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Biology: Citing Sources

The study of life and living organisms: plants, animals, and microorganisms at the molecular, cellular, organismal, and population levels.

Evaluating Sources

Whether a Web site or in paper, the same criteria basically apply for both. scales of justice

  • Author is identified with reliable credentials
  • Is the publication itself reliable? a reliable publisher? is the Web page URL coming from a government agency (.gov), an institution or agency (.org, .net), an educational institution (.edu) [.com or personal pages are not unbiased or necessarily reliable]
  • Are there references for further reading?
  • Do you know where their data comes from?
  • How current is the information?

Use the criteria above to decide if the source is credible, accurate and reliable.

If you need to find primary literature, check out those criteria. If all you want is some news about a topic, a newspaper will suffice. It depends on what your need is.


Resources in the Library

Manage Your Citations & References

RefWorks & EndNote ...

...allow you to store and manage citation information, either online or on your computer. 

...use this information to create citations in any style you choose. with MicroSoft Word to create in-text citations while you write.


Contact Karen Gillum for RefWorks instruction,  Kara Kugelmeyer for EndNote instruction, Laine Thielstrom for Mendeley instruction.
The libraries DO NOT offer technical support for EndNote.  For assistance, visit EndNote's Technical Support site.

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