Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Working With Citations

Everybody loves to hate citations. They are a lot of work to create and organize. But when they are done correctly, they are actually a very powerful tool for research. How do they work? But first, let's discuss how to get some answers to those questions: how do I cite this book/journal article/website ....?

One way of getting these citation guides is to get into the catalog and click Help. This will get you into the AUR Library Wiki and you can either scroll through the pages or search for citation guides and you will find this page: Citation Guides. Here you will find a list of links to citation guides created at some other schools. These are the guides that we feel are the best. There are normally lots of examples to help you create your citation. There is also a separate guide for electronic resources--something that is still rather new. If you are having trouble, or there is a format that you can't find, e.g. a map, don't hesitate to ask us.

You can also search in the AUR catalog for Style manuals.

"Automatic" Citations
A real advantage today is that often, you can get citations automatically. Citations for most books can be gotten from WorldCat, while most journal databases offer a way to get citations easily. See the AUR Help Wiki for more information.
It's important to realize that these citations are often incomplete, and you need to add extra information such as page numbers, translators, or change information for different versions of the text, e.g. electronic. You are still responsible for any citations you give.

Still, this can come in very handy and give you 75% or more of a citation. If you're lucky, you might get 100%!

In the next post, we'll discuss how citations are not only a pain, but how they can help you do your research. That is, if they are done well.

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