Citation: Describes the source so that others can locate it. Includes publication information, author name, and various other pieces of information, depending on type of source and style requirements.
Citation Style: Provides guidelines for consistent method to follow for documenting sources and for writing style. Some styles are much more flexible than others.
Works Cited: List of sources that were used to prepare the work.
Bibliography: Detailed list of all sources consulted during research even if the sources were not directly referred to in the content of the paper/presentation.
Annotated Bibliography: Annotations can be added to a bibliography to provide a summary of content, value, and quality of the source.
Online APA Style Resources
APA Guides at Hardin
Different Types of Sources
Primary sources are those that are a direct report by the author who was involved in the research or experience and is reporting the results shortly after completion. Emphasis should be on relaying facts with minimal analysis. Primary source designation does not necessarily indicate a high level of quality. However, all original research falls into this classification, and original research may be required for many assignments. Examples: clinical trials, case reports, research reports.
Secondary sources aim to review or summarize several to many primary resources. Quality is variable. Some of these, such as well constructed systematic reviews, have tremendous value. There is more focus on interpretation. Examples include: reviews and guidelines.
Tertiary sources may be a compilation of both primary and secondary sources. Sometimes, textbooks fall under this category. Encyclopedias, directories, and manuals may be examples of this type.
Using Secondary and Tertiary Sources: These sources are often the first places to look for information to provide background on a topic. Library owned or subscribed resources have been carefully chosen and are usually of reasonable quality.
Peer Reviewed Journals
The peer review process ensures that articles submitted to a journal are subjected to review by subject experts, sometimes rigorous, prior to publication. Most library databases, which allow you to conduct a search by topic, offer a feature that can limit your results by peer reviewed publications. Still, it is possible to retrieve a poorly written commentary from a high quality publication. If you are utilizing a database or tool that does not offer this limit, you can use the Ulrich's periodical dictionary, also available on the Health Sciences databases A-Z list, to determine if a journal is refereed (synonym for peer reviewed).
Using and Evaluating Web Resources
It is easy to locate much more information using free web resources than necessary. Often, conflicting information adds complication to the research process. Try to get in the habit of using advanced features in search engines to improve the quality of results retrieved. Also, use web resources to get a sense of a topic, but be aware that you will need to evaluate these sources carefully before considering them reliable. One way to approach web site analysis is the CRAAP test, developed by Meriam Library in Chico, CA.
C= currency R= relevance A= authority A= accuracy P= purpose
Citing your Sources
Consider using a citation management software, such as RefWorks or Endnote, to simplify the process of collecting, organizing, and formatting your citations. The library offers group instruction or individual consultation for both tools. For more information about either tool, view the citing sources guide.
In the biomedical sciences and allied health fields, the most popular citation styles are the APA Style (American Psychological Association) and Vancouver Style (also known as the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals) (http://www.icmje.org/)
APA style is commonly used in the nursing and allied health fields.
Citation builders may help you learn the basics of formatting references.
What to Cite?
Here's a short list of reasons you should cite:
--To avoid plagiarism
--To give credit where deserved
--To help your readers with their research
--To indicate that there is support for your argument or idea
What needs to be cited?
--Direct quotes, sentences, or phrases
--Paraphrases, which are summarized or re-phrased content
--Articles or studies that you refer to in your paper
--Historical or statistical facts
--Graphs, images, or charts
--Use of author's argument
What does not need to be cited?
--Proverbs and very well-known quotations
--Common knowledge. This may be difficult to determine. Think about facts that are common knowledge for a well-educated adult (you could even have a test subject). When in doubt, however, cite.
What about information I find on the web?
--You need to cite it unless it meets criteria above
Are we missing something?
Know of a great resource that is not on this list? Let us know!