Citations!

As always, there are many questions about citations. When publishing in scientific journals, there is never just one accepted format like APA or MLA. Each journal has it’s own style, but they are all generally variations on a theme:

In text:

“ … (Author Last Name(s) Year Published).”

OR

“Author Last Name (Year Published) found that …”

Full:

Author 1 Last, First Initial, Author 2 Last, First Initial. Year Published. Article title. Journal title volume: start page – end page.

Here are some full citation examples that include different information depending on the publication type.

Journal Article:

Walker-Meikle, K. 2014. Toxicology and treatment: medical authorities and snake-bite in the Middle Ages. Korot 22: 85-104.

Here’s a link to the article online.

Note that the citation information might not be immediately obvious. There is a link to download the PDF. A PDF will show how the article looked when it was published and will include all the necessary citation information.

Also note: Although I found the article online, the original publication was the journal Korot, so the website, online repository (NCBI), and URL should not be included in the citation. Additionally, only the first word of article titles and proper nouns are capitalized.

Book:

Nature Publishing Group. 2016. Principles of Biology. MacMillan: online. 568-624.

This is the citation for our ebook. It is not published by Sapling – that’s a different Principles of Biology.

Note: this is somewhat unconventional for two reasons: For printed material you give the name of the publisher and city of publication (separated by a colon). However, since this book is published online, there isn’t any publication city mentioned in the book. Also, this book is written by such a large group of people that they prefer to be recognized as an organization rather than individuals.

Blog/News Site:

Mayor, A. 2012. Treating a snake bite in antiquity. Wonders & Marvels. Accessed Feb 23, 2017. http://www.wondersandmarvels.com/2012/08/treating-snake-bite-in-antiquity.html.

If you go to that webpage, you’ll find there isn’t a publication date on the page. However, if you look in the URL, you’ll find the publication date stamp. There may also be a “last updated” date toward the bottom of the article for other sites.

In the case of a web page the “article title” is the title of the page and the “journal title” is the name of the web site. If it’s a news site, the “journal title” is the (e)newspaper title.

Sometimes finding an author can be hard, and organizations may want to take credit.

Mayo Clinic Staff. 2014. Heart Disease Symptoms. Mayo Clinic. Accessed Feb 23, 2017. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-disease/basics/symptoms/con-20034056.

This article gave the Mayo Clinic Staff credit in the byline, but you may have to search other websites for authorship information. Look for pages labeled “use”, “citations”, “copyright”, or something similar to find out how they prefer to be cited.

In text citations can be a little tricky too. Typically, you make a statement and include a parenthetical in-text citation with author(s) and year published at the end of the sentence:

Ancient Romans treated snakebites by sucking the venom from the wound (Walker-Meikle 2014).

If there are two or more sources that provide evidence to support your claim, then separate them with semicolons. You may cite as many sources of evidence as are necessary to support a claim.

Ancient Romans treated snakebites by sucking the venom from the wound (Walker-Meikle 2014; Mayor 2012).

You can rephrase a statement to include the author’s name to give credit a different way, but don’t forget the parenthetical citation!

According to the Mayo Clinic Staff (2014), heart disease symptoms include shortness of breath, pain or weakness in the arms, and angina.

If there are two authors for the same article, list them both in the in text citation. If there are more authors do the following:

Ancient Romans treated snakebites by sucking the venom from the wound (Walker-Meikle et al. 2014).

et al.” is an abbreviation of et alii (neuter pleural), meaning “and others” in Latin. It is abbreviated because form technically depends on gender of the authors.

I hope that clears most issues up!