2.4 Sources of Information in an Article

It is important to identify the correct source of information in an article. How do you know when to cite to author of the article or when to cite one of their citations:

Ask: Where did the information you want to use come from?

  • If the information comes from the author’s statements or observations ⇒ cite the article author
  • If the information comes from a source cited in your article ⇒ cite the original source

Note

  • Always cite the original source of information
  • Make sure to look at the original article to confirm the information you want to cite

Example:

This article discusses a dolphin that choked on an octopus it was trying to eat. This article also lists other articles sharing examples of suffocation in cetaceans (whales/dolphins/porpoises) caused by eating or inhaling fish.

 

Who I cite depends on which information I want to use.
Look the highlighted sections below:

(see full article here:  https://doi.org/10.1111/mms.12420 )

 

Which article do I cite?

If I write: A dolphin choked on an octopus it was trying to eat

Who do I cite?  Stephens et al. 2017, the example article above

Why? I am using information presented about the author‘s research and observations, so I cite the article I am reading.

 

If I write: Two whales choked on fish stuck in their nasal cavities

Who do I cite?  IJsseldijk et al. 2015, the original source of the information

Why? I am using information that the article I am reading cited. So I go to the original source of information and cite the original article

 

See the image below for clarification:

Remember: Always cite the original source of information!

License

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Library Skills for 2nd Year Biological Sciences by Lauren Stieglitz is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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