Standard Citation Styles: A citation or bibliographic citation is a reference to a book, article, web page, or other published item, with sufficient detail to allow a reader to locate it. The citation style refers to the rules and conventions established by the authoritative body for documenting sources of information used in write-up of any kind. The citation identifies and credits the sources that are used in writing a paper and allow the reader of the article to further verify and access the cited work. The citation is a list of sources used in writing a work (article) that are alphabetically arranged by author surname, works without authors are arranged alphabetically by title [omitting the article (a, an, the)] within the same list giving essential general information to trace the sources. Citations Styles are also known as Citation Formats or Style Guide.
To maintain the honesty in academic pursuit it is important to cite the works of others, otherwise knowingly representing the work of others as one’s own is treated as demanding the work as his/her own. Failure to give credit for quotes or unique ideas will result in a null in a research as well as other disciplinary actions. So, to avoid such disciplinary action always credit should be given to the original author of information that is not generally known, unique, or research data.
1. Types of Citation: All citation styles require two types of citation elements for citing consulted work. They are - citing sources in the text and citing sources in bibliography or references.
a) Citing Sources in the Text: In citing sources in the text, citations to sources are placed in the text of the work i.e within sentences and paragraphs in order to briefly identify sources by the readers so that they can enable them to locate it in the Reference or Bibliography portion. In general, citing sources in the text, citations are placed within parentheses. This type of citation helps to know whose sentences or words are quoted.
b) Citing Sources in References or Bibliography: References are the cited work in the text, and the Bibliography is the list of sources not cited in the text but which are relevant to the subject with which the article or work deals with. References cited in the text of a research paper also appear at the end of the paper that are arranged in alphabetical order by authors’ surname, works without authors are arranged alphabetically by title (omitting the articles) within the same list. This list provides the information necessary to identify and retrieve the particular document.
Citation to consulted online works generally demands detailed information than that of print sources of information. Again, in case of online sources, currently few standards are there, governing the organization and presentation of it. In addition to the above points, in citing online sources the following are considered important
i) Whenever possible attempt should be made to identify the author(s) of the document.
ii) The citation should direct the readers to the information sources immediately. So if possible citation to the specific webpage [Uniform Resource Locator (URL)] should be made rather than home or menu pages.
iii) One should try to mention the
“date” (i.e the dates of publication, update, or date of retrieval).
2. Types of Author: In studying the citation behavior, authors can be divided into three groups based upon their expertise and qualification in citing sources.
i) Academician: It includes Lecturer, Reader and Professor of different academic and research departments. They are generally treated as well qualified in citing sources and sometimes also teaches the student about it. So, any kind of deviation in citing sources on their part is treated as gross negligence towards their work.
b) Researcher: It includes those persons who acquire the Doctorate
degree but do not come within the perview of the first category or those who are
doing Ph.D. under different universities and research institutions. The
researchers are generally aware of citing sources within their papers, so any
kind of deviation in citing sources are also not acceptable on their part.
3. Deviation in Citing Sources: Deviation is a term used to describe the incorrectness. It is often used interchangeably with error. It means the amount of error or variation in comparison to the standard or expectation.
The expertise of the author(s) are wrongly justified by the number of publications in many cases and so the authors give more emphasis in producing a mass volume of work by ignoring its quality. The origin and development of Internet helps them in this regard. Some times, some authors even produce an article within a day itself. If it is so, one can imagine what its quality will be? It will be nothing but cut and paste. Not to speak about general writing, even many seminar and conference proceedings are nowadays full of such type of works (deviation in quality as well as citing sources).
a) Common Deviation Types: The common types of deviation in citing sources fall into the following types-
i) Deviation in Alphabetical Arrangement: The cited works are
generally not arranged alphabetically.
iii) Citing Irrelevant Sources of Information: Some authors cite the search engine URL but not the actual information sources, which they have consulted.
iv) Duplication in Citing Sources: Some authors cite even a single
work in two places, in one case starts with “http://” and in the other case it
starts with “www” (in place of http://www.).
b) Why Deviation: The deviation in citing sources mainly occurs
due to the following-
ii) Wrong Point of Justification: Generally, people think the bigger the volume of seminar or conference preceding, the more it will be treated as a successful one. Such type of wrong thinking pushes the editorial body to accept articles that are otherwise not appropriate for inclusion in the proceeding.
iii) Lack of Time: Lack of time from the author and editorial body is another point to be considered. Authors are justified by volume of information they produce, so they give more emphasis in volume rather than its quality. Many authors are also very busy with their routine work so they cannot devote much time towards their papers. Lack of time to recheck the work is another reason on their part to be considered. Deviation in maintaining consistency arises due to this factor.
iv) Lack of Knowledge about Citation Style: Many authors and editors are not aware about different types of citation styles and how these need to be followed.
v) Lack of Knowledge about Different Types of Sources: There are different types of online sources over internet like website, blog, wiki, etc. and many authors and editors are not aware about it and cannot differentiate one from another. Even some authors thought that if they found any sources of information relevant to their query by consulting some search engine then the search engine itself should be cited.
vi) Gross Negligence towards the Work: Those authors who are well qualified in citing sources as well as about different types of online sources, deviation in maintaining consistency and alphabetical arrangement on their part arises due to the gross negligence towards their work.
vii) Wrong Personal Psychology: Many authors think that they are more intelligent and computer savvy than the others and so if they cut and paste some portion of the online sources or other work without citing them then the editorial body or reader will not be able to trace them out. So, they are quite unaware of the fact that tracing the plagiarized text in any article is just a matter of single minutes job and even less so for an internet savvy person, as many online tools are available that perform such activities. Such type of personal psychology results in the omission of the consulted sources from the reference and bibliography page of the work and also degrades the quality of the paper as well.
c) How Deviation in Citing Sources can be Avoided: Some of the ways by which deviation in citing sources can be avoided are-
i) Chapter on Citation Should be included in the Course Curriculum: The Knowledge about citing sources should be treated as essential for all types of students and attempts should be made by the concerning body for its inclusion in the course curriculum itself. If we can achieve it in the grass root level itself, we can think of achieving a truly knowledge culture society, thereof.
ii) Universities and Colleges Should Adopt one Standard Format: The Universities and Colleges can think of adopting one specific type of citation style and attempt should be made accordingly to follow this format in the journals, magazines published from that institution. The students and faculties should be encouraged to follow the adopted format in their writing that may be a thesis and dissertations work or even in case of assignment, report, etc.
iii) Library and Information Science (LIS) Professional Should Transfer Their Knowledge to Others: In the field of Library and Information Science, citing consulted sources has been taught rigorously, and so the professionals are generally treated as academically or professionally well qualified in this regard. As an expert in the subject, it is their duty to take initiative in making their expertise accessible to others students and authors from different field.
iv) Editorial and Publishing Body Should Adopt One Specific Standard Citation Format: Every Seminar, Conference organized by different institutions should ask the authors to prepare their article by following a specific citation style. The articles, whose citation are not in the specified format must be rejected or if no preference is specified, it is the duty of the editorial body to use one specific citation style and rearrangement and preparation of the cited works in all papers accordingly (consistently and accurately).
v) Knowledge About Citation Should be Made Mandatory for Research
Scholar: Knowledge about major type of citation styles should be made
mandatory for all types of Research Scholars, after all they are the pillar for
the subsequent development of the society.
vii) Authors Should be Very Careful in Citing Sources: In the absence of any of the above, the research scholar or the authors can ask reference staff of the library or the faculties and students of the Library and Information Science Schools for the assistance or he/she can think of logging on to the internet for the major type of citation styles.
viii) Organizing Seminars, Conferences and Workshops in Citing Sources: The Library and Information Science Schools of different universities can think of organizing workshops and seminars in citing sources to educate all types of authors and peoples in general. Other bodies in consultation with Library and Information Science Professional can also think in this regard.
4. Different Citation Styles:
Different organizations or institutions develop their own citation styles to
fit their individual needs. Though, there is a considerable overlap in
different citation styles, individual publishers have their own in-house
variations. In general, all citation styles can be divided into two broad
categories, i.e. the Humanities and the Sciences. Some important citation
styles from both the categories are listed below.
ii) The American Institute of Physics (AIP) style: American
Institute of Physics, references is most commonly used in physics journals. It
is devised by the American Institute of Physics.
iv) American Psychological Association (APA) Citation Style: APA citation style is established by the American Psychological Association. It is mainly used for psychology, education, and social science bibliographies. APA style specifies the names and order of headings, formatting, and organization of citations and references, and the arrangement of tables, figures, footnotes, and appendices, as well as other manuscript and documentation features. It uses parenthetical citation within the text, listing the author’s surname and the year of publication of the work, which is more or less same as that of MLA style’s parenthetical citations. It lists sources at the end of the paper, on a References Page. Listing electronic sources of information is more detailed in APA style than in MLA style. APA style uses Harvard referencing, also known as the author-date system of citations and parenthetical referencing, keyed to a subsequent list of References.
v) American Sociological Association (ASA) style: The American Sociological Association Citation Style is mainly used in sociological publications.
vi) The Associated Press (AP) Stylebook: The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law, is a style and usage guide for the newspapers and in journalism classes in the United States.
vii) Bluebook: The Bluebook (or similar systems derived from it) is a citation system traditionally used in American academic legal writing.
viii) Chicago Manual of Style Citation Guide: The Chicago Manual of Style (abbreviated as CMS or CMOS, or verbally as Chicago) is a style guide for American English published by the University of Chicago Press. The CMS deals with all aspects of editorial practice, from American English grammar and usage to document preparation. It is used for all subjects. Some social sciences and humanities scholars prefer to use the nearly identical Turabian style instead of it.
ix) Columbia Guide to Online Style: The Columbia Style was made by Janice R. Walker and Todd Taylor to give detailed guidelines for citing internet sources. It offers models for both the humanities and the sciences.
x) Hart’s Rules for the 21st Century: Hart's Rules for Compositors and Readers at the University Press, Oxford is a reference book and style guide first published in England by Oxford University Press in 1893. It is renamed as ‘The Oxford Guide to Style (OGS)’, in 2002, then from 2005 it came to be known as ‘New Hart’s Rules: The Handbook of Style for Writers and Editors’ and has been promoted as ‘Hart's Rules for the 21st Century’.
xi) Harvard Citation Style: The Harvard Style (or author-date system) is recommended by the British Standards Institution and involves a short reference [e.g (Barman, 2007)] being inserted after the cited text in parenthesis and the full reference being listed at the end of the article. It is mainly used for social science bibliographies.
xii) ISO 690: ISO 690 is an ISO standard for bibliographic referencing in documents of all sorts. It includes electronic documents as well as other published documents, and specifies the elements to be included in references, and the order in which the elements of the reference should be stated.
xiii) Modern Humanities Research Association (MHRA) Style Guide: The MHRA Style Guide (formerly the MHRA Style Book) is the Modern Humanities Research Association style format and is most often used in the arts and humanities, particularly in the United Kingdom where the MHRA is based. It is fairly similar to the MLA style, but with some differences. The style guide uses footnotes that fully reference a citation and has a bibliography at the end. Its major advantage is that a reader does not need to consult the bibliography to find a reference as the footnote provides all the details.
xiv) Modern Language Association (MLA) Citation Style: MLA style was developed by The Modern Language Association and is most often used in English studies, comparative literature, foreign-language literary criticism, media studies, cultural studies, and some other fields in the humanities. It uses a Works Cited Page to list works at the end of the paper, brief parenthetical citations, which include an author and page (if applicable), are used within the text. These direct readers to the work of the author on the list of works cited, and the page of the work where the information is located [e.g. (Barman 98) refers the reader to page 98 of the work made by someone with surname “Barman”).
xv) The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage: The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage is a style guide by Allan M. Siegal and William G. Connolly. Although it was written for The New York Times journalists, it has also been published for use by others and much of the information is specific to neither ‘The Times’ nor ‘New York’.
xvi) Style Manual for Political Science: ‘Style Manual for Political Science’ is the publication on citing by The American Political Science Association (APSA). It is often used by political science scholars and historians and is largely based on that of the Chicago Manual of Style.
xvii) Turabian Citation Style: Turabian Citation Style is based on the Chicago Manual of Style. It offers the authors and writers of all subjects the option of using an author-date system with notes and parenthetical references.
xviii) Vancouver System: The Vancouver system, recommended by the Council of Science Editors, is used in medical and scientific papers and research. In one of its major variant, citation numbers are included in the text in square brackets rather than as superscripts. All bibliographical information is exclusively included in the list of references at the end of the document, next to the respective citation number.
5. Achieving Proper Citation: Two methods are available for citing consulted works. They are
a) Manual Citation: It is the process in which the researcher or academician or authors prepare their citation by manual means in consultation with the standard format or handbook.
b) Automatic Citation: Nowadays there are many bibliographic citation management program available that automatically generate citations in appropriate citation style. They allow one to create a bibliography, or list of references, by importing references from text files or online databases and automatically formatting it in a preferred style. Such types of packages are also known as “Reference Management Software”. Example includes: Refworks, EndNote Web, etc.
6. Conclusion: In the event of different citation style, it will be better not to think of designing and developing any new standard format, rather if deviations are there in already established format attempt should be made to correct it, since in many cases scope is there.
The human being is in the present position only due to the fact that it is able to learn from the knowledge base of past generation and during his/her life time he/she shifts it to another new dimension that form the base for the next generation. Unlike other animals every time, every generation doesn’t start from the knowledge base with zero. But, during our progress in stream line we should not forget the contribution of the people that some times devote their entire life to build our own knowledge base. Whenever we take help from the knowledge base of others we must acknowledge them in the form of citing their work in our own work (papers). After all why should not we, since it costs nothing, rather it gives an authoritative look to our own work.