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Biology Literature Searching: Citation

How to search for journal literature efficiently and effectively.

What is citation?

Citing Sources

In academic writing, you must cite the sources you use. Failure to do so constitutes plagiarism, a serious academic offence (see below).

Citations let the reader know that certain words or ideas in your work came from another source, giving credit where it's due. They allow readers to identify, find, and consult the sources themselves. In addition, citing your sources demonstrates to your instructor that your paper is based on solid (or not-so-solid) research.

Usually, your instructors will specify in class or in a course syllabus which citation style they want you to use in your papers. Always check which style your instructor would prefer you to use.

A common citation style in Biology is the CSE Style (Council of Science Editors, formerly called the CBE Council of Biology Editors). Find links to resources in the main collection and other online guides below.


Access the University of Lethbridge Library Citation Guides below. Citation styles included are as follows:

  • APA
  • MLA 7th Edition
  • MLA 8th Edition
  • Chicago Manual of Style

If you have any questions or are looking for more information on a citation style not mentioned please contact Emma Scott, Sciences Librarian.

Identifying Parts of a Citation