As you research, you will want to keep track of all the information you are finding. One way to do this is to use a citation management program like Zotero or EndNote. Citation management programs let you store, retrieve and organize your citations. There are some free programs you may wish to try out before committing to an expensive software purchase:
Manage your citations with Zotero. Zotero is a Firefox plug-in. You can capture citations, organize them into folders, attach pdf files,etc. See the research guide to help you get started.
EndNote is a personal citation/bibliography manager software program that helps researchers organize references in a database (called a library). References in the library can be used to easily create bibliographies and format references in word processing software.
EndNote Web is the web-based version of EndNote and can be accessed, for free, by any OSU student, faculty or staff. EndNote is not as fully-featured as the client version but all of the basic features are available. Additionally, EndNote client users can move references between their computer and EndNote Web.
There are certain basic things you need to cite just about any source, using just about any format:
- The AUTHOR (or creator) of the work. This may be one person, many people, or a group or organization.
- The TITLE OF THE WORK itself. For example, the article title, the book title, the chapter title, etc.
- The JOURNAL or the PUBLISHER. For an article, you include the name of the specific magazine or journal. For a book, the publishing house.
- The PUBLICATION DATE.
There are also certain things that must be included for specific types of works. For example, for an article or a book chapter, you would provide page numbers. For a website, you would provide the URL.
The moment when you are most likely to have easy access to all of this information? When you find it in the first place. Know then what you need to take note of to cite it effectively later.
Cite your sources using the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA) 6th edition.
There is a copy of the APA Style Manual at the Information Desk in the Valley Library and there are copies in the collection you can check out at BF76.7 P83 2010b (6th floor).
Many of the databases provide citation assistance. Take a look for the icon or link to "Cite this article" or "Choose a bibliographic style." These sometimes only show up when you go to print, save, or email the article, and different databases use different terminology.
Always check your references for accuracy! Database citation "machines," while a great help, often get the little things wrong, so review the citation before you add it to your bibliography.
There are also some online sources to help you:
To learn what plagiarism is and how to avoid it, use the tutorial below:
- Oops, I Plagiarized Carlos & Eddie learn how to avoid plagiarism. UCLA Library
Learn about OSU's Academic Dishonesty policy.