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
- Always cite the original source of information
- Make sure to look at the original article to confirm the information you want to cite
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.
(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!