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Citations 101

Step 1: Create Folders to Stay Organized

Most academic article databases have citation tools embedded within them. Using these tools you can:

  • Create folders to stay organized.
  • Format your citations.
  • Email, print or save your sources.


Step 1. Create Folders

Most library databases will allow you to create folders.  Look for a link, or a folder icon.  Here is an example using the 1Search tool.  Use the folder icon next to the source to save the source to a folder. Use the folder icon at the top of the page to open the folder:

screen shot from Summon 2.0 with folders highlighted


Folders will not look the same in every database; you may have to try a few things to figure out how they work in different contexts.

Step 2: Format Citations

Many research tools (including databases, dictionaries and encyclopedias) include tools for formatting citations.

Here is an example from an EBSCO article database -- once you have clicked on an article, you can choose Cite from the Tools Menu to get a list of formatted citations that you can cut and paste into your document. 

Screenshot from EBSCO with format option highlighted

Here is another example, from the Oxford English Dictionary.

Screenshot of the entry for the word citation in the Oxford English Dictionary with the cite option highlighted

You can also format citations when you email them to yourself.  Go to #3 (below) to see how.

Step 3: Email, Save or Print Formatted Citations

Most databases will allow you to save or email items to yourself.  When you do this - look to see if they will also allow you to format your citations.  Here's an example from a CSA (Cambridge Science Abstracts) database.

From within a folder or article record, look for the save/print/email option:

screenshot of a CSA database with the save print email options highlighted

When you have selected an option (in this case, email) you should see a ticky box or drop-down menu that allows you to specify a citation style:

screenshot of the CSA email function with citation styles highlighted