Citing & Citation Management

Academic writing, whether theses, assignments, reports or scholarly articles, often involves summarizing, paraphrasing, or quoting sources of information that need to be cited. Knowing how to cite another person's work properly helps you to:

  • give credit and acknowledge their ideas
  • direct readers to the sources on which your research is based
  • avoid plagiarism

Citing sources manually can be very time intensive. Citation management software (i.e., citation managers) can help save you time by formatting in-text citations and bibliographies for you in the citation style of your choice. In addition to being a great tool for academic writing, citation managers can also help you collect, organize, and annotate information sources (including full-text PDFs) for other purposes.

Please see our citation management library guides for more information:

Citation styles

Citation styles are a set of rules or standards established by a specific society, association, or publisher for documenting various sources of information. These sources of information may include journal publications, books, thesis, online sources, unpublished manuscripts, magazines, etc. Detailed descriptions of the citation styles (often known as Style Manuals or Publication Manuals) can be found on the websites of those societies, associations or publishers who set and maintain the citation standards. Styles may be revised from time to time in which case new or up-dated Manuals are released. It is a good practice to consult the original Publication Manuals for updates.

Different disciplines use different citation styles therefore it is important to know which citation style is most popular in your discipline. Ask your instructor which citation styles you should use in your assignments.

ACS style guide (American Chemical Society)

APA style (American Psychological Association)

ASA style (American Sociological Association)

ASCE style (American Society of Civil Engineers)

CSE style (Council of Science Editors)

Formerly CBE and used in biology and other natural science disciplines

Chicago style

Widely used in the humanities and social science, and history in particular

Harvard style

Harvard is a style of referencing primarily used by university students to cite information resources

IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers)

Commonly used in Engineering especially in Electrical and Computer Engineering

  • IEEE Citation Reference  A guide in PDF from Bath University that provides an overview of IEEE Citation Style Components to be used as a quick reference.
  • IEEE Editorial Style Manual The IEEE Style Manual (2020) includes information on the consistent use of:punctuation, capitalization, abbreviations, section headings, numbers, equations, footnotes, references, and biographies. 
  • IEEE Style Guide with examples (Murdoch University) 

MLA (Modern Languages Association)

Used in literature, arts, and the humanities

Turabian style

Used in many disciplines in humanities, social sciences, and sciences and is a variation of the Chicago style

Vancouver style

Used in the health sciences disciplines

Special formats of material

Business sources

The following guide will help you cite business sources in APA style:

Data and statistics

The following guides provide citation examples for data and statistics:

Government publications

The following guides provide general citation examples for different types of government publications and are intended to supplement, not replace, standard citation manuals such as Chicago, MLA, etc.

Legal materials

The Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation (popularly known as "the McGill Guide") is the authoritative source in Canada for citing legal materials.

Unofficial legal citation information available on the web:

Maps and other cartographic materials

Music

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EndNote @ Queen's

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