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Introduction to Library Research

Begin here to start your research papers

Why bother with citations?

  • Academic Integrity
  • Plagiarism Avoidance
  • Source fact-checking and validation

Useful Citation Websites

The Online Writing Lab at Purdue (OWL Purdue) - Excellent resource. In addition to their up-to-date versions of the most popular citation styles, they also host a number of helpful handouts dealing with writing and grammar.

APA Style Guide Online - Style and grammar guidelines with examples.

CSE (Council of Science Editors) - Citation and style often used with the natural sciences. This quick citation guide provided by PennState University Libraries.

CitationMachine, EasyBib, BibMe, etc. - These online tools can be helpful, but it's always best to check your citations against the official models available at OWL Purdue, or the stylebooks available in the library (ask at the Circulation Desk).

Style Manuals Online

These style manuals are available through the library's database collection.

Citation Managers do your citation automatically!

By installing a plugin into your browser and Microsoft Word, these Citation Managers can almost do all your citations for you. Be sure to ask for help if you have difficulties setting things up.

How to tell what a source is by the citation

When you are researching in the databases, you'll come across all different kinds of sources. These sources include book chapters, magazine articles, data sets, book reviews, academic research articles, ebooks, and more.  Sometimes it's hard to distinguish between, for example, an article in a journal and a book chapter. 

Some quick tips:

ARTICLES will typically have a volume and/or issue number in the citation. 

BOOKS will have only one title and the name of the publisher after the title.  

BOOK CHAPTERS will have the title of the chapter and the title of the book as well as the publisher. You can tell it's a book chapter because there won't be a volume or issue number. 

Please note that the citation indentations may not be correct on your screen depending on size. Here are some examples to help you recognize what you are looking at - 



Below are two examples of article citations from an article in the database JSTOR.


Ortega, Jorge, et al. “Florida Manatees.” Journal of Mammalogy, vol. 99, no. 5, 2018, pp. 1270–

71JSTOR, Accessed 29 Nov. 2023.

You can tell this is an article for a couple of reasons: 

  • The title is in quotes.
  • The periodical (journal) is in italics after the title.
  • There is a volume and issue number after the journal name. 


Ortega, J., Juarez-Maldonado, R., & Reynolds, J. E. (2018). Florida manatees [Review of Florida

Manatees: Biology, Behavior and Conservation, by W. Lynch]. Journal of Mammalogy99(5), 1270–1271.

Different bibliographic styles will sometimes give you more or less information and occur in different areas of the citation, but they have the same indicators of what they are. In this case, this is an article in a journal that is a book review. 

  • The title is followed by a subtitle in brackets which lets you know that this is a review of a book.
  • The periodical (journal) is in italics after the title.  
  • The volume and issue number are located after the journal name (in a different format than the first example).



Mikkelsen, Paula M., and Rüdiger Bieler. Seashells of Southern Florida: Living Marine Mollusks of the

Florida Keys and Adjacent Regions: Bivalves. Princeton University Press, 2008. JSTOR, Accessed 29 Nov. 2023.

A couple of indicators that this is an ebook:

  • The title is in italics.
  • There is a publisher.
  • There is no volume or issue number. 



Simbeck, R., & CASADA, J. (2020). Loggerhead Sea Turtle. In The Southern Wildlife Watcher: Notes of a

Naturalist (pp.102–107). University of South Carolina Press.

If the database doesn't explicitly indicate that this is a book chapter as it does above, the citation will give you clues:

  • There are two names: one is the title of the book chapter, and one is the title of the book.
  • You can tell this is a book chapter and not an article because it has the name of the publisher, and no volume or issue number. 



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