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Human Nutrition Library Research Guide: Citation Styles & Tools

Guide to selected UH Manoa Library and Web resources for study and research in human nutrition

Why Cite?

Citing the work that supports your research is both an ethical issue and a legal issue.

The ethics of citing is based on the scholarly tradition of giving credit for information and ideas that are not one's own. Science has a long tradition of acknowledging priority through citations. You have the ethical responsibility to cite all works that were used to support your research, to give credit to the earlier work and to provide a clear path for those who follow in your footsteps.

As so eloquently expressed by Isaac Newton in a letter to Robert Hooke in 1675 (Merton 1965):

If I have seen further it is by standing on ye sholders of Giants.

The legal issues of citing one's sources are codified in Copyrights, Title 17 of the U.S. Code, which describes the legal protections of authors' and creators' intellectual property rights.

[Merton, RK. 2006. On the shoulders of giants: a Shandean postscript. New York: The Free Press. p. 31]

Using Bibliographic Management Tools to Organize

Endnote [$45 for program from ITS] | Guide to Using Endnote

Endnote is an application that imports citations from your searches in web databases and helps you organize your references. It works with Microsoft Word helping you create in-text citations, footnotes, and bibliographies.

Endnote Basic [Free] | Guide to Using Endnote Basic

EndNote Basic (formerly EndNote Web) is an online program that helps you organize references and create properly formatted bibliographies. This is a separate program from the desktop version of EndNote. It is a free version of EndNote available for institutions which subscribe to ISI Databases, like Web of Science.

Mendeley [Free] | Guide to Using Mendeley

Mendeley allows you to share references with others or to maintain a private library. Mendeley collections can be exported to Endnote, CiteULike, or Zotero libraries. Mendeley works with Word 2008 and OpenOffice to insert citations into your documents. It enables you to extract citation information from downloaded pdfs.

Zotero [Free] | LibGuide to Using Zotero

Zotero is a plug-in from Mozilla that you use with the Firefox browser. Simply download the plug-in, activate the Zotero application by clicking on the Zotero icon in your browser. You can now capture citations into a library held on your hard drive or on a flash drive. Zotero works with Word and OpenOffice after you have downloaded the plug-ins.

Citation Style Guides

AMA Style Guide (from New York Medical College Health Sciences Library)
This guide is based on the AMA manual of style: guide for authors and editors, 10th ed. [Print copy of complete guide available in the  Reference Collection Ref R119 .A533 2007]

Evaluating Web Sites

Publishing on the Web is very different than publishing in print — the traditional medium for scientific literature. Anyone can publish a Web page without anyone evaluating the accuracy or quality of the information. Reviews by peers, reviewers, editors, and publishers are not often applied to Web sites.

The sole responsibility for evaluating the scholarly content of a Web site rests with the Web site user.

Traditional evaluation criteria used for print resources and Web specific criteria are both useful as indicators of quality and should considered when examining Web sites.

Evaluation Criteria 

1.     Authorship: Is the author identified? What are the author’s credentials? For example, does the site include the author's position and institutional affiliation? Is the URL for an educational institution (.edu) or government agency (.gov)?

2.    Accuracy: Can the data be verified from other sources? Does the author have an obvious bias?

3.    Audience: Is the site intended for scholars or professionals, for lay people, or for students?

4.    Currency: Does the Web site include the date it was created and/or updated? Are the links current?

5.    Coverage: Does the site state its intended scope? Is it designed to cover an entire subject, or to give detailed information on one aspect?

6.    Relative Value: How does it compare to other sources of similar information? Are there other more accurate or complete sources - possibly in print format?