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ASTR 130: Origins and the Search for Life in the Universe: Citing Sources

A guide to resources, tools, and tips for completing your final project for Origins and the Search for Life in the Universe.

How is a reference manager different from something like EasyBib?

EasyBib can integrate with Google Docs and search WorldCat for books, but it doesn't provide many features of a fuller reference management system. Most reference managers:

  • Manage PDFs on your hard drive (Papers, EndNote, and Mendeley).
  • Integrate with MS Word via plug-ins (all).
  • Toggle among thousands of citation styles (all).
  • Save citations directly from academic databases with bookmarklets (all).

Citation Styles & Formats

Citation of Traditional & Online Materials

Journals, professors, and disciplines often have their own methods for formatting citations. The Geological Society of America (GSA) has a guide to citation styles. Other citation styles include the Chicago Manual of StylePublication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA), and the Modern Language Association (MLA) style.

Undergraduates: Ask your professor which citation style you should use. The most common ones for you are MLA, Chicago Manual of Style, or APA.

Graduate students: Different journals often have their own ways of managing citations. Information should be available on the citation style. If it isn't, E-mail your subject librarian and ask for help identifying how you should cite material for your submission. You can also talk to your adviser. We get these questions all the time.

Faculty: Undergraduates often know MLA, APA, and Chicago Manual of Style the best. If they have questions about citing information properly, direct them to the Center for Teaching and Learning's guide to using sources or to Purdue's OWL resource. Make sure they know that they need to cite images and multimedia materials as well as journal articles and books (if they use these kinds of materials at all, most likely in presentations).

Data Citation

There is no one standard for data citation. Generally, when using a data source, see if there is a standard data use policy that provides guidance on citation practices (i.e., grant references, format, authorship). If no citation policy can be found, please familiarize yourself with common data citation practices as detailed in this guide from DataOne.

Citing Images and Figures

Remember, if you are citing materials from another person, it all needs to be cited — even tables, figures, and images. Most citation styles contain explicit guidance on how to do this. If you cannot find information, please contact me and let me know!

Which Software Do We Have?