How to Write a Reference

Journals

Learn to use RefWorks, which will take a reference from PubMed or other databases and automatically put in the citation style of your choice. It takes some time to learn, but there's a tutorial, and you'll never struggle with a citation again.

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)
The AIP Style Manual, 4th ed. provides guidance in writing, editing, and preparing physics manuscripts for publication and can be downloaded free of charge. Page nine includes citation examples.
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

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 (www.apastyle.org) 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.


Page last updated: 11/20/13

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