Basic Principles of Citation

An important component of academic research includes the publishing of results to make them available for review by a wider audience.

A further aspect is that you must explain and defend your own research and results. This requires an in-depth evaluation of other research approaches and opinions.

An important prerequisite for this step is excerpting, that is, using passages from others' work. The purpose is to provide evidence for your statements that can be verified by others.

Excerpts are generally provided in the form of quotations. There are two kinds of quotations: direct and indirect quotations. In a direct quotation, a passage of a source text is copied word-for-word and placed in quotation marks. Changes to the wording are permissible only if placed in brackets [ ] to mark the added section and as long as the meaning of the quotation is not altered by the addition. In an indirect quotation, you summarize the ideas of the source text in your own words so quotation marks are unnecessary.

In both types of quotations, it is critical to document the source fully and precisely by noting the title, author, page numbers, and any other pertinent information.

Quick references are an additional quotation type. With a quick reference you refer to a specific place in the text and note it's main idea in a core statement.

When you add an excerpt, there is a dedicated field for the core statement. This makes it easier for you to quickly recognize the content and significance of the excerpt later on. You can also organize your quotations by using keywords. By assigning your quotations to categories you can further structure them.