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Health Sciences

Why cite references?

Why are references important? The primary reason for citing references is to give credit to authors whose ideas contributed to the current work. An equally important function is to provide sufficient bibliographic information about the work cited such that the reader is able to identify and obtain the original work.

Regardless of the style used, most journal article citations include the following elements:

  • Author(s)
  • Title of the article
  • Journal in which the article is published
  • Year of publication
  • Volume of the journal
  • Issue of the journal
  • Page numbers
  • doi (if available)

... and most book citations include these elements:

  • Author(s) or editor(s)
  • Title of the book
  • Location of publisher (city, state (optional), and country (optional))
  • Name of publisher
  • Year of publication

Selected Style Manuals

AMA (American Medical Association), 10th ed., 2007

APA (American Psychological Association) Publication Manual, 6th ed., revised, 2010.

Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed. (2010); 17th ed (2017)

Citing Medicine: the NLM (National Library of Medicine) Style Guide for Authors, Editors, and Publishers, 2nd ed., 2007

ICMJE Recommendations ("The Uniform Requirements")

Scientific Style and Format, 8th ed., 2014, Council of Science Editors

Vancouver Style

Citation Management Software

When it comes to handling references, citation managers can be enormously helpful. Not only can they automatically generate properly formatted citations based on the selected style, they can also insert citations into the text of your paper and generate a bibliography at the end of the paper.

UVM supports three citation management software programs: EndNote, Zotero, and Mendeley. Which program you use will depend upon your needs and aptitudes, and on the traditions and preferences of your particular department or discipline.