Thursday, April 26, 2007

Many of the University Libraries’ Academic Databases Offer Convenient Citation Feature to Aid Students, Faculty

No research paper is complete without a bibliography that lists authors and source information. This part of the paper, which must be presented in a specific format, generally would not be difficult to create except that there are hundreds of styles, all of which vary one from the other.

Three of the popular citation styles that Ball State faculty requires for student papers include the APA, Chicago, and MLS styles. To make an otherwise daunting step manageable, several of the University Libraries’ academic databases now include a feature that allows students to select the style and then the citations retrieved are provided in that style. This is a very welcomed feature that has otherwise only been available through popular products such as EndNote software for publishing and managing bibliographies or the popular RefWorks, an online research management and bibliography creator service.

Naturally, this service comes with a word of caution. It is that citations can be tricky things and those generated by databases may not always be accurate according to the required style. This means that the writer must double-check the citation for format accuracy before incorporating it into an academic paper.

To check the format, there are various style manuals available at the Libraries’ Reference/Information Desk. In the case of APA and MLA formats, see “Class Handouts” at

All of the EBSCOhost databases and the Proquest/CSA databases offer the citation feature. This includes Academic Search Premier, ERIC, Business Source Premier, MEDLINE, PSYCArticles, SPORTDiscus, Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals, Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts, Sociological Abstracts, PAIS International, and Physical Education Index.

For more information, contact Susan E. Taylor, Part-time Reference Desk Assistant, Ball State, (765) 285-3337.

This newsletter article first appeared in The Library Insider 5(4): 4; April 2007.

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