research papers

How to Cite References in Research Papers

Aug 14, 2012
Research papers generally include a list of references that cites books, articles, databases, journals information that is abstracted from online sources such as Chemical Abstracts, Medline, scientific publications etc. Cross references in research papers also present readers and book enthusiasts with information that can be used by to search additional material and represents professional honesty and courtesy that is based on the responsibilities that writers share with readers; needless to mention, it also reflects scholarly authority. The sole purpose behind listing references at the end of the research papers is to facilitate readers with supporting information, ideas and evidence. The references cited must be precise and complete as accurately cited references help establish the writer's credibility as a serious author or researcher.

Research Papers - Referencing Tips

While writing a research paper, you must keep in mind a few tips that would help you cite relevant references in your work as well as provide valuable additional information. Throughout your research paper, which comprises of the introduction, discussion and the conclusion, you must refer to external sources of information in the most simplest means by using parenthesis which shares information on the authors last name followed by et al., year of publication etc. (for ex: Waterman et al., 2012). The next thing is to be sure to report the significant aspects of the work clearly and briefly in your own words, followed by relevant reference. Additionally, citing references would also be related to proper understanding of the available standard text citation formats.
Today, three styles of citation are most commonly used in research papers, (APA, MLA and Turabian). There are several exceptions among the various journals, but as a rule in biological journals, citations are indicated in red. In case of references to be cited from textbooks, the last name of the author (s) and the year of publication with the page number (Clarke., 1952: p.209) have to be provided. This helps the reader to be able to locate the exact page from which the citation has been made. Further, the references section at the end of the research paper must contain a complete list of references that can be looked up by the reader. In some instances, when you have only two authors, you need to cite both authors' last names (e.g., Click and Smith., 1981). Publications with more than two authors are generally cited by providing the first authors last name followed" or "et al" (co-workers), and then the year of publication.
If you would like to cite a research paper found in another paper or journal, you may follow the example provided (Lawson 1943, in Laatsch 1999). Alternatively, if you are citing a list of references, each reference must be separated by semicolons for ex: Lawson 1943; Clarke 2011; Laatsch 1990). In order to cite more complex or special resources such as manuscripts, legislative publications and audiovisual items, one needs to check various research and writing resources such as the Cyberspace Reference Library. Finally, you must remember to place of the period after the parenthetical citation - keeping in mind that the citation is also part of the sentence, e.g., "...principles of chromatography and its applications to biotechnology (Lawson 1943; Clarke 2011; Laatsch 1990)."
Keeping the above points in mind, you are sure to cite your references accurately.
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By Martha Buckly. Martha is a good freelance writer and loves sharing posts on different topics including tips and guidelines for articles and academic writing. Her professional experience helps to create interesting and useful material.

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