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Library FAQs (prior to COVID19)

Answers to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the Library and its resources. #LibraryFAQ

Is citing the same as referencing?

Yes, citing is the same as referencing. When you use books and other information sources to write an assignment, it is important to give credit for the ideas you use that aren't yours. This is called citing. Every source you use must have a citation (also called a reference) that gives the details like author, title, etc. Not citing your sources properly could be considered a form of plagiarism.
For more information on how to cite, visit our Unlocking Research guide.

Tags: research, citing, referencing, plagiarism

Where can I find the information I need to cite this

There are several ways (“styles”) of citing your sources. The most common styles are MLA, APA and Chicago. The style you should use depends on various factors, such as the subject area of your course or your teacher’s preference. Be sure to check with your professor about his/her preferred citation style before you start your list of references. Check other questions in this FAQ for detailed information about citing in each specific style. If you already know what citation style you are using, the rest of this answer will help you find the information you need to create the actual citation.

Citation information for a book can be found on the title page and the verso (back side) of the title page. For most citation styles, the main pieces of information you will need are the title, author, publisher, date of publication, and city of publication.  The image below shows you where to locate the necessary information for your citation.

To cite an article, you will need information on the author, title, date, page numbers, and journal that the article was published in (including the volume and issue number, if available). If you are using APA style, you will also need to provide the article’s “DOI”. A DOI (“Digital Object Identifier”) is a unique alphanumeric code (a string of numbers and letters) that identifies the document. To find out more about DOIs and learn how to locate them, visit our APA page on the Unlocking Research guide.

It is easiest to find this information in the journal database where you found the article itself. For this reason, it is best to keep track of your citations while you are still doing your research. If you forgot to note down your citation and you need to get it without returning to the journal database, you can also get the information you need from the first couple of pages of the article itself.

When you click on an article within a journal database, the overview page for the article will provide (some of) the citation information. Below is a screenshot of an article overview page from ProQuest Research Library showing the important citation information. Overview pages in other databases will have a similar structure. You can find this same information in many places in the database and on the article itself. If you need citation details that are not listed on the overview page (such as the DOI), the “Abstract/Details” page may offer further information.

Web documents can be the most confusing sources to find citation information for. After all, anybody can create a website, and there are no regulations about what information has to be included or where that information should be located! You will need to be a good detective to find all the information you need to cite an article on a website (including author, title, date, publisher, and url).

Although every website is different, one good rule of thumb is to check the periphery (the edges) of the webpage for citation information. In particular, information on the publisher is often available at the bottom of a webpage:

Note that sometimes, the information you need just won’t be available (in particular, a particular piece of writing on a website might not have an author, a title, or a publication date listed at all!). Check out the specific web-resource guides for Chicago, APA, and MLA style to find out what to do if citation information you need is missing from the website you are trying to cite.

Tags: research, citing, referencing, books, articles, websites

How do I cite in APA citation style?

To learn how to cite resources in APA style (including in-text citations and list of references), consult our Unlocking Research guide. This page will also explain to you what a DOI is and where to find it.

Tags: research, citing, referencing, APA, bibliography, works cited, references

How do I cite in Chicago citation style?

To learn how to cite resources in Chicago style, consult our Unlocking Research guide. This page will also explain to you how to shorten your subsequent footnotes.

Tags: research, citing, referencing, Chicago, bibliography, works cited, references

How do I create footnotes for my Chicago citations?

Chicago citation requires the use of footnotes. To create a new footnote in an MS Word document, click on the “REFERENCES” tab and then click “Insert Footnote”.

Tags: research, citing, referencing, Chicago, footnotes, formatting

How do I format my citations with hanging indentations?

Many citation styles, including APA, MLA, and Chicago, ask you to use hanging indentation to produce your list of references. To create a hanging indentation in MS Word, click on the small arrow at the bottom right of the “Paragraph” section of the Home menu OR right click to open the popup menu and select "Paragraph". A window will open offering you more options for changing your paragraph formatting. Under the “Indentation” section, click on the dropdown menu labeled “Special” and select “Hanging”:

Tags: research, citing, referencing, hanging indent, formatting

How do I cite in MLA citation style?

To learn how to cite resources in MLA style (including in-text citations and list of works cited), consult our Unlocking Research guide.

Tags: research, citing, referencing, MLA, bibliography, works cited, references