Guidelines for Citing Referenced Material

Diomidis Spinellis
Department of Management Science and Technology
Athens University of Economics and Business
Athens, Greece
dds@aueb.gr

Introduction

The correct citation of referenced material is an important aspect of scientific publications. The following guidelines provide a quick starting point for creating and managing citations. The guidelines are structured as follows: first we outline the type of information that can appear in cited items (citation elements), then, for every type of item (article, book, thesis) we indicate information that is required or optional (citation contents), and finally we outline citation formats, give some examples, and describe the tools we use. This guide is intended to be an efficient reference for creating scientific citations. It is biased towards the citation formats supported by BibTeX. It is not intended to be complete or authoritative.

Citation Elements

The following list includes all elements that can appear in citations. Author and editor lists are separeted by "and" in BibTeX files; in citations they are typically separated by a comma, with an "and" appearing before the last one.
AddressPublisher's address. For major ones just the city
AnnoteAnnotation
AuthorFirst Last or Last, First. Multiple are separated by and
BooktitleTitle properly capitalised
ChapterA chapter number
EditionEdition of the book, e.g. second
EditorFirst Last or Last, First. Multiple are separated by and
HowPublishedIf it was published in a strange way
InstitutionInstitution that published it
JournalJournal name. Abreviations may exist ($TEXINPUTS/*.bst)
KeyUsed for alphabetizing and creating a label when no author
MonthMonth of publication, usual abbreviations
NoteAdditional information to help the reader
NumberNumber of a journal magazine to TR.
OrganizationOrganization sponsoring the conference.
PagesPage numbers or range.
PublisherPublisher's name.
SchoolName of the school where the thesis was written.
SeriesThe name of a series or set of books.
TitleThe work's title.
TypeType of a technical report e.g. Research Note
VolumeThe volume of a journal or multivolume book.
YearThe year of publication. Numerals only."

Citation Contents

The following sections indicate required and optional items for different types of cited material.

Article

TitleRequired
AuthorRequired
JournalRequired
VolumeOptional
NumberOptional
PagesOptional
MonthOptional
YearRequired
URLOptional
NoteOptional

Book

TitleRequired
EditionOptional
SeriesOptional
VolumeOptional
AuthorRequired or include Editor
EditorRequired or include Author
PublisherRequired
AddressOptional
MonthOptional
YearRequired
NoteOptional
ISBNOptional

Booklet

AddressOptional
AuthorOptional
HowPublishedOptional
KeyOptional (needed if no Author)
MonthOptional
NoteOptional
TitleRequired
YearOptional

InBook

AddressOptional
AuthorRequired or include Editor
ChapterRequired or include Pages
EditionOptional
EditorRequired or include Author
MonthOptional
NoteOptional
PagesRequired or include Chapter
PublisherRequired
SeriesOptional
TitleRequired
VolumeOptional
YearRequired

InCollection

AuthorRequired
TitleRequired
ChapterOptional
PagesRequired
EditorOptional
BooktitleRequired
PublisherRequired
AddressOptional
MonthOptional
YearRequired
NoteOptional

InProceedings

TitleRequired
AuthorRequired
BooktitleRequired
AddressOptional
MonthOptional
YearRequired
OrganizationOptional
PagesOptional
EditorOptional
PublisherOptional
NoteOptional
URLOptional

Manual

AddressOptional
AnnoteAnnotation
AuthorOptional
EditionOptional
KeyOptional (needed if no Author)
MonthOptional
NoteOptional
OrganizationOptional
TitleRequired
YearOptional

MastersThesis

AddressOptional
AuthorRequired
MonthOptional
NoteOptional
SchoolRequired
TitleRequired
YearRequired

Misc

AuthorOptional
HowPublishedOptional
KeyOptional (needed if no Author)
MonthOptional
NoteOptional
TitleOptional
YearOptional

PhDThesis

AddressOptional
AuthorRequired
MonthOptional
NoteOptional
SchoolRequired
TitleRequired
YearRequired

Proceedings

TitleRequired
EditorOptional
NoteOptional
OrganizationOptional
AddressOptional
PublisherOptional
MonthOptional
YearRequired

TechReport

AuthorRequired
TitleRequired
NoteOptional
TypeOptional
NumberOptional
MonthOptional
YearRequired
InstitutionRequired
AddressOptional

Unpublished

AuthorRequired
MonthOptional
NoteRequired
TitleRequired
YearOptional

Citations in the Text

The are a number of established forms for referencing a citation in the publication text. The reference should be unambiguous and the format used should be consistent. Some popular styles include:
[Author-Initial(s)Year]
as in [Spi97] (single author) or [WKS82] (multiple authors) or [Knu88b] (multiple works for the same author and year).
[Number]
as in [12]. Citations are then numbered by order of occurence in the document or by the order they appear when sorted by the author names.
Supersctipt number
as in12 numbered as described in the previous case.
Author (year)
as in Spinellis (1997) or Kernighan and Ritchie (1978), or (Knuth 1981). Append a lowercase letter (a, b, c) for multiple works by the same author in the same year. The format Author (year) is used in narrative form as used by Knuth (1983), while the format (Author year) is used when the reference is outside the flow of the text (Knuth 1983). We recomment against using this reference style as it confuses bilbiographic tools without offering any significant benefits.
Choose the format appropriate for the publication you are writing for and use it consistently. We prefer the first format, as it is helps us identify the reference in the text, and is efficiently supported by BibTeX.

Citation Formats

Citations to Electronic Data

Citations to data that is available in electronic format should follow the guidelines for traditional formats, appending at the end the following: It is generally preferable to cite traditional sources over Internet pages as the latter tend to be rather volatile. When you do cite material on the web, archive it using WebCite (http://www.webcitation.org/63NhkqLsO).

Examples:

Advice for Writing BibTeX Entries

Many electronic libraries provide the ability to export a reference in BibTeX format. However, these references often contain errors and style bugs. Before incorporating a reference into your database ensure that the following hold.

Examples

Tools and Links

I manage bibliography lists and automatically create citations using BibTeX a companion program for the LaTeX text-processing system. LaTeX, BibTeX and instructions can be found on CTAN: the Comprehensive TeX Archive Network (http://www.ctan.org/) Extensive bibliography lists in BibTeX format are maintained on many Internet sites such as the Networked Computer Science Technical Reports Library (http://www.ncstrl.org/) When forced to use Microsoft Word I have developed a set of BibTeX styles that create Microsoft Word RTF files. More information is also available from Dana Jacobsen's Survey of Bibliographic Tools (http://www.ecst.csuchico.edu/~jacobsd/bib/tools/index.html). Some other tools that you may wish to examine are ProCite, EndNote, Reference Manager, RefViz, and WriteNote.

References

Contents