Skip to main content

National Security Fellows Program Duke/ UNC: Citing and Organizing Sources

Citing Sources

Style manuals are guides that tell you where/how to properly cite sources. Styles vary by discipline. The most common style manuals are:

Also see print version

Also see print version or online (Duke only) version

Also see print version

Also see print version

Also see print or Kindle versions

For more information on APA, MLA, and Chicago Manual of Style conventions, check out the Purdue Online Writing Lab's guide to Research and Citation Resources.

Avoiding Plagiarism


Image credit: Briana Patrick Public Relations

Tips on how to avoid plagiarism

Organizing References

Citation management software allows a user to organize and retrieve information, such as citations for books, articles, and Web sites, by interfacing with library databases. The citation manager then works with word-processing software to insert properly formatted footnotes or citations into a paper and create a properly formatted bibliography.

RefWorks Mendeley Endnote Zotero

Check out this citation tool comparison chart. Or watch this 2-min tutorial, which will guide you through creating a free account with RefWorks.

Understanding Citations

Use this example to help you understand the citation elements of a journal article.

Image courtesy William H. Hannon Library (Loyola Marymount University)

Note (*) that journal titles are often abbreviated.  In most cases, you will need the full title to search for the journal in the online catalog or as an e-journal. Try:

  • Selecting a link for the "full citation" or "complete reference" in an online source
  • Selecting the link for a database's source list, and then looking for your journal title
  • Looking in the beginning of a print journal, book or periodical index, as there may be an abbreviations list
  • Looking in the book Periodical Title Abbreviations, available at the Perkins Reference Desk and Lilly Ready Reference
  • All That JAS: Journal Abbreviation Sources provides links for the natural and social sciences, law, and philosophy. 
  • Ask a librarian.