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The University of Iowa Libraries

Lichtenberger Engineering Library

Citing Sources

Citation format instruction for technical & scientific writing.

Definition and Its Importance

When doing research it is often necessary to consult other research. When you use an idea or statistic that comes from another source, you need to reference that source; failure to do so is considered plagiarism.

The citation is the reference to that original source (i.e., book, paper, article, web site, etc.).

A citation usually includes four important pieces of information:

  • author(s)
  • title
  • publication
  • date

Citing sources gives credit to the original author, enables readers to find the original source and strengthens your work.