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How Do I For Admin Professionals

This guide offers tips for using HHSL resources and services, including finding items and information, understanding citations to articles or books, and using tools and databases.

What's In A Journal Citation?

parts of a journal citation

What's In A Book Citation?

parts of a book citation

Using Citations & Reference

Citations help authors and researchers track their work and give credit to others who have made previous contributions to their discipline. Faculty, students, and staff at Penn State may need to use references and citations lists in a number of areas:

  • Research papers, dissertations, theses, and presentations
  • CVs, resumes, and grant applications
  • Biosketches and profiles to connect and collaborate
  • Scholarly publications
  • Research and writing

Single Citation Matcher

PubMed's Single Citation Matcher allows users to find specific article records quickly, especially if the user is missing some citation information. Do you only know the author, journal name, and year published? Fill the citation information you have, and PubMed will match to article records that fit all the criteria entered.

1. Click on the PubMed MEDLINE link on the library homepage

2. Once the database opens, select "Single Citation Matcher" under PubMed Tools

3. Fill in the citation information that you have and click "Search"

Identification Numbers For Articles

Articles are often assigned permanent ID numbers by different organizations to aid in retrieval. Both the PMID (PubMed Unique Identifier) and the DOI (Direct Object Identifier) are commonly associated with a citation so researchers can easily find and retrieve the article or record.

The National Library of Medicine created a converter tool that allows users to switch between common ID numbers, like the PMID, the PMCID (PubMed Central ID), and the DOI.

Dissecting Citations

You can use citations found in library databases or reference lists in a research article as a map for finding specific articles you want to read.

Journal Citation:

Raja-Kahn N, Shah J, Stetter CM, Lott ME, Kunselman AR, Dodson WC, Legro RS. High-dose vitamin D supplementation and measures of insulin sensitivity in polycystic ovary syndrome: a randomized, controlled pilot trial. Fertil Steril. 2014 Jun; 101(6):1740-6.

  • Title: High-dose vitamin D supplementation and measures of insulin sensitivity in polycystic ovary syndrome: a randomized, controlled pilot trial
  • Authors: N Raja-Kahn; J Shah; CM Stetter; ME Lott; AR Kunselman; WC Dodson; RS Legro
  • Date: June 2014
  • Publication Name: Fertility & Sterility (journal names are often abbreviated in citations)
  • Volume: 101
  • Issue: 6 (this is the 6th issue of the journal that was published in this volume)
  • Page Range: 1740 - 1746

Book Citation:

Longo DL, Fauci AS, Kasper DL, Hauser SL, Jameson J, Loscalzo J. eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 18e. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2012.

  • Title: Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine
  • Authors/Editors*: DL Longo; AS Fauci; DL Kasper; SL Hauser; J Jameson; J Loscalzo
  • Year Published: 2012
  • Location: New York, NY
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill
  • Edition: 18th

*When working with book citations for science and medical research, you may also find citations that include a chapter and the author of that chapter. Each chapter or section is often written by different people, then compiled in the book by one or more editors.

Citations differ slightly depending on the format of the publication. Journal articles found online may have additional location or ID information, such as the web address where the article is hosted, an Identification Number, or a DOI. These additional pieces of information are usually included at the end of the citation.