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Biology Information Literacy Part I: Resources & the Library: Citation Styles

Citation Styles

There are many different citation styles that are used for research papers.  There is no standard citation style for biology, however, in this guide we will focus on the Name-Year style from The Council of Science Editors (CSE).  The CSE style is designed for the general sciences, including biology.

Ask your advisor or professor about the citation style they prefer.  Regardless of the style, apply it consistently throughout your paper and make sure to proofread it the same way you would proofread the rest of your paper.

Here are some guides covering the CSE style:

Citation Examples

Citation examples based on the References chapter from the 7th Edition of Scientific Style and Format (CSE 2006).


Citing a Journal Article (Print)

End Reference:
Raoult D, Audic S, Robert C, Abergel C, Renesto P, Ogata H, La Scola B, Suzan M, Claverie JM. 2004. The 1.2-megabase genome sequence of Mimivirus. Science. 306(5700):1344–1350.

In-text reference:
(Raoult et al. 2004)

Citing a Journal Article (Electronic)

End Reference:
Pound P, Bracken MB. 2014. Is animal research sufficiently evidence based to be a cornerstone of biomedical research? BMJ [Internet]. [cited 2015 Jun 25]; 348:g3387. Available from http://www.bmj.com/content/348/bmj.g3387 doi: 10.1136/bmj.g3387

In-text reference:
(Pound and Bracken 2014)

Citing a Book

End Reference:
Johnson G. 2013. Don't ever whisper: Darlene Keju, Pacific health pioneer, champion for nuclear survivors. [Lexington (KY)]: [Giff Johnson].

In-text reference:
(Johnson 2013)

Citing a Chapter of a Book

End Reference:
de Silva K. 2009. Ka Mākālei a Kawainui. In: Kailua Historical Society. Kailua: in the wisps of the Malanai breeze. Kailua (Oʻahu): Kailua Historical Society. p. 50-53, 133-137, 161-165, 261-265.

In-text reference:
(de Silva 2009)

Citing a Dissertation

End Reference:
Perez K 3rd. 2013. Ecological evaluation of coral reef resources at Kahaluʻu bay, Hawaiʻi. [dissertation]. [Honolulu]: University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.

In-text reference:
(Perez 2013)


[CSE] Council of Science Editors, Style Manual Committee. 2006. Scientific style and format: the CSE manual for authors, editors, and publishers. 7th ed. Reston (VA): Council of Science Editors. Chapter 29, References; p. 490-575.