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BCS: Scientific Literature: Library Tutorial: Citation Style

This guide provides step-by-step instructions for scientific research using Long Library resources.

Citation Style

Citation formatting follows the guidleines for submission to Evolution: The Journal of Organic Evolution shown below. For more detail, go to:

Literature Cited should be double-spaced. References should be listed in alphabetical order at the end of your manuscript. References to papers by one or two authors in the text should be in full; e.g., "(Able and Charles 1986)." If the number of authors exceeds two, they should always be abbreviated. e.g.: "(Frank et al. 1986)." NOTE: Normally authors of cited works are denoted by last name and initials. However, in cases where two or more authors share the same last name and initials, they should be distinguished by inclusion of full names.

Examples of the Evolution reference style are given below:

Carlson, L. D., and M. Schmidt, eds. 1999. Global climatic change in the new millennium. 2nd ed. Vol. 1. The coming deluge. Oxford Univ. Press, Oxford, U.K.

IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe. 2004. Global amphibian assessment. Available at Accessed October 15, 2008.

Michaels., D. R., Jr., and V. Smirnov. 1999. Postglacial sea levels on the western Canadian continental shelf: revisiting Cope’s rule. Marine Geol. 125(Suppl.):1654-1669.

Michaels, D. R., and V. Smirnov. 2001. Postglacial sea levels on the western Canadian continental shelf: revisiting Cope’s rule. Marine Geol.: In press.

Sidlauskas, B. 2007. Data from: Testing for unequal rates of morphological diversification in the absence of a detailed phylogeny: a case study from characiform fishes. Dryad Digital Repository. doi:10.5061/dryad.20.

NOTE: The basic format for citing electronic resources is: Author's Last Name, First initial. Title of data package (e.g., Data from “Article name”). Data Repository Name, Data identifier (or DOI), address/URL.

Avoiding Plagiarism

When you quote, paraphrase, summarize, or otherwise refer to the work of another, you are required to cite its source, either with a parenthetical citation, footnote, or endnote.  Not to do so is considered plagiarism. Anything you write or create that uses or refers to the ideas of another person must be cited properly, this includes:

  • direct quotations
  • paraphrasing of passages
  • indebtedness to another person for an idea
  • use of another student's work
  • use of your own previous work

You do not need to cite common knowledge. For example, you do not need to cite the fact that Thomas Jefferson was the third president of the United States, but you would need to cite your source for the types of crops he grew at Monticello.

Tips to help avoid plagiarism.

Before starting your research, identify the appropriate citation style according to the academic discipline and/or media format. Check with your instructor about which style you should use.