Citation (Part 1)

Reference or citation means making reference to a scientific source. To be more exact, we can say that citation is a short phrase consisting of letters or numbers in the text of a research paper to refer the readers to the reference section of the article. In sum, citation can mean both in-text references and bibliographic entries.

Why Should We Write the Citations?

  • CitationIncreasing the level of intellectual integrity (or avoiding plagiarism)
  • Provision of the right references for past research and ideas
  • Giving the readers the chance to realize whether the cited text matches the author’s claim
  • Helping the reader to check out the strengths and credibility of the sources

Citation depends on how the authors perceive the content of their research, their place in the academic system, and the ethical balance between the position, meaning, and words they provide. Despite these features, citation methods may have many drawbacks. For example, honorary citations (for the protection of a person’s status regardless of the content of their work), situational citations (as a situation requires), discrimination in citations, individual and contractual citations (based on individual criteria without any strong research basis).

Methods of Writing Article Citations

Different forms of citation belong to various citation systems such as Oxford, Harvard, MLA, American Sociological Association (ASA), American Psychological Association (APA), and other similar systems. Their rules and regulations are easy to understand for the readers. Each one of the citation systems has its own advantages and disadvantages. It is usually up to the editor to choose a system.

Bibliographic citation

It is defined as making reference to a book, article, web page, or other published materials. Citations should contain enough detail to describe the cited item . Different citation systems and styles are used in various fields, such as science, law, ancient art, different kinds of art and anthropology.

Content of the citation varies depending on the source and may include:

  • Book: Author(s), book title, place of publication, date of publication, and page number(s) if necessary.
  • Journal: Author(s), article title, Journal title, date of publication, and page number(s).
  • Newspaper: Author(s), article title, newspaper title, section title, page number(s), and if desired, date of publication.
  • Website: Author(s), article title, name of the publisher, and if required URL and date of access.

Unique Identifier

Besides information, such as the author(s), date of publication, title, and page number(s), citations can also have unique identifiers depending on the type of cited research:

  • ISBN for reference to books
  • Serial item and contribution identifier (SICI) or international standard serial number (ISSN) in reference to journals, or other periodicals
  • Digital Object ID (DOI) in citing electronic documents
  • PubMed (PMID) in citing biomedical research articles


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