Oscola Referencing Encyclopedia In Bibliography

OSCOLA stands for the Oxford Standard for the Citation of Legal Authorities. It is the Law referencing system created by Oxford University. If you are a post-graduate law student, you are required to use this referencing system. In this system, citations are put in footnotes at the bottom of the page.

To create a footnote in Microsoft Word, click your mouse on the place you want it to refer to. Click on ‘References’ at the top and then on ‘Insert Footnote’. A number will appear in the text, and also at the bottom of the page, where you write your citation. This means that your readers can easily look down at the footnote to see the details of the source you are referring to.

In this guide, each type of source has an outline of the elements of the citation. Each of the elements is separated by a vertical line ‘|’. Pay attention to

  • whether words are in italics (like this)
  • whether brackets are round like this ( ), square like this [ ] or angled like this < >
  • where there is punctuation, such as commas (,)

If you cannot find what you need, read the latest edition of OSCOLA: https://www.law.ox.ac.uk/sites/files/oxlaw/oscola_4th_edn_hart_2012.pdf

Or email the Online Library at onlinelibrary@shl.lon.ac.uk


General principles


UK primary legislation (Acts and Bills)

UK secondary legislation (statutory instruments)

EU legal sources

Judgments of the ECJ and GC

Decisions of the European Commission

Judgments of the ECHR

Cases from other jurisdictions

Legislation from other jurisdictions




Online articles

Case notes


Websites and blogs

Newspaper articles


Personal communications (letters and emails)

General Principles


  • Put the footnote marker at the end of a sentence, unless for the sake of clarity it is necessary to put it directly after the word or phrase to which it relates
  • The superscript number should be after the full stop or comma, if relevant
  • Where more than one citation is given in a single footnote reference, separate them with semi-colons

Authors' names

  • Give the author’s name exactly as it appears in the publication, but omit postnominals such as QC
  • If there are more than three authors, give the name of the first author followed by ‘and others’
  • If no individual author is identified, but an organisation or institution claims editorial responsibility for the work, then cite it as the author
  • If no person, organisation or institution claims responsibility for the work, begin the citation with the title
  • In footnotes, the author’s first name or initial(s) precede their surname
  • In bibliographies, the surname comes first, then the initial(s), followed by a comma


  • Italicise titles of books and similar publications, including all publications with ISBNs
  • All other titles should be within single quotation marks and not in italics
  • Capitalize the first letter in all major words in a title
  • Minor words, such as ‘for’, ‘and’, ‘or’ and ‘the’, do not take a capital unless they begin the title or subtitle


  • Pinpoints to parts, chapters, pages and paragraphs come at the end of the citation
  • Use ‘pt’ for part, ‘ch’ for chapter, and ‘para’ for paragraph
  • Page numbers stand alone, without ‘p’ or ‘pp’
  • If citing a chapter or part and page number, insert a comma before the page number
  • Where possible, give a specific range of pages but if you must refer to an initial page and several unspecified following pages, give the initial page number followed immediately by ‘ff ’ (eg ‘167ff ’)

Electronic sources

  • If you source a publication online which is also available in hard copy, cite the hard copy version. There is no need to cite an electronic source for such a publication
  • Citations of publications that are available only electronically should end with the web address (or ‘url’) in angled brackets (< >), followed by the date of most recent access, expressed in the form ‘accessed 1 January 2010’
  • Include ‘http://’ only if the web address does not begin with ‘www’


  • When a full date is required, the format should be ‘1 January 2016’
  • There is no need for ‘st’ or ‘th’ after the day
  • If something spans more than one year in the same century, the format is ‘1972-84’


Case citations including neutral citations

case name | [year] | court | number, | [year] OR (year) | volume | report abbreviation | first page


Corr v IBC Vehicles Ltd [2008] UKHL 13, [2008] 1 AC 884

Case citations without neutral citations

case name | [year] OR (year) | volume | report abbreviation | first page | (court)


Barrett v Enfield LBC [2001] 2 AC 550 (HL)


  • If only one volume was issued during that particular year, do not give a number
  • Use square brackets for the year a volume was issued
  • Use round brackets for the year a judgment was issued

What are neutral citations?

Many courts now issue judgments with a neutral citation which identify the judgment independently of any law report. Neutral citations give the year of judgment, the court and the judgment number. The court is not included in brackets at the end of a neutral citation because the neutral citation itself identifies the court.

Where a judgment with a neutral citation has not been reported, give only the neutral citation.


Re Guardian News and Media Ltd [2010] UKSC 1

Where such a judgment has been reported, give the neutral citation followed by a citation of the most authoritative report, separated by a comma.


Corr v IBC Vehicles Ltd [2008] UKHL 13, [2008] 1 AC 884

UK primary legislation (Acts and Bills)

Cite an Act by its short title and year, using capitals at the beginning of major words, and without a comma before the year. Do not use popular titles of Acts, such as ‘Lord Campbell’s Act’


Shipping and Trading Interests (Protection) Act 1995

If several jurisdictions are discussed in a work, it may be necessary to add the

jurisdiction of the legislation in brackets at the end of the citation


Water Resources Act 1991 (UK)

Statutes are divided into parts, sections, subsections, paragraphs and subparagraphs. The relevant abbreviations are:
















Consumer Protection Act 1987, s 2

If specifying a paragraph or subsection as part of a section, use only the abbreviation

for the section. For example, paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of section 15 of the

Human Rights Act 1998 is expressed as follows:

Human Rights Act 1998, s 15(1)(b)


title | HC Bill | (session) | [number]


title | HL Bill | (session) | number


Consolidated Fund HC Bill (2008–09) [5]

Academies HL Bill (2010-11) 1, cl 8(2)

UK secondary legislation (statutory instruments)

Statutory instruments (orders, regulations or rules) are numbered consecutively throughout the year. The year combines with the serial number to provide an SI number that follows the abbreviation ‘SI’ and which is used to identify the legislation. When citing a statutory instrument, give the name, year and (after a comma) the SI number:

Penalties for Disorderly Behaviour (Amendment of Minimum Age) Order 2004, SI 2004/3166

Statutory instruments used to be called statutory rules and orders, and these are cited by their title and SR & O number.

The Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) and their predecessors, the Rules of the Supreme Court (RSC) and the County Court Rules (CCR), may be cited without reference to their SI number or year. Cite all other court rules in full as statutory instruments.



RSC Ord 24, r 14A

CPR Practice Directions (PD) are referred to simply by number, according to the part or rule they supplement.


6A PD 4.1

Parts of statutory instruments




r/rr (not necessary for CPR)



European Union legal sources

Official notices of the EU are carried in the Official Journal of the European

Communities (abbreviated to OJ). The letter ‘L’ denotes the legislation series, the ‘C’ series contains EU information and notices, and the ‘S’ series invitations to tender.


legislation title | [year] | OJ series | issue/first page


Consolidated Version of the Treaty on European Union [2008] OJ C115/13

Regulations and Directives

legislation type | number | title | [year] | OJ L issue/first page


Council Regulation (EC) 1984/2003 of 8 April 2003 introducing a system

for the statistical monitoring of trade in bluefin tuna, swordfish and big

eye tuna within the Community [2003] OJ L295/1

Council Directive 2002/60/EC of 27 June 2002 laying down specific

provisions for the control of African swine fever and amending Directive

92/119/EEC as regards Teschen disease and African swine fever [2002]

OJ L192/27

Note that the year precedes the running number in citations to Directives, but follows it in citations to Regulations.

Judgments of the European Court of Justice and General Court

  • EU cases registered at the European Court of Justice are given the prefix ‘C-‘
  • EU cases registered at the General Court (known as the Court of First Instance until 2009) are given the prefix ‘T-‘
  • Judgments from the Civil Service Tribunal (established in 2005) are given the prefix ‘F-‘
  • For an unreported case, cite the relevant notice in the OJ. If the case is not yet reported in the OJ, then cite the case number and case name, followed by the court and date of judgment in brackets.
  • When citing an opinion of an Advocate General, add the words ‘Opinion of AG [name]’

case number | case name | [year] | report abbreviation | first page


Case 240/83 Procureur de la République v ADBHU [1985] ECR 531

Case T–277/08 Bayer Healthcare v OHMI—Uriach Aquilea OTC (CFI, 11 November 2009)

Case C–176/03 Commission v Council [2005] ECR I–7879, paras 47–48

Case C–411/05 Palacios de la Villa v Cortefiel Servicios SA [2007] ECR I–8531, Opinion of AG Mazák, paras 79–100

Decisions of the European Commission

case name | (case number) | Commission Decision number | [year] | OJ L issue/first page


Alcatel/Telettra (Case IV/M.042) Commission Decision 91/251/EEC [1991] OJ L122/48

Judgments of the European Court of Human Rights

Cite either the official reports, the Reports of Judgments and Decisions (cited as ECHR) or the European Human Rights Reports (EHRR), but be consistent in your practice. Before 1996, the official reports were known as Series A. References to unreported judgments should give the application number, and then the court and the date of the judgment in brackets.


Johnston v Ireland (1986) Series A no 122

Osman v UK ECHR 1998–VIII 3124

Balogh v Hungary App no 47940/99 (ECtHR, 20 July 2004)

Omojudi v UK (2009) 51 EHRR 10

Cases from other jurisdictions

Cite cases from other jurisdictions as they are cited in their own jurisdiction, but with minimal punctuation. If the name of the law report series cited does not itself indicate the court, and the identity of the court is not obvious from the context, you should also give this in either full or short form in brackets at the end of the citation.


Henningsen v Bloomfield Motors Inc 161 A 2d 69 (NJ 1960)

Roe v Wade 410 US 113, 163–64 (1973)

Waltons Stores (Interstate) Ltd v Maher(1988) 164 CLR 387

BGH NJW 1992, 1659

Cass civ (1) 21 January 2003, D 2003, 693

CA Colmar 25 January 1963, Gaz Pal 1963.I.277

Legislation from other jurisdictions

Cite legislation from other jurisdictions as it is cited in its own jurisdiction, but without any full stops in abbreviations. Give the jurisdiction if necessary.


Accident Compensation Act 1972 (NZ)

1976 Standard Terms Act (Gesetz über Allgemeine Geschäftsbedingungen) (FRG)

loi n° 75-1349 du 31 décembre 1975 relative à l’emploi de la langue française


author, | title | (additional information, | edition, | publisher | year)


Timothy Endicott, Administrative Law (OUP 2009)

Gareth Jones, Goff and Jones: The Law of Restitution (1st supp, 7th edn, Sweet & Maxwell 2009)

If a book consists of more than one volume, the volume number follows the publication details:

Andrew Burrows, Remedies for Torts and Breach of Contract (3rd edn, OUP 2004) 317

If the publication details of the volumes vary, the volume number precedes them, and is separated from the title by a comma:

Christian von Bar, The Common European Law of Torts, vol 2 (CH Beck 2000) para 76

Editors and translators

If there is no author, cite the editor or translator as you would an author, adding in brackets after their name ‘(ed)’ or ‘(tr)’, or ‘(eds)’ or ‘(trs)’ if there is more than one.

If the work has an author, but an editor or translator is also acknowledged on the front cover, cite the author in the usual way and attribute the editor or translator at the beginning of the publication information, within the brackets:

HLA Hart, Punishment and Responsibility: Essays in the Philosophy of Law (John Gardner ed, 2nd edn, OUP 2008)

Contributions to edited books

author, | ‘title’ | in editor (ed), | book title | (additional information,| publisher | year)


John Cartwright, ‘The Fiction of the “Reasonable Man”’ in AG Castermans and others (eds), Ex Libris Hans Nieuwenhuis (Kluwer 2009)


Cite an encyclopedia much as you would a book, but excluding the author or editor

and publisher and including the edition and year of issue or reissue. If citing an online encyclopedia, give the web address and date of access.


Halsbury’s Laws (5th edn, 2010) vol 57, para 53

Leslie Green, ‘Legal Positivism’, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall edn, 2009) <http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2009/entries/legal-positivism> accessed 20 November 2009


author, | ‘title’ | (year) | volume | journal name or abbreviation | first page of article

If only one volume was published that year, use square brackets:

author, | ‘title’ | [year] | journal name or abbreviation | first page of article

Put a comma after the first page of the article if there is a pinpoint (the specific page you are referencing).


JAG Griffith, ‘The Common Law and the Political Constitution’ (2001) 117 LQR 42, 64

Online articles

When citing journal articles which have been published only electronically, give publication details as for articles in hard copy journals.

  • Note that online journals may lack some of the publication elements (for example, many do not include page numbers).
  • If citation advice is provided by the online journal, follow it, removing full stops as necessary to comply with OSCOLA.
  • Follow the citation with the web address (in angled brackets) and the date you most recently accessed the article.
  • Use square brackets for the year a volume was issued
  • Use round brackets for the year a judgment was issued

author, | ‘title’ | [year] OR (year) | volume/issue | journal name or abbreviation | <web address> | date accessed


Graham Greenleaf, ‘The Global Development of Free Access to Legal Information’ (2010) 1(1) EJLT <http://ejlt.org/article/view/17> accessed 27 July 2010

Case notes

Treat case notes with titles as if they were journal articles. Where there is no title, use the name of the case in italics instead, and add (note) at the end of the citation.

Andrew Ashworth, ‘R (Singh) v Chief Constable of the West Midlands Police’ [2006] Crim LR 441 (note)


HL Deb OR HC Deb | date, | volume, | column

In the House of Commons, written answers are indicated by the suffix ‘W’ after the column number; in the House of Lords, they are indicated by the prefix ‘WA’ before the column number.


HC Deb 3 February 1977, vol 389, cols 973–76

HL Deb 21 July 2005, vol 673, col WA261

Command papers

Command papers include White and Green Papers, relevant treaties, government responses to select committee reports, and reports of committees of inquiry. When citing a command paper, begin the citation with the name of the department or other body that produced the paper, and then give the title of the paper in italics, followed by the command paper number and the year in brackets.


Home Office, Report of the Royal Commission on Capital Punishment (Cmd 8932, 1953) para 53

The abbreviation preceding a command paper number depends on the year of publication:

1833–69 (C (1st series))

1870–99 (C (2nd series))

1900–18 (Cd)

1919–56 (Cmd)

1957–86 (Cmnd)

1986– (Cm)

Websites and blogs

Sarah Cole, ‘Virtual Friend Fires Employee’ (Naked Law, 1 May 2009) <www.nakedlaw.com/2009/05/index.html> accessed 19 November 2009

  • If there is no author identified, and it is appropriate to cite an anonymous source, begin the citation with the title in the usual way.
  • If there is no date of publication on the website, give only the date of access

Newspaper articles

author, | ‘title’ | name of the newspaper | (city of publication, | date) | page if known


Jane Croft, ‘Supreme Court Warns on Quality’ Financial Times (London, 1 July 2010) 3

Ian Loader, ‘The Great Victim of this Get Tough Hyperactivity is Labour’ The Guardian (London, 19 June 2008) <www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/jun/19/justice.ukcrime> accessed 19 November 2009


interviewer(s) if not yourself, | Interview with name, position, institution of interviewee | (location, date of interview)


Interview with Irene Kull, Assistant Dean, Faculty of Law, Tartu University (Tartu, Estonia, 4 August 2003)

Timothy Endicott and John Gardner, Interview with Tony Honoré, Emeritus Regius Professor of Civil Law, University of Oxford (Oxford, 17 July 2007)

If the reference is to an editorial, cite the author as ‘Editorial’.

Personal communications

When citing personal communications, such as emails and letters, give the author and recipient of the communication, and the date. If you are yourself the author or recipient of the communication, say ‘from author’ or ‘to author’ as appropriate.


Letter from Gordon Brown to Lady Ashton (20 November 2009)

Email from Amazon.co.uk to author (16 December 2008)

For "<cite>", see HTML element § cite. For help making citations within Wikipedia, see Wikipedia:Citing sources. For other uses, see Citation (disambiguation), Cité (disambiguation), and CITE (disambiguation).

A citation is a reference to a published or unpublished source (not always the original source)[citation needed]. More precisely, a citation is an abbreviated alphanumeric expression embedded in the body of an intellectual work that denotes an entry in the bibliographic references section of the work for the purpose of acknowledging the relevance of the works of others to the topic of discussion at the spot where the citation appears. Generally the combination of both the in-body citation and the bibliographic entry constitutes what is commonly thought of as a citation (whereas bibliographic entries by themselves are not). References to single, machine-readable assertions in electronic scientific articles are known as nanopublications, a form of microattribution.

Citations have several important purposes: to uphold intellectual honesty (or avoiding plagiarism),[1] to attribute prior or unoriginal work and ideas to the correct sources, to allow the reader to determine independently whether the referenced material supports the author's argument in the claimed way, and to help the reader gauge the strength and validity of the material the author has used.[2] As Roark and Emerson have argued, citations relate to the way authors perceive the substance of their work, their position in the academic system, and the moral equivalency of their place, substance, and words.[3] Despite these attributes, many drawbacks and shortcoming of citation practices have been reported, including for example honorary citations, circumstantial citations, discriminatory citations, selective and arbitrary citations.[4]

The forms of citations generally subscribe to one of the generally accepted citations systems, such as the Oxford,[5] Harvard, MLA, American Sociological Association (ASA), American Psychological Association (APA), and other citations systems, because their syntactic conventions are widely known and easily interpreted by readers. Each of these citation systems has its advantages and disadvantages. Editors often specify the citation system to use.

Bibliographies, and other list-like compilations of references, are generally not considered citations because they do not fulfill the true spirit of the term: deliberate acknowledgement by other authors of the priority of one's ideas.


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.[6] Different citation systems and styles are used in scientific citation, legal citation, prior art, 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) if appropriate.[7][8]
  • Journal: author(s), article title, journal title, date of publication, and page number(s).
  • Newspaper: author(s), article title, name of newspaper, section title and page number(s) if desired, date of publication.
  • Web site: 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).[9]
  • 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 15–16).[9]
  • Interview: name of interviewer, interview descriptor (ex. personal interview) and date of interview.

Unique identifiers[edit]

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 referred to.


Broadly speaking, there are two types of citation systems, the Vancouver system and parenthetical referencing.[10] However, the Council of Science Editors (CSE) adds a third, the citation-name system.[11]

Vancouver system[edit]

Main article: Vancouver system

The Vancouver system uses sequential numbers in the text, either bracketed or superscript or both.[10] The numbers refer to either footnotes (notes at the end of the page) or endnotes (notes on a page at the end of the paper) that provide source detail. The notes system may or may not require a full bibliography, depending on whether the writer has used a full-note form or a shortened-note form.

For example, an excerpt from the text of a paper using a notes system without a full bibliography could look like:

"The five stages of grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance."1

The note, located either at the foot of the page (footnote) or at the end of the paper (endnote) would look like this:

1. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, On Death and Dying (New York: Macmillan, 1969) 45–60.

In a paper with a full bibliography, the shortened note might look like:

1. Kübler-Ross, On Death and Dying 45–60.

The bibliography entry, which is required with a shortened note, would look like this:

Kübler-Ross, Elisabeth. On Death and Dying. New York: Macmillan, 1969.

In the humanities, many authors also use footnotes or endnotes to supply anecdotal information. In this way, what looks like a citation is actually supplementary material, or suggestions for further reading.[12]

Parenthetical referencing[edit]

Main article: Parenthetical referencing

Parenthetical referencing, also known as Harvard referencing, has full or partial, in-text, citations enclosed in circular brackets and embedded in the paragraph.[10]

An example of a parenthetical reference:

"The five stages of grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance" (Kübler-Ross,1969, p 45–60).

Depending on the choice of style, fully cited parenthetical references may require no end section. Other styles include a list of the citations, with complete bibliographical references, in an end section, sorted alphabetically by author. This section is often called "References", "Bibliography", "Works cited" or "Works consulted".

In-text references for online publications may differ from conventional parenthetical referencing. A full reference can be hidden, only displayed when wanted by the reader, in the form of a tooltip.[13] This style makes citing easier and improves the reader's experience.

Citation-name system[edit]

Superscripted numbers are inserted at the point of reference, just as in the citation‐sequence system, but the citations are numbered according to the order of cited works at the end of the paper or book; this list is often sorted alphabetically by author.


Main articles: APA style, MLA style, The Chicago Manual of Style, Bluebook, ALWD Citation Manual, ASA style, Harvard referencing, and Vancouver system

Citation styles can be broadly divided into styles common to the Humanities and the Sciences, though there is considerable overlap. Some style guides, such as the Chicago Manual of Style, are quite flexible and cover both parenthetical and note citation systems. Others, such as MLA and APA styles, specify formats within the context of a single citation system. These may be referred to as citation formats as well as citation styles.[14][15][16] The various guides thus specify order of appearance, for example, of publication date, title, and page numbers following the author name, in addition to conventions of punctuation, use of italics, emphasis, parenthesis, quotation marks, etc., particular to their style.

A number of organizations have created styles to fit their needs; consequently, a number of different guides exist. Individual publishers often have their own in-house variations as well, and some works are so long-established as to have their own citation methods too: Stephanus pagination for Plato; Bekker numbers for Aristotle; citing the Bible by book, chapter and verse; or Shakespeare notation by play.


  • The Chicago Style (CMOS) was developed and its guide is The Chicago Manual of Style. It is most widely used in history and economics as well as some social sciences. The closely related Turabian style—which derives from it—is for student references, and is distinguished from the CMOS by omission of quotation marks in reference lists, and mandatory access date citation.
  • The Columbia Style was created by Janice R. Walker and Todd Taylor to give detailed guidelines for citing internet sources. Columbia Style offers models for both the humanities and the sciences.
  • Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace by Elizabeth Shown Mills covers primary sources not included in CMOS, such as censuses, court, land, government, business, and church records. Includes sources in electronic format. Used by genealogists and historians.[17]
  • Harvard referencing (or author-date system) is a specific kind of parenthetical referencing. Parenthetical referencing is recommended by both the British Standards Institution and the Modern Language Association. Harvard referencing involves a short author-date reference, e.g., "(Smith, 2000)", being inserted after the cited text within parentheses and the full reference to the source being listed at the end of the article.
  • MLA style was developed by the Modern Language Association and is most often used in the arts and the humanities, particularly in English studies, other literary studies, including comparative literature and literary criticism in languages other than English ("foreign languages"), and some interdisciplinary studies, such as cultural studies, drama and theatre, film, and other media, including television. This style of citations and bibliographical format uses parenthetical referencing with author-page (Smith 395) or author-[short] title-page (Smith, Contingencies 42) in the case of more than one work by the same author within parentheses in the text, keyed to an alphabetical list of sources on a "Works Cited" page at the end of the paper, as well as notes (footnotes or endnotes). See The MLA Style Manual and The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, particularly Citation and bibliography format.[a]
  • The MHRA Style Guide is published by the Modern Humanities Research Association (MHRA) and most widely used in the arts and humanities in the United Kingdom, where the MHRA is based. It is available for sale both in the UK and in the United States. It is similar to MLA style, but has some differences. For example, MHRA style uses footnotes that reference a citation fully while also providing a bibliography. Some readers find it advantageous that the footnotes provide full citations, instead of shortened references, so that they do not need to consult the bibliography while reading for the rest of the publication details.[18]

In some areas of the Humanities, footnotes are used exclusively for references, and their use for conventional footnotes (explanations or examples) is avoided. In these areas, the term "footnote" is actually used as a synonym for "reference", and care must be taken by editors and typesetters to ensure that they understand how the term is being used by their authors.


Main article: Legal citation

  • The Bluebook is a citation system traditionally used in American academic legal writing, and the Bluebook (or similar systems derived from it) are used by many courts.[19] At present, academic legal articles are always footnoted, but motions submitted to courts and court opinions traditionally use inline citations, which are either separate sentences or separate clauses. Inline citations allow readers to quickly determine the strength of a source based on, for example, the court a case was decided in and the year it was decided.
  • The legal citation style used almost universally in Canada is based on the Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation (aka McGill Guide), published by McGill Law Journal.[20]
  • British legal citation almost universally follows the Oxford Standard for Citation of Legal Authorities (OSCOLA).

Sciences, mathematics, engineering, physiology, and medicine[edit]

  • The American Chemical Society style, or ACS style, is often used in Chemistry and some of the physical sciences. In ACS style references are numbered in the text and in the reference list, and numbers are repeated throughout the text as needed.
  • In the style of the American Institute of Physics (AIP style), references are also numbered in the text and in the reference list, with numbers repeated throughout the text as needed.
  • Styles developed for the American Mathematical Society (AMS), or AMS styles, such as AMS-LaTeX, are typically implemented using the BibTeX tool in the LaTeX typesetting environment. Brackets with author's initials and year are inserted in the text and at the beginning of the reference. Typical citations are listed in-line with alphabetic-label format, e.g. [AB90]. This type of style is also called an "Authorship trigraph."
  • The Vancouver system, recommended by the Council of Science Editors (CSE), is used in medical and scientific papers and research.
    • In one major variant, that used by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), citation numbers are included in the text in square brackets rather than as superscripts. All bibliographical information is exclusively included in the list of references at the end of the document, next to the respective citation number.
    • The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) is reportedly the original kernel of this biomedical style, which evolved from the Vancouver 1978 editors' meeting.[21] The MEDLINE/PubMed database uses this citation style and the National Library of Medicine provides "ICMJE Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals -- Sample References".[22]
  • The AMA Style.
  • The style of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), or IEEE style, encloses citation numbers within square brackets and numbers them consecutively, with numbers repeated throughout the text as needed.[23]
  • Pechenik Citation Style is a style described in A Short Guide to Writing about Biology, 6th ed. (2007), by Jan A. Pechenik.[24]
  • In 1955, Eugene Garfield proposed a bibliographic system for scientific literature, to consolidate the integrity of scientific publications.[25]

Social sciences[edit]


See also: Impact factor § Editorial policies that affect the impact factor

In their research on footnotes in scholarly journals in the field of communication, Michael Bugeja and Daniela V. Dimitrova have found that citations to online sources have a rate of decay (as cited pages are taken down), which they call a "half-life", that renders footnotes in those journals less useful for scholarship over time.[28]

Other experts have found that published replications do not have as many citations as original publications.[29]

Another important issue is citation errors, which often occur due to carelessness on either the researcher or journal editor's part in the publication procedure. Experts have found that simple precautions, such as consulting the author of a cited source about proper citations, reduce the likelihood of citation errors and thus increase the quality of research.[30]

Research suggests the impact of an article can be, partly, explained by superficial factors and not only by the scientific merits of an article.[31] Field-dependent factors are usually listed as an issue to be tackled not only when comparison across disciplines are made, but also when different fields of research of one discipline are being compared.[32] For instance in Medicine among other factors the number of authors, the number of references, the article length, and the presence of a colon in the title influence the impact. Whilst in Sociology the number of references, the article length, and title length are among the factors.[33]

Citation patterns are also known to be affected by unethical behavior of both the authors and journal staff. Such behavior is called impact factor boosting, and was reported to involve even the top-tier journals. Specifically the high-ranking journals of medical science, including the Lancet, JAMA and New England Journal of Medicine, are thought to be associated with such behavior, with up to 30% of citations to these journals being generated by commissioned opinion articles.[34] On the other hand, the phenomenon of citation cartels is rising. Citation cartels are defined as groups of authors that cite each other disproportionately more than they do other groups of authors who work on the same subject.[35]

See also[edit]




  1. ^"What Does it Mean to Cite?". MIT Academic Integrity. 
  2. ^Association of Legal Writing Directors & Darby Dickerson, ALWD Citation Manual: A Professional System of Citation, 4th ed.(New York: Aspen, 2010), 3.
  3. ^Roark, Marc Lane; Emerson, Warren (2015-11-10). "Signals". Rochester, N.Y. SSRN 2688685. 
  4. ^Moustafa, Khaled (2016). "Aberration of the Citation". Accountability in Research. 23 (4): 230–244. doi:10.1080/08989621.2015.1127763. ISSN 1545-5815. PMID 26636372. 
  5. ^"Oxford Referencing System". Retrieved 18 January 2011. 
  6. ^"Library glossary". Benedictine University. August 22, 2008. Archived from the original on April 30, 2008. Retrieved 2009-02-27. 
  7. ^Long Island University.
  8. ^Duke University Libraries 2007.
  9. ^ abBrigham Young University 2008.
  10. ^ abcNeville, C. (2012). Referencing: Principles, practices and problems. In RGUHS Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Vol 2:2. pp. 1-8
  11. ^Council of Science Editors, Style Manual Committee (2007). Scientific style and format: the CSE manual for authors, editors, and publishers.
  12. ^"How to Write Research Papers with Citations: MLA, APA, Footnotes, Endnotes". Retrieved 2010-01-31. 
  13. ^Live Reference Initiative. Retrieved 2012-04-28.
  14. ^California State University 2007.
  15. ^Lesley University 2007.
  16. ^Rochester Institute of Technology 2003.
  17. ^Elizabeth Shown Mills. Evidence Explained : Citing History Sources from Artifacts to cyberspace. 2d ed. Baltimore:Genealogical Pub. Co., 2009.
  18. ^The 2nd edition (updated April 2008) of the MHRA Style Guide is downloadable for free from the Modern Humanities Research Association official Website.
  19. ^Martin 2007.
  20. ^Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation (Cite Guide). McGill Law Journal. Updated October 2008. Retrieved 2009-02-05.
  21. ^"Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals".
  22. ^International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. "ICMJE Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals -- Sample References".
  23. ^IEEE Style Manual. Retrieved 2015-02-16.
  24. ^"Pechenik Citation Style QuickGuide" (PDF). University of Alberta, Augustana Campus, Canada. Web. November 2007.
  25. ^Garfield, Eugene (2006). "Citation indexes for science. A new dimension in documentation through association of ideas". International Journal of Epidemiology. 35 (5): 1123–1127. doi:10.1093/ije/dyl189. PMID 16987841. 
  26. ^Stephen Yoder, ed. (2008). The APSA Guide to Writing and Publishing and Style Manual for Political Science. Rev. ed. August 2006. APSAnet.org Publications. Retrieved 2015-09-28.
  27. ^"Publishing Style Guide - Stay Informed". 
  28. ^Bugeja, Michael and Daniela V. Dimitrova. Vanishing Act: The Erosion of Online Footnotes and Implications for Scholarship in the Digital Age. Duluth, Minnesota: Litwin Books (2010)
  29. ^Raymond Hubbard and J. Scott Armstrong (1994). "Replications and Extensions in Marketing: Rarely Published But Quite Contrary"(PDF). International Journal of Research in Marketing. 11 (3): 233–248. doi:10.1016/0167-8116(94)90003-5. 
  30. ^Wright, Malcolm; Armstrong, J. Scott (2008). "The Ombudsman: Verification of Citations: Fawlty Towers of Knowledge?"(PDF). Interfaces. Catonsville, Maryland: Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences. 38 (2): 125–139. doi:10.1287/inte.1070.0317. eISSN 1526-551X. ISSN 0092-2102. JSTOR 25062982. OCLC 5582131729. SSRN 1941335. Archived(PDF) from the original on 2013-12-17. 
  31. ^Bornmann, L., & Daniel, H. D. (2008). What do citation counts measure? A review of studies on citing behavior. Journal of Documentation, 64(1), 45-80.
  32. ^Anauati, Maria Victoria and Galiani, Sebastian and Gálvez, Ramiro H., Quantifying the Life Cycle of Scholarly Articles Across Fields of Economic Research (November 11, 2014). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2523078
  33. ^van Wesel, M.; Wyatt, S.; ten Haaf, J. (2014). "What a difference a colon makes: how superficial factors influence subsequent citation". Scientometrics. 98 (3): 1601–1615. doi:10.1007/s11192-013-1154-x. 
  34. ^Heneberg, P. (2014). "Parallel Worlds of Citable Documents and Others: Inflated Commissioned Opinion Articles Enhance Scientometric Indicators". Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology. 65 (3): 635. doi:10.1002/asi.22997. 
  35. ^Fister Jr., I.; Fister, I.; Perc, M. (2016). "Toward the Discovery of Citation Cartels in Citation Networks". Frontiers in Physics. 4: 49. doi:10.3389/fphy.2016.00049. 


  • "Citation Guide: ACS (American Chemical Society)". USC.edu. 2015. Retrieved 2015-09-28. 
  • "Anatomy of a Citation". LIU.edu. Retrieved 2015-09-28. 
  • "APA Citation Format". Lesley.edu. 2005. Archived from the original on December 28, 2007. Retrieved 2008-02-11. 
  • "APA Citation Format". RIT.edu. 2003. Archived from the original on February 3, 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-11. 
  • Armstrong, J Scott (July 1996). "The Ombudsman: Management Folklore and Management Science—On Portfolio Planning, Escalation Bias, and Such". Interfaces. Providence: Institute of Management Sciences. 26 (4): 28–42. doi:10.1287/inte.26.4.25. OCLC 210941768. 
  • "ASME Journals Digital Submission Tool". American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Retrieved 2008-02-08. 
  • Bugeja, Michael (2010). Vanishing Act: The Erosion of Online Footnotes and Implications for Scholarship in the Digital Age. Duluth, Minnesota: Litwin Books. ISBN 978-1-936117-14-7. 
  • "Cite Books". Fisher.edu. 2007. Retrieved 2015-09-28. 
  • "CBE - Council of Biology Editors (Citation/Sequence System)". ColoState.edu. 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-11. 
  • "Citation Formats & Style Manuals". CSUChico.edu. 2007. Retrieved 2008-02-11. 
  • "Citation Systems and Style Manuals by Subject Discipline". lib.umd.edu. 2012. Retrieved 2013-08-02. 
  • "How to cite sources in the body of your paper". BYUI.edu. 2008. Archived from the original on November 13, 2011. Retrieved 2008-02-08. 
  • "IEEE Citation Reference"(PDF). Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. 2009. Retrieved 2011-05-12. 
  • Martin, Peter W (May 2007) [1993]. "Introduction to Basic Legal Citation (LII 2007 ed.)". Cornell.edu. Retrieved 2008-02-03. 
  • "MHRA Style Guide: A Handbook for Authors, Editors, and Writers of Theses". Modern Humanities Research Association. 2008. Retrieved 2009-02-05.  (2nd ed.)
  • Pechenik, Jan A (2004). A Short Guide to Writing About Biology (5th ed.). New York: Pearson/Longman. ISBN 0-321-15981-0. OCLC 52166026. 
  • "Why Are There Different Citation Styles?". Yale.edu. 2008. Retrieved 2015-09-28. 

External links[edit]

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