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Best Library and Internet Resources for finding bioengineering information. Also includes information about library services, basic library skills and tools that help with citation management, poster design and writing.


This page contains four sections: 

Components of a Citation

When presenting or referring to the work of others, whether as a direct quote or by paraphrasing, you must provide the appropriate attribution.  By citing the specific document, medium, or other form of communication, you indicate who originally made the contribution AND you allow your reader to find that contribution from which s/he may make their own judgment.  Failure to provide appropriate attribution is considered plagiarism.

Citations need to be both consistent, so the reader can recognize what the item is (book, journal article, film, government document, etc.), and complete, so that s/he can find it. 

Citations should always include these five elements : 

  • Author
    The person, persons or group (corporation, government agency, institution, etc.) that is responsible for the content of the work. 
  • Title
    What the work is called. 
  • Date of Publication
    When the work was made available; depending on the physical format of the material, this could be listed as:
    • year,
    • month and year, or
    • day, month and year. 
  • Source
    Where the work comes from.  For books, this would be the publisher; for journal articles, this would be the title of the journal, for government documents, the agency name, for technical reports, the corporation or agency, etc.
  • Location
    Any information that's needed to find the work within/from the source; this varies with format.  For books the location would the city of the publisher; for journal articles it would be the volume, issue and pages; for items only published online this could be an URL or a DOI (digital object identifier).

How these elements are ordered in the citation and what punctuation, spacing, and font style (italics, bold) are used depends on the citation style you are asked to use. 


The following citations use the APA (American Psychological Association) style to show the components: 

  1. Shepherd, R., Frost, J. D. (1995). Failures in civil engineering: Structural, foundation, and geoenvironmental case studies. New York: American Society of Civil Engineers

    ​This citation is for a book and contains the following information: 
    • Authors: R. Shepherd and J.D. Frost
    • Title: Failures in civil engineering: structural, foundation, and geoenvironmental case studies
    • Date of Publication: 1995
    • Source: American Society of Civil Engineers 
    • Location: New York
  2. Plaut, R. H. (2008). Snap Loads and Torsional Oscillations of the Original Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Journal of Sound and Vibration, 309(3), 613-636. doi: 10.1016/j.jsv.2007.07.057 

    ​This citation is for a journal article and contains the following information: 
    • Author: R.H. Plaut
    • Title: Snap loads and torsional oscillations of the original Tacoma Narrows Bridge
    • Date of Publication: 2008
    • Source: Journal of Sound and Vibration 
    • Location: Volume 309, issue 3, pages 613 to 636;  doi: 10.1016/j.jsv.2007.07.057 


The following are the same two examples from above but this time cited in IEEE Style.  Still the same information but note the differences in the order of the components, the punctuation used in between components and in some cases the different way the component is written. 

  1. R. Shepherd and J. D. Frost,  Failures in civil engineering: Structural, foundation, and geoenvironmental case studies.  New York, NY, USA: American Society of Civil Engineers, 1995.
  2. R. H. Plaut, "Snap Loads and Torsional Oscillations of the Original Tacoma Narrows Bridge." J. Sound Vib., vol. 309, no. 3, pp. 613-636, Mar. 2008.  

Citation Style Guides for Bioengineering

General Style Guides

Style Guides for Medicine 

Journal Publisher Style Guides and Manuals 

Engineering does not have an overall preferred style as other subject areas do, such as medicine and psychology.  Instead, instructors/students may use guidelines posted by specific journals within an engineering sub-discipline.   Although the terms "Style Guide" or "Style Manual" may be used, many times this information is on the journal's website under a section labeled "Instructions for Authors".  These instruction sections usually contain formatting details and how to cite references.  

A selection of biomedical journal style guides and author instructions are listed below.  If your favorite journal is not listed, use the ASU Library's Journal Lookup List to go to your journal's website and browse the site to find either a "style guide" or "instructions for authors" section. 

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