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Finding an Article or Book from a Citation: Save Your Citations!

How to decipher references you find to other items that are mentioned in footnotes, bibliographies, endnotes, etc. - AND how to track those items down.

Always save the citation(s)!

Always save a copy of the complete citation, even if you have the entire e-book, e-journal article, or the full item in hard copy (print). Use the saved citations to create your footnotes, bibliography, or other references within your own work. Here's why:

  • If you use someone else's work to support your own ideas, it is important to give credit to the original source. Neglecting to do so is considered plagiarism, taking credit for someone else's work. Not only is that unethical, it could get you into major trouble.
  • Other people reading your work will be able to follow the citations in order to learn more about the subject matter.

Most article databases provide a way to email citations to yourself, so be sure to do it!

You may want to try a citation management tool to keep all of your sources and references organized. These are available free of charge:

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