A bibliographic citation is a reference to a book, article, web page, or other published item. Citations should supply detail to identify the item uniquely. Different citation systems and styles are used in scientific citation, legal citation, prior art, and the arts and the humanities.
Citation content can vary depending on the type of source and may include:
- Book: author(s), book title, publisher, date of publication, and page number(s) inappropriate.
- Journal: author(s), article title, journal title, date of publication, and page number(s).
- Newspaper: author(s), article title, name of the newspaper, section title and page number(s) if desired, date of publication.
- Website: author(s), article and publication title where appropriate, as well as a URL, and a date when the site was accessed.
- Play: inline citations offer part, scene, and line numbers, the latter separated by periods: 4.452 refers to scene 4, line 452. For example, ”In Eugene Onegin, Onegin rejects Tanya when she is free to be his, and only decides he wants her when she is already married” (Pushkin 4.452-53).
- Poem: spaced slashes are normally used to indicate separate lines of a poem, and parenthetical citations usually include the line number(s). For example: ”For I must love because I live / And life in me is what you give.” (Brennan, lines 1516).
- Interview: name of interviewer, interview descriptor (ex. personal interview) and date of interview.
Unique identifiers of citation
Along with information such as author(s), date of publication, title and page numbers, citations may also include unique identifiers depending on the type of work being preferred.
- Citations of books may include an International Standard Book Number (ISBN).
- Specific volumes, articles or other identifiable parts of a periodical, may have an associated Serial Item and Contribution Identifier (SICI).
- Electronic documents may have a digital object identifier (DOI).
- Biomedical research articles may have a PubMed Identifier (PMID).