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.
Example citations based on rules from: VandenBos, G. R. (Ed.). (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Available at Hamilton Library Reference BF76.7 .P83 2010.
Citing a Journal Article
Blackburn, N., & Fenchel, T. (1999). Influence of bacteria, diffusion and shear on micro-scale nutrient patches, and implications for bacterial chemotaxis. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 189, 1-7.
Zar, J. H. (1999). Biostatistical analysis (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall.
Citing a Chapter in a Book
Haybron, D. M. (2008). Philosophy and the science of subjective well-being. In M. Eid & R. J. Larsen (Eds.), The science of subjective well-being (pp.17-43). New York, NY: Guilford Press.
Citing a Dissertation
Eve, T. M. (2001). Chemistry and chemical ecology of Indo-Pacific gorgonians (Doctoral dissertation). University of California, San Diego.
Zotero, a FireFox plugin, is a useful tool to help you manage your citations
For more information, see to the Zotero Guide.
These LibGuides provide information on other tools that can help save and organize bibliographic citations gathered during the research process.