How to Write a Reference

Most Commonly Used Style Sheets at USciences

Which one should you choose? Check with your instructor.
Scientists, humanities scholars, and social scientists all use a different set of rules. These rules are called "style sheets."

Scholars in the humanities use either Turabian or MLA. Scientists and social scientists use different styles. See the examples below of which use one single-authored article in a continuously-paged paper journal to demonstrate numerous citation styles.

American Chemical Society (ACS)
The ACS Style Guide, 3rd ed. is available online (See the "References" section in Part 2, Chapter 14 for direction on citations). This is also available on reserve at the Circulation Desk.
Example: Dumpty, H. Can falls be prevented? J. Ovoid Stud. 1998, 55, 8-13.
See more examples for electronic and paper sources

American Institue of Physics (AIP)
To see examples of citations written in the style required by the American Institute of Physics (AIP), download any of the "Sample Manuscripts for AIP Journals" from this page, and refer to Table III. For more help in writing, editing, and preparing physics manuscripts for publication in AIP Journals, see the "Author Resource Center" section of the site.
Example: H. Dumpty, J. Ovoid Stud. 55, 8 (1998).
See the Citing Your Sources box on our Physics Guide for more on AIP

American Medical Association (AMA)
The AMA Manual of Style, 10th ed. is available online to several users at the same time.  If you see the message "the simultaenous user limit associated with your subscription has been exceeded", the maximum number of users has been reached.  Please wait and try again later.  In addition, the 10th Edition of the AMA Style Guide is on reserve at the Library's Circulation Desk.
Example: Dumpty HT. Can falls be prevented? J Ovoid Stud. 1998;55(1):8-13.
See more examples for electronic and paper sources
Watch "How to Use the AMA Manual of Style Online" (produced by publisher Oxford Press)

American Psychological Association (APA)
The Sixth Edition of the APA Publication Manual is available on reserve at the Circulation Desk. In addition, the accompanying website ( has suggestions for citing a variety of online and other resources in the Quick Answers--References and Frequently Asked Questions sections.
Example: Dumpty, H.T. (1998). Can falls be prevented? Journal of Ovoid Studies, 55 (1), 8-13.
More examples: electronic and paper sources.

Citing Medicine (National Library of Medicine (NLM))
Citing Medicine, 2nd edition is available free online.
Example: Dumpty HT. Can falls be prevented? J Ovoid Stud. 1998 Jan;55(1):8-13.

Council of Science Editors (CSE)
Example: Dumpty HT. 1998. Can falls be prevented? J Ovoid Studies. 55(1):8-13.
More examples: electronic and paper sources.

Modern Language Association (MLA)
Example: Dumpty, Hum T. "Can Falls Be Prevented?" Journal of Ovoid Studies 55.1 (1998): 8-13.
More examples: electronic and paper sources.

Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals (Vancouver)
Use Citing Medicine, 2nd edition.
Example: Dumpty HT. Can falls be prevented? J Ovoid Stud. 1998 Jan;55(1):8-13.

Style manuals for ACS, AMA, APA, CSE, and MLA are available in the Library. The Writing Center also has many style manuals. You may ask for help creating a reference at the Library's Reference Desk, or Ask A Librarian online.

Looking for the style a particular journal uses? Check here for links to the "Instructions to Authors" from 3500 journals.

Applications for Citation Management

RefWorks is the library's supported citation management application for creating bibliographies. RefWorks can take a reference from PubMed or other databases and automatically put in the citation style of your choice. RefWorks users can build a bibliography of citations, and can find the full text of articles from the library's collection by clicking the "Check for Full Text USciences" icon. Tutorials are included on the RefWorks site to help you get started using this useful tool.

Please note:

  • Because RefWorks is licensed by the library for use by USciences users, first-time users must create their own unique Login Name and Password to access RefWorks. Look for the "Sign Up for a New Account" link on the RefWorks homepage.
  • The Login Name and Password are used to access RefWorks both on and off-campus.
  • If you choose to download Refworks' "Write-N-Cite" plugin for MS Word (available for PC and Mac), you may be prompted to enter a "group code" when installing the "Write-N-Cite" plugin. Our group code is: RWUSciPhil
  • Setting Up Write ‘n Cite in Microsoft Word on a PC—in Words and PicturesPC users can refer to our guide to downloading and installing the RefWorks "Write ‘n Cite" plugin for Microsoft Word.


Attention Zotero users:
The free citation management application Zotero can also allow users to find the full text of articles from the library's collection, though this feature must be manually enabled. A URL called a "link resolver URL" or "link resolver base URL" is required to complete the setup. If needed for Zotero, or for another research-managment tool, please note that the J.W. England Library's link resolver base URL is:








Page last updated: 5/7/15

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