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School of Natural Resources & Environment

Why Cite?

We cite sources for several reasons:

  • To prove our information came from a credible source
  • To place our work in the context of others' 
  • To distinguish our work and ideas from others'
  • To give enough detail for others to consult our sources

Anatomy of an citation - APA 7th Edition

There are thousands of citation styles. One popular example is APA 7th edition. Be sure to check out the tutorial.

To cite your references properly, you must track the following information for all your resources:

Padilla, PB, & Nogales M (2009). Behavior of Kestrels Feeding on Frugivorious Lizards: Implications for Food Dispersal. Behavioral Ecology, 20(4), 872-877

  • Author(s)
  • Year
  • Article Title
  • Journal Title
  • Volume(Issue)
  • Pages
  • DOI or URL

Be sure to use a citation manager such as EndNote Online to store, organize and manage your citations!

 

Criteria for Evaluating a Resource

When evaluating a resource, whether it is print or internet-based, there are questions  use these questions to determine if it is high quality and a good match for your project or paper:

  • Authority
    Who created the resource? Are the author, organization, affiliations, and publisher clearly shown? If the page is web-based does it link to information about the organization? Do the author have credentials or expertise in the subject matter? Is the resource from a government agency, university, company, non-profit organization?

  • Accuracy
    Is the information contained in the source properly cited? Is there a bibliography or reference list? Can you verify the information in other sources? Is the information free of grammatical, spelling, and typographical errors? Are the statistical data clearly explained? Are charts and graphs properly represented and cited?

  • Objectivity
    Is the resource free of advertising, or is any advertising clearly separated from the content? Is there any bias? Is the sponsoring organization biased or motivated to report facts from a particular perspective?

  • Currency
    When was the information gathered? When was the resource created? When was it updated/ revised? Is it kept current? Is currency critical to your topic?

  • Coverage
    Is the information complete? Does it cover the subject in depth? Does it match your information needs?

These criteria were adapted from a worksheet used by the Widener Science Library.

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