Whenever you use someone else's words or ideas in your paper or presentation, you must indicate that this information is borrowed by citing your source. This applies to written sources you've used, such as books, articles and web pages, as well as other formats, such as images, sounds, TV/film clips, and DVDs. Failure to cite such sources may be considered plagiarism. Avoid distress and embarrassment by following a few simple rules.
The most common citation styles are APA, MLA, and Chicago/Turabian, but there are many others, some of which are included under the Other Styles tab below. Different disciplines use different citation styles, so confirm with your instructor which style you should use.
For more information on how to avoid plagiarism, visit UBC Library's Academic Integrity Resource Centre.
Lose the headache and take advantage of these great citation tools. As Zotero (below) claims "research, not re-search."
Use Refworks to:
- Keep track of your references/citations from the UBC Library catalogue and online article indexes and databases
- Format your citations and bibliographies automatically, in any of hundreds of formats
- Free to UBC students, staff, faculty, and alumni
Need help learning how to use Refworks? Attend a Refworks workshop at UBC Library.
Watch this video hosted by UBC Biology students to learn more about Refworks.
Zotero [zoh-TAIR-oh] describes itself as "a free, easy-to-use Firefox extension to help you collect, manage, cite, and share your research sources. It lives right where you do your work—-in the web browser itself."
Benefits? Collect all reference data on books, articles and more from your location bar; quickly and efficiently organize your references with drag and drop ease; it already works with Microsoft Word and OpenOffice, saving you time; and you can access your references anywhere by syncing between computers.
The real question is, why are you not using it already?
Mendeley is a free tool with web-based and desktop components. Mendeley works especially well with PDFs. If you've already saved several PDFs to your computer and want to organize them, Mendeley can automatically extract citation elements such as author, title, and journal name from those PDFs.
EndNote is another popular citation management tool. The full version of EndNote costs money, but there is a free, web-based version within the Web of Science database, called My EndNote Web. My EndNote Web has fewer features than EndNote.
EasyBib Another favored citation tool EasyBib allows you to create bibliographies in a variety of different citation styles, including MLA and APA. Visitors can just type in the item they need to cite, and EasyBib will provide the correct citation for each entry. It is too easy!
Citation Builder Citation Builder allows you to build citations for a variety of information sources in MLA, APA, or CBE\CSE format. A tool from NCSU Libraries.
American Psychological Association (APA) style is one of several styles for academic writing. This guide connects you with frequently used citation forms. The sixth edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association is a comprehensive resource, available at most UBC Libraries.
APA Style Guides Online
- UBC Library's APA Style Guide (pdf)
- Diana Hacker | Social Sciences: Documenting Sources
- Purdue OWL APA Formatting and Style Guide
APA Style Guide In Print
Modern Languages Association (MLA) style is one of several styles for academic citation. It is used in the humanities, especially English. The examples in this guide cover the more common sources only. For more detailed information, refer to the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th ed) available in the reference and the circulation collections at LB 2369.G53 2009.
MLA Style Guides Online
- UBC Library's MLA Style Guide (pdf)
- Humanities: Documenting Sources by Diana Hacker
- Purdue OWL MLA Formatting and Style Guide
- Frequently Asked Questions About MLA Style
MLA Style Guide in Print
- MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers by Joseph Gibaldi
UBC Library subscribes to the Chicago Manual of Style Online. This searchable online guide contains the full contents of both the 16th and 15th editions of the Chicago Manual of Style.
The Chicago Manual of Style provides two distinct citation styles: Humanities style (notes and bibliography) and Scientific/Social Sciences styles (parenthetical author/date references and reference list). Be sure to check with your instructor regarding which style they prefer that you use.
Chicago style is sometimes called Turabian style, which is a modified version.
Chicago/Turabian Style Guides Online
- Chicago Manual of Style Online
- UBC Okanagan Library's Chicago/Turabian Citation Guide (pdf)
- Diana Hacker | History: Documenting Sources
- Purdue OWL Chicago Manual of Style
Chicago/Turabian Style Guides in Print
- The Chicago Manual of Style
- A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations By Kate Turabian
ACS (American Chemical Society) | A commonly used style guide for Chemistry
ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers)
Biology 140 | How to Cite Literature and List Source in Biology 140
CSE | Council of Science Editors
- Diana Hacker | CSE Style
- Scientific style and format: The CSE manual for authors, editors, and publishers
IEEE Style (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) | Used Primarily in Electrical and Computer Engineering
LaTeX | Document preparation system often used by mathematicians, scientists, engineers
- Learning LaTeX by David F. Griffiths, Desmond J. Higham
- LaTeX Thesis Class: An online class designed by Michael McNeil Forbes to help students write theses in LaTeX2e.
Legal | Used Primarily in Law
Vancouver Style / Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals | Commonly used in medical and scientific journals
The following websites provide great examples of how to cite websites, emails, and other electronic sources in a variety of styles.
- Diana Hacker Research & Documentation Online
- Purdue OWL
- Citing Electronic Sources from the Library of Congress. This site includes different styles.
- Citing Government Publications in Print, Online and Microform formats
- How to Cite Statistics Canada Products (from StatsCan)
Images & Films