Information Required in Citation in Research

The information required in citation in research may differ in the elements but the aim of the citation will remain same.There are different types of sources that researchers use in the research and every source needs more or less same elements of citation. Some sources like books, journals, magazines, web articles and newspapers have minor differences in the elements of citation. Some other sources like music records etc needs different elements but the aim remains the same.

The Aims of Citation in Research:

  • All citation styles have been developed with an aim to provide full information about the authenticity of the source from where the researcher has quoted it. The information needs to be cited accurately and precisely so that the readers do not get confused and they can find the source easily.
  • The other reason is that it helps the reader find the source if they need further information.
  • Another important reason for citing the source is to give proper credit to the person or organizations who wrote, published, edited or translated the source.
  • The citation of sources also make it possible for the readers to know the quality of the sources that you have used as the quality of the sources reflect the quality of your research as well.

The following information is required for the citation in research:

  • Who wrote the source, edited it and published it, in some sources you need to provide all three of them while in other you have to provide one or two of them.
  • What is inside the source and how to identify what it is all about and for that you have to provide the title or subtitle of the book, journal or magazine etc. You can provide the title of the article if there is only one article and not a complete book or the title of the diary, autobiography, or other personal source.
  • Who published it and when did it get publish this is important because it gives an idea to the readers how old is the source. Also provide the place of publication if it is present on the source.
  • Where can this source be obtained and in case of books, magazines, and journals every body knows they can be find in a library etc but if you have quoted an article from the internet provide the URL or the database that can help the readers identify where and how they can find this source.

When do you do not need to cite the source?

  • Suppose you are writing a common fact or knowledge like you are stating the Newton’s second law of motion in your research you do not need to cite it. Suppose you are stating the dates of a war that broke in any part of the world in the past you do not need to cite because it is a common fact that everyone knows.

You have to use a citation style that is relevant to the field that you are doing the research in. Your readers will find it easier to find your source if you provide full information in accurate manner. Good cited sources in your research are a proof of the authenticity of your research and on the other hand poorly cited sources show that you did a careless work and your research could not be relied on by other research community and readers.


  • Turabian, L. k., A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 8th Ed, 2007, pp-136-137
  • Citing Sources: What Information Should Be Cited And Why, Cited on 2017, October 17,



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