledge or insights to a particular field or discipline. They do this by reporting the results of empirical studies, reviewing and synthesizing existing literature, proposing new theories, or providing new perspectives on a topic.
  • To inform or persuade: Research papers are written to inform or persuade the reader about a particular issue, topic, or phenomenon. They present evidence and arguments to support their claims and seek to persuade the reader of the validity of their findings or recommendations.
  • To advance the field: Research papers seek to advance the field or discipline by identifying gaps in knowledge, proposing new research questions or approaches, or challenging existing assumptions or paradigms. They aim to contribute to ongoing debates and discussions within a field and to stimulate further research and inquiry.
  • To demonstrate research skills: Research papers demonstrate the author’s research skills, including their ability to design and conduct a study, collect and analyze data, and interpret and communicate findings. They also demonstrate the author’s ability to critically evaluate existing literature, synthesize information from multiple sources, and write in a clear and structured manner.

Characteristics of Research Paper

Research papers have several characteristics that distinguish them from other forms of academic or professional writing. Here are some common characteristics of research papers:

  • Evidence-based: Research papers are based on empirical evidence, which is collected through rigorous research methods such as experiments, surveys, observations, or interviews. They rely on objective data and facts to support their claims and conclusions.
  • Structured and organized: Research papers have a clear and logical structure, with sections such as introduction, literature review, methods, results, discussion, and conclusion. They are organized in a way that helps the reader to follow the argument and understand the findings.
  • Formal and objective: Research papers are written in a formal and objective tone, with an emphasis on clarity, precision, and accuracy. They avoid subjective language or personal opinions and instead rely on objective data and analysis to support their arguments.
  • Citations and references: Research papers include citations and references to acknowledge the sources of information and ideas used in the paper. They use a specific citation style, such as APA, MLA, or Chicago, to ensure consistency and accuracy.
  • Peer-reviewed: Research papers are often peer-reviewed, which means they are evaluated by other experts in the field before they are published. Peer-review ensures that the research is of high quality, meets ethical standards, and contributes to the advancement of knowledge in the field.
  • Objective and unbiased: Research papers strive to be objective and unbiased in their presentation of the findings. They avoid personal biases or preconceptions and instead rely on the data and analysis to draw conclusions.

Advantages of Research Paper

Research papers have many advantages, both for the individual researcher and for the broader academic and professional community. Here are some advantages of research papers:

  • Contribution to knowledge: Research papers contribute to the body of knowledge in a particular field or discipline. They add new information, insights, and perspectives to existing literature and help advance the understanding of a particular phenomenon or issue.
  • Opportunity for intellectual growth: Research papers provide an opportunity for intellectual growth for the researcher. They require critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity, which can help develop the researcher’s skills and knowledge.
  • Career advancement: Research papers can help advance the researcher’s career by demonstrating their expertise and contributions to the field. They can also lead to new research opportunities, collaborations, and funding.
  • Academic recognition: Research papers can lead to academic recognition in the form of awards, grants, or invitations to speak at conferences or events. They can also contribute to the researcher’s reputation and standing in the field.
  • Impact on policy and practice: Research papers can have a significant impact on policy and practice. They can inform policy decisions, guide practice, and lead to changes in laws, regulations, or procedures.
  • Advancement of society: Research papers can contribute to the advancement of society by addressing important issues, identifying solutions to problems, and promoting social justice and equality.

Limitations of Research Paper

Research papers also have some limitations that should be considered when interpreting their findings or implications. Here are some common limitations of research papers:

  • Limited generalizability: Research findings may not be generalizable to other populations, settings, or contexts. Studies often use specific samples or conditions that may not reflect the broader population or real-world situations.
  • Potential for bias : Research papers may be biased due to factors such as sample selection, measurement errors, or researcher biases. It is important to evaluate the quality of the research design and methods used to ensure that the findings are valid and reliable.
  • Ethical concerns: Research papers may raise ethical concerns, such as the use of vulnerable populations or invasive procedures. Researchers must adhere to ethical guidelines and obtain informed consent from participants to ensure that the research is conducted in a responsible and respectful manner.
  • Limitations of methodology: Research papers may be limited by the methodology used to collect and analyze data. For example, certain research methods may not capture the complexity or nuance of a particular phenomenon, or may not be appropriate for certain research questions.
  • Publication bias: Research papers may be subject to publication bias, where positive or significant findings are more likely to be published than negative or non-significant findings. This can skew the overall findings of a particular area of research.
  • Time and resource constraints: Research papers may be limited by time and resource constraints, which can affect the quality and scope of the research. Researchers may not have access to certain data or resources, or may be unable to conduct long-term studies due to practical limitations.

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How To Cite a Research Paper & Provide a Bibliographical Reference

Posted by Rene Tetzner | Jul 29, 2021 | Referencing & Bibliographies | 0 |

How To Cite a Research Paper & Provide a Bibliographical Reference

How To Cite a Research Paper & Provide a Bibliographical Reference Whenever you make use of a research paper in an academic or scientific document written for publication or course credit, you will need to cite the paper both in the main text and in the list of references. There are many different referencing or documentation styles used for this purpose, so the publisher’s guidelines or professor’s instructions should be consulted to discover which method is appropriate. The advice I offer here on how to cite a research paper focuses on the two most common forms of in-text citation: the parenthetical method recommended by the American Psychological Association (APA), the Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) and other manuals and journals, and the numerical method often referred to as Vancouver style and commonly used in medicine and the sciences.

How To Cite a Research Paper Using Parenthetical In-Text Citations A parenthetical author–date citation contains the last name of the author (or last names of the authors) of the research paper along with the date of publication. In most cases, this information will appear in parentheses immediately after the statement related to the paper: APA Format: The latest study indicates just the opposite (James & Snider, 2018). CMS Format: The latest study indicates just the opposite (James and Snider 2018). Note that the APA format features an ampersand (&) between the authors’ names and places a comma before the publication date, whereas the CMS format uses the word ‘and’ between the names and requires no punctuation. Attention to details of this kind is absolutely essential when constructing citations and references.

what is a reference in a research paper

Either the names of the authors or the date of publication or both can instead be integrated into the text, in which case the remaining information should be placed in parentheses. These three options are therefore also possible for an APA in-text citation: APA: The latest study by James and Snider indicates just the opposite (2018). APA: A 2018 study indicates just the opposite (James & Snider). APA: The 2018 study by James and Snider indicates just the opposite. Notice that the word ‘and’ is used in the text for APA style, although an ampersand is used in the parentheses. CMS documentation also allows all or some of the citation to appear in the main text, but always uses the word ‘and’: CMS: The latest study by James and Snider indicates just the opposite (2018). CMS: A 2018 study indicates just the opposite (James and Snider). CMS: The 2018 study by James and Snider indicates just the opposite.

The parenthetical citation style used by the Modern Language Association (MLA) is similar, except that the relevant page number or page range is used instead of the publication date: MLA: The latest study indicates just the opposite (James and Snider 88–96). The page numbers should not be placed in the main text, but the author names can be, and the publication date might be included as well, though its inclusion does not mean that the page numbers can be eliminated: MLA: The latest study by James and Snider indicates just the opposite (88–96). MLA: The 2018 study by James and Snider indicates just the opposite (88–96). As is the case with Chicago style, the word ‘and’ should be used between the authors’ names whether they appear in the main text or in the parentheses.

what is a reference in a research paper

Page numbers can also be used in APA and CMS citations, but they are only required when providing a citation for a direct quotation or other very specific information. In such cases a comma and then a page number is added to the parenthetical citation, and for APA style, a ‘p.’ for ‘page’ is added as well: APA: James and Snider define the term clearly (2018, p.92). CMS: James and Snider define the term clearly (2018, 92).

Every research paper cited in an academic or scientific document should also be included in a list of ‘References’ or, for MLA style, ‘Works Cited.’ A reference list to accompany all three of the styles I have considered here (APA, CMS and MLA) should be arranged alphabetically based on author names, and all the bibliographical information required for readers to find each source must be given, but different styles require different arrangements for the information, as well as different punctuation and formatting.

For full bibliographical APA references, the author names are inverted and placed first, followed by the date of publication (in parentheses), the title of the article, the name and volume number of the journal (both of those in italic font, though it may not display in this post) and the pages on which the article can be found. If there is a doi or url for the paper, that should be tacked on at the end: APA: James, S., & Snider, G. (2018). How to cite research sources Chicago style. Academic Writing Journal, 8, 76–107. doi:00.0000/00000000000000 Careful attention must be paid to capitalisation as well as fonts, punctuation and spacing, so here it is worth noting that only the first letter of the article’s title and any proper nouns are capitalised, whereas the first letter of all major words in the journal’s title are capitalised.

The complete reference for the same research paper using CMS style would look like this: CMS: James, Samuel, and Gregory Snider. 2018. How to cite research sources Chicago style. Academic Writing Journal 8:76–107. Only the journal name (not the volume number) is in italics here, no parentheses are needed around the publication date, which is followed by a colon (:) instead of a stop, and the second author’s name is not inverted.

If you are using MLA style citations, the full reference would take this form, with the journal name again in italic font: MLA: James, Samuel, and Gregory Snider. “How to Cite Research Sources Chicago Style.” Academic Writing Journal 8 (2018): 76–107. Print. Notice that all major words in the article title are capitalised here as well, and that title is enclosed in double quotation marks. The medium of publication is added at the end, and since the publication date is not used for in-text citations in MLA style, it does not appear immediately after the author names, the second of which is not inverted.

As you are constructing and checking your citations, remember that ensuring the utmost accuracy is an essential aspect of how to cite a research paper effectively. Documentation material tends to be especially difficult to proofread, yet mistakes are frequent, and there must always be a perfect match between the information cited in the text and the information provided in the list of references.

How To Cite a Research Paper Using Numerical In-Text Citations If you are using numerical or Vancouver citations, a single Arabic numeral is all that is required to refer to a research paper in the text, but the format of that number varies according to the specific guidelines. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), for example, recommends placing reference numbers in parentheses: ICMJE: The latest study indicates just the opposite.(1) However, the documentation style of the American Medical Association (AMA) uses superscript numbers, which may not maintain their position in this post, so please note that the numeral ‘1’ should be superscript in the AMA examples: AMA: The latest study indicates just the opposite.1 In some cases, square brackets will be required around the number, so this format is also an option: Square Brackets: The latest study indicates just the opposite.[1] There is considerable variation in the placement of the number in relation to closing punctuation as well, so while a superscript numeral will almost always appear after a closing stop or period, reference numbers in parentheses or square brackets may be placed to either side of the stop as long as the relevant guidelines are followed and consistency across all citations in the document is maintained.

As with parenthetical references based on author names, information about sources can also be added in the main text when using numerical citations: ICMJE: The latest study by James and Snider indicates just the opposite.(1) AMA: A 2018 study indicates just the opposite.1 Square Brackets: The 2018 study by James and Snider indicates just the opposite.[1] All such information is offered as additional, however, and the reference number is always required. If you need to cite a specific page number, it can be added after the reference number, usually with a comma and a preceding ‘p.’ to avoid confusion: ICMJE: James and Snider define the term clearly.(1, p.92) AMA: James and Snider define the term clearly.1, p.92

There are two standard ways in which to construct a numerical list of references. The most common is based on the sequence of citations, which means that sources are numbered according to the order in which they are first cited in the document. The first source cited would therefore be reference 1, the second would be reference 2, the third reference 3 and so on, with the number assigned to each source remaining the same every time the source is cited. Great care must be taken when adding sources to or deleting them from a reference list of this kind because every change necessitates a corresponding change in the numbering of all sources that sequentially follow the addition or deletion. Checking and finalising the reference list after all the in-text citations are firmly in place is imperative.

Alternatively, the ICMJE recommendations indicate that a numerical list of references might be arranged alphabetically based on author names, with the first source in the list (by, say, an author named Abacus) numbered 1, the second (by Butler) numbered two, the third (by Conrad) numbered 3 and so on. Each source is assigned only one number that it retains throughout the document regardless of the order in which sources are cited. This arrangement is not used for AMA references, which are always numbered sequentially as cited.

The complete bibliographical references for a numerical list vary in arrangement and format according to specific styles and guidelines, though perhaps not as much as the full references for parenthetical author–date citation styles do. The ICMJE recommendations favour this format: ICMJE: James S, Snider G. How to cite research sources Chicago style. Academic Writing Journal. 2018;8:76–107. A full AMA reference, on the other hand, takes this form, with the only difference in this case being the italic font required for the journal title: AMA: James S, Snider G. How to cite research sources Chicago style. Academic Writing Journal. 2018;8:76–107.

If the research paper has a doi or url, it should be included at the end of the reference: ICMJE: James S, Snider G. How to cite research sources Chicago style. Academic Writing Journal. 2018;8:76–107. doi:00.0000/00000000000000. AMA: James S, Snider G. How to cite research sources Chicago style. Academic Writing Journal. 2018;8:76–107. doi:00.0000/00000000000000. The names of journals are usually abbreviated when preparing numerical references, but the correct standard abbreviation for each journal must be used to avoid confusion, so if you are in doubt, do a little research to find the right abbreviation, and use the complete journal title when there is no standard abbreviation.

Although the examples I have provided here are reliable, do be aware that citation styles and recommendations change and are adopted and adapted in a variety of ways, so the specific guidelines or instructions for a document must always be consulted when deciding exactly how to cite a research paper or any other source. Those instructions and the latest editions of any style manuals to which they refer you will also help you determine how to cite research papers with more complicated bibliographical information.

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Cross-referencing

Introduction.

Cross-referencing is a powerful tool that can greatly enhance your work. Good cross-referencing allows readers to link quickly to related material elsewhere in your work, adding significant functionality and value.

Pointing to a specific, relevant target is the key to effective cross-referencing, particularly in digital formats.

Please follow these instructions for effective cross-referencing:

  • Limit your cross-referencing to one type of target within your work, e.g. headings or paragraph numbers. Ensure the wording for your cross references are consistent. OUP’s preference is for ‘see [para/section/chapter number or heading]’. This need for consistency is particularly important if you are editing a multi-contributor volume.
  • Give a clear target for each cross-reference and do not use terms such as ‘see above/below’, ‘infra’/’supra’, ‘ante/post’, or print-specific language such as ‘see overleaf’/'see opposite’. Instead, reference specific headings (see the section ‘ cross-referencing by heading ’).
  • Place cross references within the main body of the text, as marginal references are not visible in digital formats.
  • Do not include cross references within headings. Headings and cross references are both treated as hyperlinks, and a single link cannot point to more than one place.
  • Your submitted manuscript should include (at least) placeholders for all cross references; new cross references cannot be added during the production process.

Cross-referencing figures, tables, and boxes

All figures, tables, and boxes must have a specific call-out from the main body of the text (e.g. ‘see Figure 1.1’). Layout varies in print and digital versions. When a reader needs to locate an exact figure, table, or box in the text, the direction to ‘see figure above/below’ may not be correct, depending on the format and if a hyperlink is used. This is even more important when viewing a publication on a hand-held device and only limited text is visible at any time.

Please do not include call-outs in headings, footnotes, or captions (there are a few exceptions to this rule, in some reference and trade titles). If you are unsure, please discuss this with your OUP editorial contact.

Cross-referencing by heading

Headings offer a clear and specific point to reference or link to that works well in both print and digital formats.  The more specific the cross reference is, the easier it will be for your reader to locate the information that they need. Drill down to the lowest level of heading available and direct your reader to a targeted point.

Cross-referencing via headings doesn’t work with long streams of unbroken text.  Break it up by placing main headings and sub-headings at regular and appropriate intervals. In addition to facilitating cross-referencing, this practice allows your reader to easily read and navigate your work.

Cross-referencing by numbered heading

Heading numbers can be used to point to cross-referencing targets (e.g. ‘see 4.3.2’). They make short, unobtrusive, and specific targets that are not tied to pagination.  This method is especially useful in textbooks and reference works with a lot of cross-referencing, as well as in digital publications. Completing cross-referencing before submission cuts down on queries during the production process.

what is a reference in a research paper

Figure 9 : An example of using numbered headings for cross-referencing.

Cross-referencing by unnumbered heading

If your manuscript does not use numbered headings, please use the heading itself for cross-referencing:

  • When cross-referencing to a section in the same chapter use the heading name: ‘see “An introduction to private enforcement”’.
  • Where the cross reference is to material in another chapter, include the chapter number: ‘see “An introduction to private enforcement” in Chapter 3’.
  • Because this method of cross-referencing is more cumbersome than with numbered headings, consider using numbered headings in your text If you anticipate much cross-referencing.

what is a reference in a research paper

Figure 10 : An example of using unnumbered headings for cross-referencing.

Cross-referencing by heading and page number

If page numbers are important for your print edition, a good option is to cross-reference by both heading and page number. The headings enable cross-referencing in the digital edition. If you are using numbered headings, adding page numbers to cross references is unnecessary. The numbered heading is sufficient to provide a specific target that is easy to locate.

Some tips for cross-referencing by headings and page numbers:

  • Because page numbers are completed at proof stage, don’t include page numbers from the manuscript in the final script—this could obscure the need for these to be replaced at proof stage. Use ‘p. 000’ instead.
  • Always include the relevant heading as well as the page number in your script (e.g. ‘see “An introduction to private enforcement”, p. 000’).
  • When cross-referencing to material in another chapter, also include that chapter name (e.g. ‘see Ch. 3, “An introduction to private enforcement”, p. 000’).
  • Where you are referencing a discussion over a series of pages, include the heading that covers that entire discussion to enable an appropriate link in the digital version.

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Research Roundup: How the Pandemic Changed Management

  • Mark C. Bolino,
  • Jacob M. Whitney,
  • Sarah E. Henry

what is a reference in a research paper

Lessons from 69 articles published in top management and applied psychology journals.

Researchers recently reviewed 69 articles focused on the management implications of the Covid-19 pandemic that were published between March 2020 and July 2023 in top journals in management and applied psychology. The review highlights the numerous ways in which employees, teams, leaders, organizations, and societies were impacted and offers lessons for managing through future pandemics or other events of mass disruption.

The recent pandemic disrupted life as we know it, including for employees and organizations around the world. To understand such changes, we recently reviewed 69 articles focused on the management implications of the Covid-19 pandemic. These papers were published between March 2020 and July 2023 in top journals in management and applied psychology.

  • Mark C. Bolino is the David L. Boren Professor and the Michael F. Price Chair in International Business at the University of Oklahoma’s Price College of Business. His research focuses on understanding how an organization can inspire its employees to go the extra mile without compromising their personal well-being.
  • JW Jacob M. Whitney is a doctoral candidate in management at the University of Oklahoma’s Price College of Business and an incoming assistant professor at Kennesaw State University. His research interests include leadership, teams, and organizational citizenship behavior.
  • SH Sarah E. Henry is a doctoral candidate in management at the University of Oklahoma’s Price College of Business and an incoming assistant professor at the University of South Florida. Her research interests include organizational citizenship behaviors, workplace interpersonal dynamics, and international management.

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  • 04 March 2024
  • Clarification 05 March 2024

Millions of research papers at risk of disappearing from the Internet

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Old documents and books stored on shelves in a library's archive.

A study identified more than two million articles that did not appear in a major digital archive, despite having an active DOI. Credit: Anna Berkut/Alamy

More than one-quarter of scholarly articles are not being properly archived and preserved, a study of more than seven million digital publications suggests. The findings, published in the Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication on 24 January 1 , indicate that systems to preserve papers online have failed to keep pace with the growth of research output.

“Our entire epistemology of science and research relies on the chain of footnotes,” explains author Martin Eve, a researcher in literature, technology and publishing at Birkbeck, University of London. “If you can’t verify what someone else has said at some other point, you’re just trusting to blind faith for artefacts that you can no longer read yourself.”

Eve, who is also involved in research and development at digital-infrastructure organization Crossref, checked whether 7,438,037 works labelled with digital object identifiers (DOIs) are held in archives. DOIs — which consist of a string of numbers, letters and symbols — are unique fingerprints used to identify and link to specific publications, such as scholarly articles and official reports. Crossref is the largest DOI registration agency, allocating the identifiers to about 20,000 members, including publishers, museums and other institutions.

The sample of DOIs included in the study was made up of a random selection of up to 1,000 registered to each member organization. Twenty-eight per cent of these works — more than two million articles — did not appear in a major digital archive, despite having an active DOI. Only 58% of the DOIs referenced works that had been stored in at least one archive. The other 14% were excluded from the study because they were published too recently, were not journal articles or did not have an identifiable source.

Preservation challenge

Eve notes that the study has limitations: namely that it tracked only articles with DOIs, and that it did not search every digital repository for articles (he did not check whether items with a DOI were stored in institutional repositories, for example).

Nevertheless, preservation specialists have welcomed the analysis. “It’s been hard to know the real extent of the digital preservation challenge faced by e-journals,” says William Kilbride, managing director of the Digital Preservation Coalition, headquartered in York, UK. The coalition publishes a handbook detailing good preservation practice.

“Many people have the blind assumption that if you have a DOI, it’s there forever,” says Mikael Laakso, who studies scholarly publishing at the Hanken School of Economics in Helsinki. “But that doesn’t mean that the link will always work.” In 2021, Laakso and his colleagues reported 2 that more than 170 open-access journals had disappeared from the Internet between 2000 and 2019.

Kate Wittenberg, managing director of the digital archiving service Portico in New York City, warns that small publishers are at higher risk of failing to preserve articles than are large ones. “It costs money to preserve content,” she says, adding that archiving involves infrastructure, technology and expertise that many smaller organizations do not have access to.

Eve’s study suggests some measures that could improve digital preservation, including stronger requirements at DOI registration agencies and better education and awareness of the issue among publishers and researchers.

“Everybody thinks of the immediate gains they might get from having a paper out somewhere, but we really should be thinking about the long-term sustainability of the research ecosystem,” Eve says. “After you’ve been dead for 100 years, are people going to be able to get access to the things you’ve worked on?”

Nature 627 , 256 (2024)

doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-024-00616-5

Updates & Corrections

Clarification 05 March 2024 : The headline of this story has been edited to reflect the fact that some of these papers have not entirely disappeared from the Internet. Rather, many papers are still accessible but have not been properly archived.

Eve, M. P. J. Libr. Sch. Commun. 12 , eP16288 (2024).

Article   Google Scholar  

Laakso, M., Matthias, L. & Jahn, N. J. Assoc. Inf. Sci. Technol. 72 , 1099–1112 (2021).

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Citation Styles Guide | Examples for All Major Styles

Published on June 24, 2022 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on November 7, 2022.

A citation style is a set of guidelines on how to cite sources in your academic writing . You always need a citation whenever you quote , paraphrase , or summarize a source to avoid plagiarism . How you present these citations depends on the style you follow. Scribbr’s citation generator can help!

Different styles are set by different universities, academic associations, and publishers, often published in an official handbook with in-depth instructions and examples.

There are many different citation styles, but they typically use one of three basic approaches: parenthetical citations , numerical citations, or note citations.

Parenthetical citations

  • Chicago (Turabian) author-date

CSE name-year

Numerical citations

CSE citation-name or citation-sequence

Note citations

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Table of contents

Types of citation: parenthetical, note, numerical, which citation style should i use, parenthetical citation styles, numerical citation styles, note citation styles, frequently asked questions about citation styles.

The clearest identifying characteristic of any citation style is how the citations in the text are presented. There are three main approaches:

  • Parenthetical citations: You include identifying details of the source in parentheses in the text—usually the author’s last name and the publication date, plus a page number if relevant ( author-date ). Sometimes the publication date is omitted ( author-page ).
  • Numerical citations: You include a number in brackets or in superscript, which corresponds to an entry in your numbered reference list.
  • Note citations: You include a full citation in a footnote or endnote, which is indicated in the text with a superscript number or symbol.

Citation styles also differ in terms of how you format the reference list or bibliography entries themselves (e.g., capitalization, order of information, use of italics). And many style guides also provide guidance on more general issues like text formatting, punctuation, and numbers.

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In most cases, your university, department, or instructor will tell you which citation style you need to follow in your writing. If you’re not sure, it’s best to consult your institution’s guidelines or ask someone. If you’re submitting to a journal, they will usually require a specific style.

Sometimes, the choice of citation style may be left up to you. In those cases, you can base your decision on which citation styles are commonly used in your field. Try reading other articles from your discipline to see how they cite their sources, or consult the table below.

The American Anthropological Association (AAA) recommends citing your sources using Chicago author-date style . AAA style doesn’t have its own separate rules. This style is used in the field of anthropology.

APA Style is defined by the 7th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association . It was designed for use in psychology, but today it’s widely used across various disciplines, especially in the social sciences.

Generate accurate APA citations with Scribbr

The citation style of the American Political Science Association (APSA) is used mainly in the field of political science.

The citation style of the American Sociological Association (ASA) is used primarily in the discipline of sociology.

Chicago author-date

Chicago author-date style is one of the two citation styles presented in the Chicago Manual of Style (17th edition). It’s used mainly in the sciences and social sciences.

The citation style of the Council of Science Editors (CSE) is used in various scientific disciplines. It includes multiple options for citing your sources, including the name-year system.

Harvard style is often used in the field of economics. It is also very widely used across disciplines in UK universities. There are various versions of Harvard style defined by different universities—it’s not a style with one definitive style guide.

Check out Scribbr’s Harvard Reference Generator

MLA style is the official style of the Modern Language Association, defined in the MLA Handbook (9th edition). It’s widely used across various humanities disciplines. Unlike most parenthetical citation styles, it’s author-page rather than author-date.

Generate accurate MLA citations with Scribbr

The American Chemical Society (ACS) provides guidelines for a citation style using numbers in superscript or italics in the text, corresponding to entries in a numbered reference list at the end. It is used in chemistry.

The American Medical Association ( AMA ) provides guidelines for a numerical citation style using superscript numbers in the text, which correspond to entries in a numbered reference list. It is used in the field of medicine.

CSE style includes multiple options for citing your sources, including the citation-name and citation-sequence systems. Your references are listed alphabetically in the citation-name system; in the citation-sequence system, they appear in the order in which you cited them.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers ( IEEE ) provides guidelines for citing your sources with IEEE in-text citations that consist of numbers enclosed in brackets, corresponding to entries in a numbered reference list. This style is used in various engineering and IT disciplines.

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) citation style is defined in Citing Medicine: The NLM Style Guide for Authors, Editors, and Publishers (2nd edition).

Vancouver style is also used in various medical disciplines. As with Harvard style, a lot of institutions and publications have their own versions of Vancouver—it doesn’t have one fixed style guide.

Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.

The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation is the main style guide for legal citations in the US. It’s widely used in law, and also when legal materials need to be cited in other disciplines.

Chicago notes and bibliography

Chicago notes and bibliography is one of the two citation styles presented in the Chicago Manual of Style (17th edition). It’s used mainly in the humanities.

The Oxford University Standard for the Citation of Legal Authorities ( OSCOLA ) is the main legal citation style in the UK (similar to Bluebook for the US).

There are many different citation styles used across different academic disciplines, but they fall into three basic approaches to citation:

  • Parenthetical citations : Including identifying details of the source in parentheses —usually the author’s last name and the publication date, plus a page number if available ( author-date ). The publication date is occasionally omitted ( author-page ).
  • Numerical citations: Including a number in brackets or superscript, corresponding to an entry in your numbered reference list.
  • Note citations: Including a full citation in a footnote or endnote , which is indicated in the text with a superscript number or symbol.

Check if your university or course guidelines specify which citation style to use. If the choice is left up to you, consider which style is most commonly used in your field.

  • APA Style is the most popular citation style, widely used in the social and behavioral sciences.
  • MLA style is the second most popular, used mainly in the humanities.
  • Chicago notes and bibliography style is also popular in the humanities, especially history.
  • Chicago author-date style tends to be used in the sciences.

Other more specialized styles exist for certain fields, such as Bluebook and OSCOLA for law.

The most important thing is to choose one style and use it consistently throughout your text.

A scientific citation style is a system of source citation that is used in scientific disciplines. Some commonly used scientific citation styles are:

  • Chicago author-date , CSE , and Harvard , used across various sciences
  • ACS , used in chemistry
  • AMA , NLM , and Vancouver , used in medicine and related disciplines
  • AAA , APA , and ASA , commonly used in the social sciences

APA format is widely used by professionals, researchers, and students in the social and behavioral sciences, including fields like education, psychology, and business.

Be sure to check the guidelines of your university or the journal you want to be published in to double-check which style you should be using.

MLA Style  is the second most used citation style (after APA ). It is mainly used by students and researchers in humanities fields such as literature, languages, and philosophy.

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.

Caulfield, J. (2022, November 07). Citation Styles Guide | Examples for All Major Styles. Scribbr. Retrieved March 18, 2024, from https://www.scribbr.com/citing-sources/citation-styles/

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New research suggests that our universe has no dark matter

by Bernard Rizk, University of Ottawa

New research suggests that our universe has no dark matter

The current theoretical model for the composition of the universe is that it's made of normal matter, dark energy and dark matter. A new University of Ottawa study challenges this.

A study, published today in The Astrophysical Journal , challenges the current model of the universe by showing that, in fact, it has no room for dark matter.

In cosmology , the term "dark matter" describes all that appears not to interact with light or the electromagnetic field , or that can only be explained through gravitational force . We can't see it, nor do we know what it's made of, but it helps us understand how galaxies, planets and stars behave.

Rajendra Gupta, a physics professor at the Faculty of Science, used a combination of the covarying coupling constants (CCC) and "tired light" (TL) theories (the CCC+TL model) to reach this conclusion.

This model combines two ideas—about how the forces of nature decrease over cosmic time and about light losing energy when it travels a long distance. It's been tested and has been shown to match up with several observations, such as about how galaxies are spread out and how light from the early universe has evolved.

This discovery challenges the prevailing understanding of the universe, which suggests that roughly 27% of it is composed of dark matter and less than 5% of ordinary matter , remaining being the dark energy.

Challenging the need for dark matter in the universe

"The study's findings confirm that our previous work ("JWST early universe observations and ΛCDM cosmology") about the age of the universe being 26.7 billion years has allowed us to discover that the universe does not require dark matter to exist," explains Gupta.

"In standard cosmology, the accelerated expansion of the universe is said to be caused by dark energy but is in fact due to the weakening forces of nature as it expands, not due to dark energy ."

"Redshifts" refer to when light is shifted toward the red part of the spectrum. The researcher analyzed data from recent papers on the distribution of galaxies at low redshifts and the angular size of the sound horizon in the literature at high redshift.

"There are several papers that question the existence of dark matter, but mine is the first one, to my knowledge, that eliminates its cosmological existence while being consistent with key cosmological observations that we have had time to confirm," says Gupta.

By challenging the need for dark matter in the universe and providing evidence for a new cosmological model, this study opens up new avenues for exploring the fundamental properties of the universe.

Journal information: Astrophysical Journal

Provided by University of Ottawa

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Quantitative Biology > Neurons and Cognition

Title: large language models surpass human experts in predicting neuroscience results.

Abstract: Scientific discoveries often hinge on synthesizing decades of research, a task that potentially outstrips human information processing capacities. Large language models (LLMs) offer a solution. LLMs trained on the vast scientific literature could potentially integrate noisy yet interrelated findings to forecast novel results better than human experts. To evaluate this possibility, we created BrainBench, a forward-looking benchmark for predicting neuroscience results. We find that LLMs surpass experts in predicting experimental outcomes. BrainGPT, an LLM we tuned on the neuroscience literature, performed better yet. Like human experts, when LLMs were confident in their predictions, they were more likely to be correct, which presages a future where humans and LLMs team together to make discoveries. Our approach is not neuroscience-specific and is transferable to other knowledge-intensive endeavors.

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    Reference in research papers: A reference is a detailed description of the source of information that you want to give credit to via a citation. The references in research papers are usually in the form of a list at the end of the paper. The essential difference between citations and references is that citations lead a reader to the source of ...

  3. References

    References provide the information necessary for readers to identify and retrieve each work cited in the text. Check each reference carefully against the original publication to ensure information is accurate and complete. Accurately prepared references help establish your credibility as a careful researcher and writer. Consistency in reference ...

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    At college level, you must properly cite your sources in all essays, research papers, and other academic texts (except exams and in-class exercises). Add a citation whenever you quote, paraphrase, or summarize information or ideas from a source. You should also give full source details in a bibliography or reference list at the end of your text.

  5. How to write references in research papers| Researcher.Life

    How to write references in research papers. If the citations follow the Harvard system, references in a research papers are sorted alphabetically by the last name of the first author; if the citations follow the Vancouver system, the references are arranged by numbers: the reference corresponding to the first numbered citation is numbered 1 ...

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    Reference List: Basic Rules. This resourse, revised according to the 7 th edition APA Publication Manual, offers basic guidelines for formatting the reference list at the end of a standard APA research paper. Most sources follow fairly straightforward rules. However, because sources obtained from academic journals carry special weight in research writing, these sources are subject to special ...

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    APA Style is widely used by students, researchers, and professionals in the social and behavioral sciences. Scribbr's APA Citation Generator automatically generates accurate references and in-text citations for free.. This citation guide outlines the most important citation guidelines from the 7th edition APA Publication Manual (2020). Scribbr also offers free guides for the older APA 6th ...

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    Basic format. In an APA reference, the author's name is inverted: start with the last name, followed by a comma and the initials, separated by a period and space. Treat infixes, such as "Van" or "De", as part of the last name. Don't include personal titles such as Ph.D. or Dr., but do include suffixes. Smith, T. H. J.

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    Sources with multiple authors in the reference list. As with in-text citations, up to three authors should be listed; when there are four or more, list only the first author followed by ' et al. ': Number of authors. Reference example. 1 author. Davis, V. (2019) …. 2 authors. Davis, V. and Barrett, M. (2019) …. 3 authors.

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    Citing a source means that you show, within the body of your text, that you took words, ideas, figures, images, etc. from another place. Citations are a short way to uniquely identify a published work (e.g. book, article, chapter, web site). They are found in bibliographies and reference lists and are also collected in article and book databases.

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    The reference section provides a list of the references that you cited in the body of your work, whether it be a literature review, original investigation research article or essay. It is important to accurately cite references in research papers to acknowledge your sources and ensure credit is appropriately given to authors of work you have ...

  15. Citing Sources: What are citations and why should I use them?

    Articles & Research Databases Literature on your research topic and direct access to articles online, when available at UW.; E-Journals Alphabetical list of electronic journal titles held at UW.; Encyclopedias & Dictionaries Resources for looking up quick facts and background information.; E-Newspapers, Media, Maps & More Recommendations for finding news, audio/video, images, government ...

  16. Reference section

    The reference section is an important part of a researched academic paper. This page looks at what a reference section is, explains the difference between a reference section and a bibliography, and finally looks at reference section formats for the three most common referencing conventions, namely Harvard, APA (7th edition) and MLA (8th edition).

  17. What Types of References Are Appropriate?

    Potentially appropriate: books, encyclopedias, and other scholarly works. Another potential source that you might use when writing a research paper is a book, encyclopedia, or an official online source (such as demographic data drawn from a government website). When relying on such sources, it is important to carefully consider its accuracy and ...

  18. How To Cite a Research Paper in 2024: Citation Styles Guide

    The guidelines on how to add references in a research paper, including in-text citation, formatting of the reference list, or bibliography section are explained in this section. APA In-Text Citation. In-text citations let users know which ideas are attributed to whom. The APA citation style has two major elements for in-text citation: the ...

  19. Setting Up the APA Reference Page

    On the APA reference page, you list all the sources that you've cited in your paper. The list starts on a new page right after the body text. Follow these instructions to set up your APA reference page: Place the section label "References" in bold at the top of the page (centered). Order the references alphabetically. Double-space all text.

  20. Research Paper

    A research paper is a piece of academic writing that provides analysis, interpretation, and argument based on in-depth independent research. About us; Disclaimer; ... Citations and references: Research papers include citations and references to acknowledge the sources of information and ideas used in the paper. They use a specific citation ...

  21. How To Cite a Research Paper and Provide a Reference

    In such cases a comma and then a page number is added to the parenthetical citation, and for APA style, a 'p.' for 'page' is added as well: APA: James and Snider define the term clearly (2018, p.92). CMS: James and Snider define the term clearly (2018, 92). Every research paper cited in an academic or scientific document should also be ...

  22. Cross-referencing

    Cross-referencing is a powerful tool that can greatly enhance your work. Good cross-referencing allows readers to link quickly to related material elsewhere in your work, adding significant functionality and value. Pointing to a specific, relevant target is the key to effective cross-referencing, particularly in digital formats.

  23. A Cell-free DNA Blood-Based Test for Colorectal Cancer Screening

    44 References; 2 Citing Articles; Related Articles; Abstract Background. Colorectal cancer is the third most diagnosed cancer in adults in the United States. Early detection could prevent more ...

  24. Research Roundup: How the Pandemic Changed Management

    These papers were published between March 2020 and July 2023 in top journals in management and applied psychology. ... His research interests include leadership, teams, and organizational ...

  25. Millions of research papers at risk of disappearing from the Internet

    More than one-quarter of scholarly articles are not being properly archived and preserved, a study of more than seven million digital publications suggests. The findings, published in the Journal ...

  26. Citation Styles Guide

    APA Style is the most popular citation style, widely used in the social and behavioral sciences. MLA style is the second most popular, used mainly in the humanities. Chicago notes and bibliography style is also popular in the humanities, especially history. Chicago author-date style tends to be used in the sciences.

  27. New research suggests that our universe has no dark matter

    The researcher analyzed data from recent papers on the distribution of galaxies at low redshifts and the angular size of the sound horizon in the literature at high redshift.

  28. [2403.03230] Large language models surpass human experts in predicting

    Scientific discoveries often hinge on synthesizing decades of research, a task that potentially outstrips human information processing capacities. Large language models (LLMs) offer a solution. LLMs trained on the vast scientific literature could potentially integrate noisy yet interrelated findings to forecast novel results better than human experts. To evaluate this possibility, we created ...