Skip to Main Content

Nursing Resources: Citing Sources

Resources for anyone affiliated with the University of Iowa College of Nursing or University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

Citing your Sources

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 ( APA is used by nursing and most allied health sciences disciplines.

Consider using a citation management software to simplify the process of collecting, organizing, and formatting your citations. UI Libraries has a campus wide subscription to EndNote.and offers individual or group training on this resource. Refer to the EndNote guide to get started.

There are a number of tools which may help you get started with formatting, including citation managers, EBSCO databases, the Infohawk+ catalog, and other citation generators. These resources are intended to get you started, but there may be errors.It is advised that a review of all formatted references is done to ensure accuracy. 


Jennifer DeBerg

Profile Photo
Jennifer DeBerg


What is plagiarism? A form of academic misconduct, either accidental or deliberate

What constitutes plagiarism?

--Using other's results or methods without permission and referencing

--Borrowing writing or words from any source, without proper referencing

More information on plagiarism can be found on the UI Libraries Guide on Copyright


UI Writing Center

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


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.