Tools for Research in Library & Information Studies : Citing Sources
General rules for citation
Know your citation style before you start
Different citation styles can change the structure of a paper. By knowing what is expected from the style guide ahead of time, you'll save time by avoiding revision due to technical style requirements. Citation style will usually be dictated by the discipline and audience for you writing.
Cite anytime an idea is taken from a different source
When in doubt, cite your sources. It is imperative to give author's credit for their work. Additionally, citations will usually only strengthen your writing by allowing your readers to understand where you are drawing your ideas from.
Paraphrase ideas frequently
When referring to texts, it's good practice to paraphrase ideas. This serves several purposes including: fluidly fitting the work of other author's into your own style, condensing arguments and focusing on the parts that are important for your writing, and being able to clarify how you are interpreting the writing you draw from.
Online sources and popular citation styles
- UW Madison Writing CenterThe Writing Center at UW-Madison maintains a site with citation rules in a several formats. Besides this, the site provides information on making writing appointments or scheduling classes.
- Purdue OWLThe Online Writing Center from Purdue University maintains good documentation of MLA and APA styles. The site also has more general information about good writing.
- The Writer's Workshop at University of Illinois Urbana-ChampaignThe Writer's Workshop site is similar to the OWL at Purdue. However, it also has extensive bibliographies of sources for different citation formats.
- Chicago Manuel of StyleUW-Madison libraries provide online access to the entire Chicago Manual of Style (15th and 16th editions).
Individuals may choose to use a citation manager to help automatically gather citation information for references, collect and organize research, create bibliographies and more. The UW-Madison Citation Manager working group has put together information to help individuals select a citation manager.
- ZoteroZotero is a free open-source add-on for Mozilla Firefox. It has many of the same functionalities that both EndNote and Refworks have. Zotero is able to import references from a larger set of document types. For instance, Zotero is able to sense citation information from many webpages, including a site like the New York Times. Zotero also has import/export tools.
- RefworksRefworks is a web-based citation management program. Until 2013, all UW-Madison students have access to a free account. Its interface allows users to store, organize, and share sources. It includes features for automatically importing sources from most vendor databases and OPACs. In addition it includes utilities for creating bibliographies in several dozen formats. RefWorks is able to import/export citations from many other types of citation management programs, including EndNote and Zotero.
- UW LibGuide for CitationThis LibGuide has detailed advice for citing sources in a variety of styles. Highly recommended.
- LibGuide for Publishing ResearchThis UW LibGuide provides in-depth information for turning your SLIS research into a publishable article.