How to Write a Citation


A citation is an acknowledgment of the source of information in your writing. Citations appear in the body of a paper or at the end of a bibliography. The type of information required for a citation varies by style guide.

For example, the MLA Handbook describes how to cite different kinds of authors and sources. You may also need to include additional information, such as a URL for web pages. Click Here for more information.

A citation is an entry in a list of references (called Works Cited pages in MLA style, References pages in APA and CSE style, and a Bibliography page in Chicago) that appears at the end of a paper. It provides information about the source from which the ideas or quotations in a paper are drawn. Each citation should have the full author name, date of publication, and publisher information. The list of references may be ordered alphabetically or in order of appearance in the text, depending on the conventions of your discipline and the guidelines of the target journal.

The author of a citation is always listed first. If the work has multiple authors, use a semicolon to separate the names. If there is a single author, include the name followed by a period. If there is more than one author, use the phrase “et al.” after the initials of the first three or four authors in a parenthetical citation. Do not use “et al.” for a group author in the main text of your paper or for a narrative in-text citation, as this can cause confusion for the reader.

Omit any degrees, honors, or ranks that appear before or after a personal name. Use the first letter of each given name and the second letter of each middle name in a citation. Disregard hyphens and en dashes joining given names and enter them as written, including all punctuation marks.

If the work has more than one author, cite all authors in the reference list and in your in-text citations. If the work has a single author, use a period in the in-text citations but not in the reference list. If the author is a corporate author, then use the full name of the corporation in the reference list and the in-text citations.

A corporate author is one who is responsible for creating the source material for a work. This person should be listed as the sole author of a parenthetical or narrative in-text citation but included with other authors in the reference list. If the work has both personal and corporate authors, cite all authors in the reference list but only include the first personal author’s name in the parenthetical in-text citation and in the narrative in-text citation.


While they may not have a lot of characters, the titles of works are important elements in any citation. They are used to identify the work in a reference list and, sometimes, in the text of a paper. The title is usually taken from an authoritative location in the source, such as the title page. Titles should be capitalized, except for articles, prepositions, coordinating conjunctions (although, because, or, so, until, while), and the “to” in infinitives. However, the word “and” may be used in place of a coordinating conjunction if it is short and does not detract from the meaning.

Titles should be italicized if they are part of bigger works like books and research papers. If they are stand-alone, they should be put inside quotation marks. It is also helpful to include the subtitle of a work in a citation. This will help readers find the work when they are looking for it.

The year of publication is included in the citation for most types of sources. In some cases, you may need to include the month, day, or season along with the year. This information is often found on the copyright page of a book or on the back of the title page.

If there are multiple authors, cite the surname of each author followed by their initials. When citing more than two authors, use an ampersand and one space between initials. For example: Kimathi, J. M. Yuen, C. W.

In some cases, you may need to cite the full name of a government agency in addition to the individual authors. If there are several layers of government agencies, use the most specific one to avoid confusion.

When citing online resources, make sure that you give the URL of the resource and not just the home or log-in page. For example, if the work is a database, provide the name of the database and the URL for that database. You should also cite the version number of the database when it is available. It is useful to cite a work in more than one database, especially if the work is cited frequently.


Academic journals publish scholarly, peer-reviewed articles. These articles report original research that has been conducted by experts in a specific field. Scholarly journals are important because they provide authoritative knowledge to researchers, teachers, and students. Some scholarly journals also feature book reviews and editorials.

A scholarly journal’s citation pattern is an important indicator of its quality and impact. Citation metrics, like Eigenfactor, CiteScore, and Journal Citation Reports, are used to measure the scholarly influence of journals. These metrics are based on a journal’s previous performance and compare the performance of a journal with other journals in its field.

In addition to journal-level bibliometrics, article-level bibliometrics are useful for assessing the impact of individual papers. These metrics are based on the number of citations that individual articles receive over time. Article-level bibliometrics can be compared across journals and disciplines, providing valuable information to authors who are considering whether or not to submit their work for publication in particular journals.

While librarians and other researchers have studied the citation patterns of journals for years, modern bibliometric tools make it possible to examine the citation performance of individual papers. These bibliometric tools include the journal impact factor, the h-index, and the CiteScore. Some of these bibliometric tools, such as Eigenfactor and CiteScore, are free to use, while others, such as JCR and the Web of Science Core Collection, require a subscription to access.

The journal impact factor (JIF) is a metric provided by Clarivate Analytics, formerly Thomson Reuters, and reported in its annual Journal Citation Reports (JCR). It is based on the average number of citations to articles published in a journal during the previous two years. The JIF is the primary determinant of a journal’s position in its subject category and is an important indicator of a journal’s quality and impact.

Although some instances of citation manipulation are relatively easy to spot, there has been increased concern over less detectable forms of journal-level citation manipulation. One of these is the formation of citation cartels, which involve groups of journals that cite each other at excessively high rates.


Containers are the lightweight virtualization technology that powers modern cloud applications. By bundling together all the components of an application, they enable developers to deploy and manage workloads on a shared kernel-based OS host, regardless of the underlying hardware platform or operating system (OS-level virtualization). They can be rapidly spun up and destroyed by container orchestration platforms like Kubernetes, delivering extreme on-demand scalability.

In the past, MLA citations required writers to conform their citations around source types, such as books or journals. But the 8th edition of the MLA Handbook calls for writers to consider containers when creating citations. The key is to keep in mind that a container itself does not qualify as a work in its own right but rather as a segment of a larger work. Therefore, the container’s title should be followed by a comma and the rest of the Core Elements for the source.

While many people think of a container as a single, portable unit that contains an entire application, the true definition is much more complicated. A container consists of the entire runtime environment, including the application and all libraries, binaries, configuration files, and settings needed to run it. This enables software to be reliably moved from a developer’s laptop or test environment to a staging environment or even to production environments.

A container can be used by a number of different software tools, including command-line tools or APIs. It can be deployed using a container engine, such as LXD or Docker, and it can be clustered for high availability and performance. Containers are a popular solution for cloud computing because they allow developers to move apps quickly between development, test, and production environments. They also support microservice architecture, enabling developers to break monolithic applications into smaller, reusable components.

When citing sources that are accessed online, be sure to include the URL, or “web address,” of the source. You should also shorten long URLs because they can look ugly in your Works Cited list. If the source is a database, you can often find a permalink to a specific version of the resource, which can be helpful for keeping track of changes.