How to Read Citations

Have you ever stared at a citation and had no idea if it was a book, chapter in a book, article or website? This infographic in our Research Therapy series breaks down citations for you, highlighting the various elements that make up a citation.

How to read a citation

Book Citations 

Elements of a book citation: author, title of book, publisher information, year. and format.

Elements of a chapter in a book citation: author of chapter, title of chapter, title of book, editor of book, publisher information, and page range of chapters.

Book Clues:

  • If the citation has publisher name and location, it’s a book!
  • In MLA citation style the format means the medium of publication.
  • E-books may have a URL, database name, or date of access at the end of the citation.

Article Citations

Elements of magazine and journal article citations: author, title of article, title of publication, volume number, issue number, year of publication, and page numbers.

Elements of a newspaper article: author, title of article, title of publication, date of publication, page number or section.

For articles found in an online library database the only difference in the citation is the addition at the end of the citation of the following; name of the database, format, access date, and sometimes the URL or DOI.

Article Clue:

  • All published articles will have two titles; the title of the article and the title of the journal/magazine/newspaper.
  • In MLA the format for an article in a library database will say “web”, but it’s not a website.
  • Magazines may just have a month of publication instead of a volume and issue number.
  • Depending on the citations style, you may see a URL or DOI for an article in an online database.

Website Citations

The elements of a website citation usually include: author/editor, title of work or page, name of the website, publisher or sponsor of website, title URL, date of publication, format, and access date.

Website Clues:

  • Websites may not provide publication dates.
  • Websites don’t always have authors, they may just list the organization that created the website.
  • Depending on the citation style, you may see the term “retrieved from” followed by a URL.

Things to Remember

  • Every citation style is different, but the elements of what makes up a citation are the same.
  • If you’re unsure of what type of article it is, just Google the name of the publication
  • You can always ask a librarian for help!

– Laurie Borchard

Refill Your Water Bottles at the Oviatt!

Water Bottle Refilling StationIt’s common to see a line of students waiting for their coffee or other drinks at the Freudian Sip coffeehouse in the Library Learning Common’s lobby. Now there is another line you will often see on the other side of the lobby, a spot where students are eager to fill their empty bottles with cool, filtered water.

The Oviatt Library recently installed a water bottle filling station in the Learning Commons lobby through funding from the Campus Quality Fee. The installation and use of the station increases campus sustainability efforts, and provides students with the opportunity to save money, as they can refill their water bottles instead of buying a new one each time. Having a new water bottle filling station for students to use in the Library also means there will be fewer plastic bottles to be thrown away.

According to those at the Library who initiated and carried out the project, “Students will be made aware of campus sustainability goals in terms of water consumption . . . Students and visitors to the Oviatt will be able to see that our University and student body are continuing to take steps to become more environmentally conscious.” Team members who coordinated with campus facilities to bring the water bottle filling station to the Library Learning Commons lobby include Sarah Sayeed, Lynn Lampert, Marianne Afifi and Jason Billick.

These Oviatt Library efforts join others on campus who also have taken steps to make our campus more eco-friendly. A partnership between the Associated Students Environmental Affairs Committee and CSUN Physical Plant Management is responsible for installing other water bottle refill stations in eight colleges throughout the CSUN campus. These other stations can be found in Juniper Hall, the Education building, Chaparral Hall, Sierra Hall, Jerome Richfield Hall, Manzanita Hall, Redwood Hall, and Sequoia Hall. So if you are thirsty, and need a refill, please feel free to visit the Oviatt Library Learning Commons water bottle filling station or any of the other many refilling spots on the CSUN campus!

– Coleen Martin

Reference Resources

Have you seen or heard the word reference in the library or online and wondered what that meant exactly? Check out our newest edition of Research Therapy and learn about all the different types of reference.

What is Reference?

What is Reference?

Reference Books

  • Dictionaries
  • Encyclopedias
  • Bibliographies
  • Almanacs
  • Handbooks & Manuals

Where can you find reference resources?

  • Print: Learning Commons, 1st Floor
  • Online: From the library’s homepage, click on “Databases by Subject” then click on “Reference Sources” or look for e-books in the Library Catalog

Why use a reference source?

  • Brief & introductory information on a topic
  • Good for background information and overview of topics
  • Use for facts and figures

Pro-Tip

  • More reliable than Wikipedia
  • If the book spine says REF or Learning Commons, it can’t be checked out!

Reference Desk

What is it?

  • Have a question? Librarians are waiting to talk to you. No appointment necessary!

Where is it located?

  • Learning Commons, 1st Floor, look for the wall that says: “Reference – Ask A Librarian”

Why use this service?

  • Research help
  • Develop research strategies
  • Ask questions
  • Find books and articles

Online help at library.csun.edu/AskUs via Email, Chat & Text

Reference Page

What is it?

  • Citations of the resources referred to in a paper, article, report, or book

Where is it located?

  • Found at the end of an article, chapter, or book.
  • Include References (APA) or a Works Cited (MLA) page at the end of your own papers!

Why should you create it?

  • Give credit where credit is due!

Pro-Tip: If you find an interesting article or book and want to research the topic further, look up one of the citations!

-Isabelle Ramos and Nina Mamikunian

 

 

 

Celebrate Banned Books Week at the Oviatt

Banned Books Display Hello Matadors! September 27 through October 3 is Banned Books week. Banned Books Week celebrates our freedom to choose what we read. It also brings attention to the harms of censorship. The Oviatt Library is acknowledging the importance of Banned Books Week with several activities.

There is a Banned Books display in the Learning Commons, first floor of the Library. All of the books within the display have been banned in some manner. Each book has been wrapped, (for suspense!) and at least one description has been given as to why the book was banned. Come take a look at the various reasons these books have been censored in different places around the country. Some books were tossed in the trash, while others were hidden behind the circulation desks of their libraries. All of these banned books can be checked out at the Guest Services Desk in our Library lobby. But no peeking before they are checked out and taken home to read!

The Library is also collaborating with the CSUN Journalism Department to bring you a Banned Books Readout on Wednesday, September 30 from 12:30-2:30 p.m. in the Oviatt Library Ferman Presentation Room. Cecil Castellucci, author of Boy Proof, and many other young adult novels, will be speaking, in addition to CSUN Professor Elizabeth Blakey Martinez, who is a First Amendment scholar. There will also be many journalism students reading passages from banned books. Pizza will be served and everyone is welcome. Please RSVP at http://library.csun.edu/banned-books-readout-2015. Happy Banned Books Week to all and enjoy your reading!

– Coleen Martin

Find Out About Magazines and Journals!

Magazine vs Journal

Magazines vs. Journals

 Popular Sources = magazines and newspaper articles

  • Purpose: Inform and entertain the general reader
  • Authors: journalist or professional writers (usually employees of the publication)
  • Audience: general public
  • Coverage: Broad variety of public interest topics, cross disciplinary.
  • Publisher: Commercial
  • Characteristics:
    • Few or no cited references
    • General summaries of background information
    • Contain advertisements
    • Length of articles are usually brief, 1-5 pages
  • Frequency: Published on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
  • Examples: Time, Newsweek, Vogue, National Geographic, The New Yorker

 Scholarly Sources = journal articles

  • Purpose: To communicate research and scholarly ideas
  • Authors: researchers, scholars, or faculty (usually listed with their institution affiliation)
  • Audience: other scholars, students
  • Coverage: Very narrow and specific topics
  • Publisher: Professional associations, academic institutions, and many commercial publishers.
  • Characteristics:
    • Includes full citations for sources
    • Uses scholarly or technical language
    • Peer reviewed
    • Length of articles are longer, over 5 pages
  • Frequency: Published on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis
  • Examples: Journal of Politics, Sociological Review, Journal of Marriage and Family

 Things to keep in mind:

  • You can find both types of sources using the Oviatt Library’s Databases.
  • Book reviews and editorials found in journals are not considered scholarly articles.
  • Both magazines and journal articles can be good sources for your work.
  • Often a combination of the two will be the most appropriate for undergraduate research.

– Jamie Johnson