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Citation Style Guides and Management Tools

Guide to APA, ASA, Chicago/Turabian, MLA, and science citation styles, as well as information on citing government information and managing your research.

Style Guides

Style guides provide information on writing and publication in various disciplines, including formatting manuscripts and cite sources. For example, the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, often referred to as APA style, covers writing for the behavioral and social sciences, manuscript structure, style mechanics, how to display results and credit and reference sources, details of the publication process, and more.

Use the tabs on the left for information on the AP, APA, ASA, Chicago/Turabian, MLA, and science citation styles and information on citing government information.


Above, you can find information on managing your research by using citation management tools.


Why do citations matter?

Why should you cite a source? There are many reasons. Take a look at this tutorial for more information on sources.


According to Walker and Taylor (2006) there are five principles of referencing:

  1. Intellectual property. “Using someone else’s ideas, words and phrases, or form of presentation without giving proper credit is plagiarism and can carry serious academic as well as legal penalties. Our conception of plagiarism is based on the notion of ownership of intellectual property. In the United States, the logic behind the principle of intellectual property is based on an economic model, stemming from the Constitution’s call to “promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries” (art. 1, sec. 8). … Beyond intellectual property laws, however, are considerations of ethics. Authors give credit for ideas borrowed from others as part of the process of knowledge building; we build upon— or refute— the ideas of others. In turn, our own ideas may become the foundation or building blocks for future work. Additionally, we give credit in the form of citation when we use the ideas of others simply because it is right to do so, thereby adding to our own credibility and authority as scholars.”
  2. Access. References enable readers to find original sources to which the writer is referring.
  3. Economy. Citations provide enough information to convey the source as briefly as possible.
  4. Transparency. Reference styles should be understood by as many people as possible.
  5. Standardization. Explicit standards for each reference style enable readers to understand the meaning of a citation in that style.

Neville (2007) discusses why referencing is important. He provides nine reasons, though acknowledges there are likely more:  Tracing the origins of ideas, Building a web of ideas, Finding your own voice, Validity of arguments, Spreading knowledge, An appreciation, Influences, Marking criteria, and to Avoid plagiarism.


Neville, C. (2007). The complete guide to referencing and avoiding plagiarism. New York: Open University Press.

Walker, J., & Taylor, T. (2006). The Columbia guide to online style (2nd ed.). New York: Columbia University Press.

Video Tutorials

Academic Integrity 

What sort of information needs cited and how can you respect it in your research? Find out more by viewing this video on academic integrity.

​The Mansfield Library subscribes to RefWorks to make research and citation easier for you. RefWorks is a citation management tool that stores your electronic articles in one place for easy access, organization, citation and sharing. You can save web page content and metadata, create collections to organize or share documents and citations, and upload PDF and Office documents.

VIDEO - Learn how to use RefWorks by watching these short videos