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Summer Bridge 2020: Citing Sources

An introduction to the library and its services and resources for the 2020 Summer Bridge program

What does it mean when I'm asked to cite my sources?

Any writing produced for university credit MUST attribute its sources. If you report an idea or concept in your writing that is not yours -- i.e., you didn't think of it first -- will have to be accompanied with a citation to the article, book or other resource from which you got the idea.

Citation Formats

Different citation formats are used by different academic disciplines.  Professors will often require a particular format, but if they have no preference these guidelines may be helpful:

  • APA - psychology, education, and other social sciences
  • MLA - literature, arts, and humanities
  • Turabian - designed for college students to use with all subjects
  • Chicago - used with all subjects in the "real world" by books, magazines, newspapers and other non-scholarly publications

Finding Citations in Academic Search Complete

Most databases include ready-made citations to articles. These can usually be found with a "Cite" button or icon. To find citations to articles in Academic Search Complete, click on the article's title to get the full article's record, or on the "HTML Full Text" or "PDF Full Text" links to get the full text of the article.

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This is the database record for the above article. Look to the right side of the webpage. You'll see a line of icons. The "Cite" icon looks like a document page.
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When you click the "Cite" icon, you'll have the option to choose a citation for the article in several formats. Here, you see the citation for this article in APA and Chicago/Turabian formats.

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Finding Citations in Melvyl

When you search Melvyl for books, videos, and other materials in UC Merced's library, you'll find that the citations for the materials are readily available to you from the catalog records, and that those citations can be generated in many different formats. Here's an example.

Let's say you want to cite, "Small Freshwater Creatures" by Lars-Erik Olsen et al. Look at the lower right corner of the record. You'll see a small "Cite" button, circled here in red.

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When you click the Cite button, you'll get a popup window with a pulldown menu ("Select a citation style," red arrow) that allows you to generate a citation for "Small Freshwater Creatures" in whatever citation format you choose.

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If you choose APA 7th edition, you'll get a citation for "Small Freshwater Creatures" in APA format:

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You can cut-and-past the citation to a Word document, or export the citation to RefWorks, a citation manager to which you have access as a UC Merced student. You can find out more about RefWorks here.