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How to Use Citations to Find More Sources

How to find articles, books, and other sources when you have citation information (author, article title, journal title, date, etc.)

Welcome!

This guide will help you find sources when you have full or partial citation information. 

A citation is a short notation that identifies a published work. They are found in bibliographies, lists of references, and databases, and contain all the information you need to identify and track down books and articles.

This guide will also help you decide on where to go to search depending on what sort of information you have to start with. The search process can be very different depending on whether you have citation information or are searching for resources with a specific subject in mind.

Use the tabs to help you find the information you need.

How to Read a Citation

First, determine whether you're looking for a book, an article, or something else. Here are some examples of citations to help you figure out what you're trying to find.

MLA Format - Book

Example:
Marius, Richard and Melvin E. Page. A Short Guide to Writing About History. Pearson Longman, 2007. 

Breakdown:

Author's name(s). Title of Book: Subtitle of Book. Publisher Name, Year.

MLA Format - Online Article

Example:
Lykken, David and Auke Tellegen. "Happiness is a Stochastic Phenomenon." Psychological Science, vol. 7, no. 3, May 1996: 186-189. SAGE Journals, doi:10.1111/j.1467-9280.1996.tb00355.x.

Breakdown:
Author's name(s). "Article Title." Journal, volume, issue, publication date: pages. Publishing site/database, DOI/URL. 

 

APA Format - Book

Example:
Marius, R. & Page, M. E. (2007). A Short Guide to Writing About History. Pearson Longman.

Breakdown:

Author's name(s). (Year). Title of Book: Subtitle of Book. Publisher Name.

 

APA Format - Online Article

Example:
Lykken, D. & Tellegen, A. (1996). Happiness is a stochastic phenomenon. Psychological Science 7(3), 186-189. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9280.1996.tb00355.x

Breakdown:
Author's name(s). (Year) Article title. Journal volume (issue), pages. DOI or URL

 

For detailed instructions on citation styles, see the "More About Citation Styles" tab or the below guide.

Created by Jim Kinnie & Naomi Fosher, 6/11

Revised by Katie Leahy, 3/15; Tessa Mediano, 3/21; Amanda Izenstark, 6/21

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.