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Research Methods at UF: Orientation to Library Literature: Citing Your Sources


What is a Citation?

What is a citation? A citation....

  • describes a book, journal article, website, or other published item
  • gives credit to the originator of an idea, thus preventing plagiarism
  • enables the reader to retrieve the item you refer to
  • includes the author, title, source (publisher and place of publication or URL), and date

A citation manager is a tool which helps you to store, organize and output your citations in the format you prefer.

Annotated Bibliography

An annotated bibliography is not the same as an abstract.  The annotation should include a summary of the published work plus your evaluation of its relevancy to your research topic.  For more information about annotated bibliographies, see the explanation at Purdue's Online Writing Lab.

Anatomy of a citation

To cite your references you will need to keep track of the following information for all your resources. We recommend using a Citation Management tool such as EndNote Web or Zotero.

  • Author(s)

  • Year

  • Article or Book Title

  • Journal Name for Article; Publisher Location for Book

  • Volume & Issue for Article; Publisher for Book

  • Pages

  • DOI

There are many citation styles; the citations below follow APA 7th edition.  Confirm what citation style is required by your professor or publisher.

Sample Journal article:

Baseggio, M., Newman, Y., Sollenberger, L. E., Fraisse, C., & Obreza, T. (2015). Planting rate and depth effects on Tifton 85 bermudagrass establishment using rhizomes. Crop Science, 55(3), 1338-1345. doi:10.2135/cropsci2014.09.0605

Sample Book:

Smith, C. W. & Dilday, R. H. (Eds.). (2003) Rice: Origin, history, technology and production. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons.

Options for Citation Management

All Citation Management Software allow you to collect, organize, and format citations. The Libraries support several citation software; compare them here.

  1. EndNote is a very sophisticated citation manager that offers the largest number of citation formats and options. It offers a plugin for MS Word so you can cite while you write. You can share citations. The downside is EndNote is not free, is limited to one computer, and is fairly expensive.
  2. EndNote Basic is web-based and is a simplified version of EndNote.  It has the ability to work in tandem with EndNote, as well as be a stand-alone system.  It has a 50,000 citation limit, and less citation styles than EndNote itself. To learn more about this free version of EndNote, visit  
  3. Mendeley is web-based and has the ability to add citations in MS Word.  Has a cool drag-n-drop feature with pdf attachments and allows you to share your citations in a social network. The downside is you are not able to edit citation styles. While we do not teach Mendeley, it is a popular and available system. 
  4. Zotero is a very easy-to-use open source tool. The program lives right in your Firefox browser! Using Zotero, it is especially easy to capture and save citations found on webpages, and to add notes and other information to saved citations for efficient and creative organization. Zotero also offers a plugin for MS Word so you can cite while you write. The downside is you are not able to edit citation styles. ZoteroBib is a free, simplified version of Zotero that is easy to use to create a copy-and-paste bibliography.
  5. SciWheel is another citation management tool supported by the Libraries. Sciwheel has a robust web importer and is one of the few citation management tools that inserts citations into GoogleDocs.

On Being a Scientist

Tips to Avoid Plagiarism

Be ethical. Give credit to your sources.

Plagiarism can have serious repercussions.

26 Guidelines for Avoiding Plagiarism, by M. Roig

Responsible Conduct of Research LibGuide

Test yourself: Gaming Against Plagiarism

Citation Management Workshops

UF Libraries offer hands-on workshops for EndNote Web and other citation management programs.  Click here to see the schedule and register for a class.

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