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COMMUNICATION IN THE BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES
Department of Biology


THE LITERATURE CITED SECTION -- TWO CONVENTIONS



Although research journals differ in specific formats used in Literature Cited sections, two general conventions exist -- the name-year convention and the citation-sequence convention. Comments on the Primary Literature and Other Appropriate Technical Reference and The Distinction Between Literature citations vs. Literature References pages are helpful for you to review. Remember -- only primary literature, technical publications, and specific kinds of Internet sites (for example, online journals and specific online databases) are cited in research manuscripts.
 

EXAMPLE -- THE NAME YEAR CONVENTION

Literature Cited

Conant, R. 1975. A field guide to reptiles and amphibians of eastern and central North America. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Gillis, R. 1979. Adaptive differences in the water economies of two species of leopard frogs from eastern Colorado. Journal of Herpetology 13:445-450.

Ralin, D.B. and J.S. Rogers. 1972. Aspects of tolerance to desiccation in Acris crepitans and Pseudacris streckeri. Copeia 1972:519-525.

Schmid, W.D. 1965. Some aspects of the water economies of nine species of amphibians. Ecology 46:261-269.

Smith, J.W., D. Pettus and D.W. Hoppe. 1998. One hundred years of amphibian water economy studies: what have we learned? American Zoologist 66:124-198.
 
 

EXAMPLE -- THE CITATION SEQUENCE CONVENTION

Literature Cited

 (1) Smith, J.W., D. Pettus and D.W. Hoppe. 1998. One hundred years of amphibian water economy studies: what have we learned? American Zoologist 66:124-198.

(2) Schmid, W.D. 1965. Some aspects of the water economies of nine species of amphibians. Ecology 46:261-269.

(3) Ralin, D.B. and J.S. Rogers. 1972. Aspects of tolerance to desiccation in Acris crepitans and Pseudacris streckeri. Copeia 1972:519-525.

(4) Gillis, R. 1979. Adaptive differences in the water economies of two species of leopard frogs from eastern Colorado. Journal of Herpetology 13:445-450.

(5) Conant, R. 1975. A field guide to reptiles and amphibians of eastern and central North America. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
 
 

OTHER EXAMPLES

Example of where to find the information for a journal citation

Example of an article in an edited volume:

Pianka, E.R. 1975. Niche relations of desert lizards. Pages 292-314 in M. Cody and J. Diamond, editors. Ecology and evolution of communities. Belknap Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
 

Examples of book citations:

Conant, R. 1975. A field guide to reptiles and amphibians of eastern and central North America. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Welty, J.C. and L. Baptista. 1988. The life of birds. Saunders College Publishing, New York, New York, USA.
 

Example of citing a technical publication from a governmental agency:

Sauer, J.S. 1998. Temporal analyses of select macroinvertebrates in the Upper Mississippi River System, 1992-1995. U.W. Geological Survey. Environmental Management Technical Center, Onalaska, Wisconsin, April 1998. LTRMP 98-T001.
 

Example of an online journal citation:

Cane, J. H. and V. J. Tepedino. 2001. Causes and extent of declines among native North American invertebrate pollinators: detection, evidence, and consequences. Conservation Ecology 5 <URL: http://www.consecol.org/vol5/iss1/art1>. Accessed 16 July 2001.


Example of a paper from the proceedings of a scientific conference:

Walkinshaw. L.H.  1982.  Nesting of the Florida Sandhill Crane on and near the Kissimmee Prairie, Florida. Pages 1-18 in J.C. Lewis, editor. Proceedings of the International Crane Workshop. Oklahoma State University, Stillwater.

 

Example of a web site citation:

 

BLAST 2005. <URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/BLAST>. Accessed 5 April 2005.

 

Saccharomyces genome database 2007. <URL: http://www.yeastgenome.org/>. Accessed 5 April 2007.
 

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