Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Advice on citations

  1. Jul 10, 2013 #1
    I'm not sure where to put this question, so I'll try it here. I'm currently writing a report and I'm asking for advice on citations. I know that when you write down a fact or an idea which is not original, you add a citation which explains where you got it from (e.g. bananas are yellow [1]). However, when I write a paragraph explaining something I have the feeling that it's maybe better to start it with the citation instead of ending it, so that the reader knows that the citation covers the entirety of the paragraph and not merely the last sentence or fact (e.g. [1]Through the process of photosynthesis, banana trees acquire energy which they then use to... ... That's why bananas are yellow).

    What do you think is the best way to go?

    P.S. I'm not writing a report on bananas.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 10, 2013 #2

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2017 Award

    Use the standard format; don't make up your own.
  4. Jul 10, 2013 #3
    What is the standard format?
  5. Jul 10, 2013 #4
    Here are the accepted citation formats
    http://www2.liu.edu/cwis/cwp/library/workshop/citation.htm [Broken]
    Last edited: May 6, 2017
  6. Jul 10, 2013 #5
    That link was not really helpful. It details how you should write entries in a list of references for which I use Bibtex and it explains how you should use parenthetical references (which I don't, I use [#ID], which is regularly seen in the natural sciences). It doesn't explain where citations should be put. Hell, it does not even mention a format for the natural sciences, though I suppose AMA is pretty close.
  7. Jul 10, 2013 #6
    Put it at the end.
  8. Jul 10, 2013 #7


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    2017 Award

    Many journals and professional scientific societies have style guides for formatting papers specific to their fields. For example, in chemistry, many follow the American Chemical Society style guide.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Discussions: Advice on citations
  1. Advice? (Replies: 4)

  2. Intext citation (Replies: 1)

  3. School parking citation (Replies: 31)