Chemical Engineering

Citing Your Sources

When you do scientific research, you are entering into a conversation between scholars and building upon the work of others. It is important to cite the existing works of others whenever you use a source for inspiration, background information, comparison, quoting/paraphrasing, data, procedures, and anything else. Careful citing continues the scientific conversation in the following ways: 

  • Citations enable other researchers to look backwards to previous works (and forward to future works).
  • A reference list demonstrates to your reader that you have done background research and used reliable sources.
  • Proper citing of others' work helps you avoid plagiarism by giving credit to other authors in an ethical manner. 

Citation Managers

There are a number of citation managers (also called reference managers) available to use. These programs are designed for students and researchers and they have the following capabilities: 

  • Save and organize the sources you read while doing library research.
  • Add notes, tags, PDFs, and other files to keep all of your research findable when you need it. 
  • Import citation information from the library catalog, journal articles, databases, ebooks, and other online sources. 
  • Format in-text citations and reference lists while you write in the citation style of your choice.
  • Share your citation library with project team members so that everyone can add, edit, and use the same pool of resources.

Here are some recommended citation managers:


Tell me more about Citation Managers.
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