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Science Research in Depth: General Guide: Citing Your Sources

A research guide to help you with that first biology, chemistry, physics, or environmental science research assignment. Offers explanations about science research in general and where to go when Perimeter College's libraries are not enough.

Citation Basics

Cite Your Sources

If the words: "Works Cited" or "Reference List" strike fear into your heart, please try to relax. Writing a Reference List or Bibliography (APA does not call it a "Works Cited.") for your research paper, project, or PowerPoint is a relatively straightforward task if you follow the guidelines below:

DON'T worry about writing your Works Cited/Reference List until you have the rough draft of your paper or other project completed. A list of sources without a project serves no purpose, so concentrate on content and writing FIRST.

DO make sure you have all the information you need. That means either writing down the following information you need for a citation or printing off the references that you find in the GALILEO databases and GIL-Find or on the web.

Here is a table that shows the information you will need for a Works Cited/Reference List/Bibliography:

APA Author's Guide to PUblication MLA Style Guide

Reference List/Bibliography Information
Books Author
Publication Date
Chapters, Articles, or Essays in Books Author of the Chapter, Article, or Essay
Title of the Chapter, Article, or Essay
Name of the Book's Editor or Compiler
Title of the Book
Volume (if a multivolume set.)
Publication Date
Journal Articles Author
Journal Title
In addition, any references from GALILEO need the following...
ALL ARTICLES found on GALILEO/library databases Retrieved Date of Last Access
Name of database
DOI (a relatively short, numeric URL), persistent URL (for Project Muse or JSTOR), or permalink (a long URL for when all else fails)

Due to the consolidation, library databases offers a gateway to academic journal, publisher sites that are NOT part of GALILEO. You will often find your way to these via the Find It button. Articles from these journals are scholarly and high quality, but they count as web resources for works citeds or reference lists. To learn more about these resources visit You Know You're not in GALILEO When...

Beyond MLA Style

Other Citation Styles

Although MLA is the default style at Perimeter College at Georgia State University, science faculty at other institutions and the occasional science professor at Perimeter College may ask you to prepare your works cited, reference list, or bibliography  using a different style.

APA (American Psychological Assocation) style is common in the social sciences, nursing, and allied health. To learn about APA style visit Owl's APA pages. .

CSE/CBE (Council of Science Editors/Council of Biology Editors) style is the choice for papers in many science disciplines.

To learn more about citing resources in CBE/CSE style, try CSE/CBE Style from the University of Wisconsin Madison Writing Center and Writing Guides CSE -- Council of Science Editors from Colorado State University.

Note: both of these CBE/CSE style handouts are several years old. Also many institutions use local interpretations of standard styles. Please check with your professor or library for newer guides to this style.

ACS (American Chemical Society) is a style for chemistry papers. To learn more about how to cite resources in ACS style, try ACS -- American Chemical Society from Williams College.