The word citation defines a reference to or quotation from a source. Citations are an essential part of academic writing, because they provide support for the author’s thesis, allow readers to verify it, and give credit to the author of the work cited.
Citations varies according to a citation style, i.e. a set of rules about how to cite sources in academic writing. Guidelines, examples and instructions about a specific citation style are usually published in an official handbook.
Preferred citation styles vary depending on the discipline. APA (American Psychological Association) is mostly used in education, psychology and business studies; MLA (Modern Language Association) in the humanities; Chicago author-date in the sciences and social sciences; Chicago notes and bibliography in history. You can find some citation examples here.
The IMT School subscribes to The Chicago manual of style online (complete access through IMT network).
Citation management support
There are many citation management programs and web tools, which allow users to import and manage bibliographic information according to different citation styles. Some of them are:
- Mendeley: it is both a management tool for bibliographic information and a social network for research. Mendeley consists of an online version and a desktop version. The two versions are synchronized.
- Zotero: an open source software, which collects and organizes citations. It also creates bibliographies according to different citation styles.
- EndNote basic: a web tool to manage bibliographic citations. Registration is required.