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Citing Your Sources

Proper citation is essential. Citing properly allows your reader or audience to locate the materials you have used. Citations give credit to the authors of quoted or consulted information. Failure to acknowledge sources of information properly may constitute plagiarism.  For an explicit definition of plagiarism, see the Boston University Academic Conduct Code.

For detailed instructions on how to cite within the text of your paper, please consult a style manual listed below.

BU Librarians often recommend refworks RefWorks as the best tool to manage citations. Accounts are free for the BU community.  RefWorks can automatically create a bibliography in hundreds of styles. Here are some other popular citation managers:

Mendeley a free reference manager and PDF organizer.  Mendeley’s features include:

  • PDF annotation and highlighting
  • Organization and sharing of your PDFs, including annotations, with others
  • Bibliography formatting using over 1,000 journal citation styles
  • Personal profile building that allows you to showcase your research

Zotero a free, web browser-based toll that allows you to:

  • Create a library of self-indexed files, including PDFs, images, video, and more
  • Tag items in your library for easy grouping and retrieval
  • Format manuscripts and bibliographies in over 1,000 journal citation styles
  • Form and join research groups that share access to a common file library

Quick Bibliography Generators

CSE (Council of Science Editors) Style

IEEE Editorial Style Manual

Some Engineering Publication Styles / Author Guidelines

Most Engineering Professional Societies have a "style" and instructions for author or Author Guidelines on their website or in their publication.

NLM (National Library of Medicine Style)

Citing Medicine: the NLM style guide for authors, editors, and publishers

The official style manual for the National Library of Medicine (NLM), and suggested when citing documents from the associated databases MedLine and PubMed. The online edition supercedes the print edition as the most up to date.