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Citation Styles

A comprehensive guide to citing in various citation styles, offering examples of citations as well as links to outside sources.

What is a citation?

A citation or reference is the information given in a bibliography or a database about a particular title, which often includes:

  • article title or chapter title
  • periodical title or book title
  • author(s) or editor(s)
  • place of publication
  • date of publication
  • publisher name
  • volume/issue (articles) or edition (books)
  • page range
  • medium of publication
  • electronic access (URL or DOI)
  • date accessed

Citations give credit to those whose ideas have contributed to your research and give your readers enough information to locate the sources you used. There are many ways to format citations. The style you choose depends on your field and the requirements set by your professor or publisher.

Formatting Requirements

The Council of Science Editors uses three systems to format in-text citations and the order of end-of-text citations in your reference list. These are:

  • name-year
  • citation-name
  • citation-sequence

This guide focuses on the name-year style used in the biological and earth sciences. In addition to following the rules below, ask your professor if they have any special requirements for formatting your references.

  • References in the reference list are ordered alphabetically by last name of the author
  • Two or more references by the same author are ordered by date
  • Only the first word of a book, chapter, or article title is capitalized
  • Journal titles are abbreviated according to ISO 4 (see the List of Title Word Abbreviations).
  • Every word of a journal or newspaper title is capitalized
  • An article's volume, issue, and page range are not separated by spaces.

For complete information about formatting requirements for any of the styles, see the CSE manual.

In-Text References (Name-Year style, 8th ed.)

All sources that are directly quoted or paraphrased must be cited within your text, as well as in your reference list.

The author's last name and the year of the publication should be included in parentheses as close as possible to the information referred to in the text.

  • The raccoon dog's average movement rate and home range were found to be larger in autumn (Saeki et al. 2007)...

If you mention the author's last name in the text, you do not need to include it in the citation.

  • Balmant et al. identified many potential protein redox switches (2015)...

For more in-depth information about citing articles with multiple authors, multiple articles by the same author, and more, visit the Writer's Handbook online or refer to the CSE manual in the library's reference collection.

End-of-Text References (Name-Year style, 8th ed.)


Author AA, Author BB. Year of Publication. Article title: only italicize Species names. Abbreviated Journal Title. [updated Date; accessed Year Month Day];Volume(Issue):Pages. URL or DOI.


Print Article

Saeki M, Johnson PJ, Macdonald DW. 2007. Movements and habitat selection of raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides) in a mosaic landscape. J Mammal. 88(4):1098-1111.

Online Article

Balmant KM, Parker J, Yoo MJ, Zhu N, Dufresne C, Chen S. 2015. Redox proteomics of tomato in response to Pseudomonas syringae infection. Hortic Res. [accessed 2015 Oct 12];2:15043. doi:10.1038/hortres.2015.43



Author AA, Author BB. Year of Publication. Title of book. Edition ed. Place of Publication: Publisher Name. Notes.

Chapter in an edited book

Author AA, Author BB. Year of Publication. Title of chapter. In: Editor YY, Editor ZZ, editors. Title of book. Edition ed. Place of Publication: Publisher Name. p. Page Range. Notes.


One author

Smith EH. 1926. A practical method for determining ocean currents. Washington, DC: United States Coast Guard.

Multiple authors

Miller GT, Spoolman SE. 2012. Essentials of ecology. 6th ed. Belmont (CA): Brooks/Cole, Cengage Learning.

Chapter in an edited book

Soler-Javaloyes V, Carracedo JC. 2013. Geophysical investigations of the Teide volcanic complex. In: Carracedo JC, Troll VR, editors. Teide volcano: geology and eruptions of a highly differentiated oceanic stratovolcano. Berlin: Springer. p. 233-248.