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

Citation Managers

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

  • Save and organize the sources you find while doing library research. You can 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. 

  • Automatically format in-text citations and generates a reference list / bibliography 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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