Citation is not only an essential aspect of a scientific paper but also a major part of the communication process in the scientific community. Citation also indicates maturity and integrity of the scientific message and characterizes its author. In this regard it is vital to follow the rules of citation in academic papers, monographs and other forms of public distribution of scientific results and achievements.
Citation in scientific and technical papers has some distinctive features in comparison with citation rules in other kinds of publications – fiction, publicistic writing, journalism.
The main and obligatory rule is that all information taken from elsewhere should have reference to its source and its presentation form should not distort the main points of the source text.
We can distinguish two main forms of citations:
- Direct citation (Direct speech). The information taken from other sources is displayed literally in the form of separate complete sentences or complete phrases, which are put in double quotation marks. A separate phrase from a sentence should end with ellipsis before the closing quotation mark.
- Indirect citation (Paraphrase). The information taken from other sources is conveyed not literally but in a free form. However, paraphrase should no way distort the point and idea of such information.
There are three types of sources of the cited information:
- Direct source. The information is taken directly from the source of origin. In case of several editions of one and the same source, the latest edition is preferable.
- Indirect source. The information is taken from the source, whose author has also taken it from elsewhere. This type of sources is used and should be used quite rarely as it can involve misrepresentation of information and plagiarism. Personally I do not recommend to use this type of sources at all. It is applicable only in case of a physical loss of an original source or if it is impossible to work with its text (for example, a manuscript of Ancient Egyptian astronomer).
- Own source (Self-citation). The information is taken from the own source, which was published by the author earlier. This type of sources is quite efficient when publishing results of quite extensive and(or) continuing simultaneous research of some phenomena or search for a solution of a scientific task and allows to make the text of the publication shorter, focusing readers’ attention on current results and showing their connection with previous studies and earlier results. In this case an indirect form of citation is acceptable, while in case of using a direct form of citation the author should avoid citing big portions of his own text. Incorrect use of self-cites is a straight way to being accused of plagiarism or manipulation.
Ways of placing references:
- Directly in the text. In this case the reference is made by indicating an author of the source, the year of edition and optionally page numbers if the source was made public together with other publications. This information is put in parentheses and is placed at the end of the cited text – (Waller D.F., 2015, p. 10-16). The source reference can also consist only of an indication of the source author and can be part of the sentence. If the source has several authors, only the first one is indicated and then after a comma the phrase “and others” or “with co-authors” goes.
When placing references directly in the text, the author’s last name comes first and his initials follow. The cited sources are listed in the alphabetic order at the end of the paper with indication of a consecutive number in brackets before the last name of the first author (the author’s initials are also placed after the last name). It is a usual practice to repeatedly indicate pages of the source in collected works and books.
- Short references in the text. In this case the reference is made by indicating the source consecutive number in the list of cited sources put in brackets. Such reference is placed at the end of the cited text with a space before the last word (mark) in the sentence. In case of simultaneous references to several sources, their consecutive numbers are separated with commas, for example, [1, 2], [1-3], [4, 6, 8-11]. It is unacceptable to indicate the numbers separately, like ,  or , , [8-11] etc.
If references are made this way, the list of sources at the end of the paper is ranked not alphabetically but in the order they are indicated in the text – the first source mentioned in the text will have the first consecutive number in the list of sources.
Authors should use only one form of citation and one form of references to sources within the published paper.
If an author takes someone’s graphic elements for citing purposes – tables, diagrams, photos, block schemes etc., it is mandatory to indicate sources of such elements; moreover, an author should obtain the right to use them. If the element belongs to the author, he should place a phrase like “Made by the author” in parentheses.
Every publishing company has its own rules and standards, which may be somewhat different from these general requirements. When preparing your research paper, you should take it into account and study the rules of scientific paper writing and submission.