Geology 140 - Environmental Geology
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Scientific Citation

In scientific writing, we don't cite references by using footnotes. Instead, citations including author's last name and year are inserted directly into the text, like this (Kusnick, 1997). If there is more than one author, the citation might look like this (Kusnick and Waterstraat, 1996) or like this (Kusnick and others, 1995). If you use a reference more than once, you just insert the citation again (Kusnick, 1997). If you reference several authors in the same sentence, you can list them alphabetically within the same citation (Kusnick, 1997; Waterstraat, 1996). If an author has more than one citation in a single year, label them a, b,c, etc. after the year (Kusnick, 1997a). If you use someone else's stuff for a whole paragraph, cite them once in the first sentence and again at the end of the paragraph. If you include a direct quote, put it in quotes and include the page number in the citation (Kusnick, 1997a, p. 37). Be sure to insert a citation anytime you reference factual material or someone else's opinion. It is better to have too many citations than too few (which can be plagiarism).

Formatting References

At the end of your paper you will have a reference list which includes all items cited in the paper. The reference list is alphabetical, and should be either in APA bibliographic style, or in a style used by a scholarly scientific journal (e.g., Geological Society of America style). The style you choose is less important than being consistent. A typical scientific style might look like this:

Journal article:

Kusnick, Judith E, 1993, Review of Revitalizing Undergraduate Science: Why Some Things Work and Most Don't by Sheila Tobias, Thought and Action, v. 9, no. 1, p. 145-146.

Book chapter:

Kusnick, Judith E, 1995, K-12 Workshop Series, in Folson, Angelica (ed.), How Universities Can Help Teachers Introduce Girls to Engineering: A How-To Manual, Davis, CA: University of California at Davis School of Engineering.


Page, Linda, Judi Kusnick, Kenneth L. Verosub, J. Richard Pomeroy and Victor A. Perkes, 1993, Earth Science: A Module for Preparing Teachers in Concepts and Teaching Methods for Secondary School Sciences, Report of the SCIP Project, 443p.

Oral paper from meeting:

Kusnick, Judith, 1997, Discourse structures and strategies in constructivist science education, paper given at 1997 annual meeting of American Educational Research Association, Chicago.

Report published by agency:

Kusnick, Judith E., 1994, Constructivism in Science Education: Intellectual Origins, Theories of Learning, and Pedagogy, Report published by the California Science Implementation Network.


Schmo, Joe, 1997, personal communication.

Citing Web Sites

Citations for Web sites should look just the same as citations for conventional resources. In your reference list, include this information for Web sites: author, publication date, page title, site title, URL, date accessed, paragraph number (if any). A reference list entry for a Web site might look like this:

Miles, A. 1996, "Academic Bibliographies and the World Wide Web." Department of Communication Studies HyperText Working Web., August 1996.

For more information on citing Web sites, see

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