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Events 09 Apr 2023 By Vargas

The art of proper citation and referencing scientific papers

Alessandro N. Vargas


When we look at any journal article, we see in the article's last section what is known as Reference. Reference is the term coined to describe the papers and books that were published and that were used to support the main arguments derived in the article. Reasoning and conclusions become possible due to the previous results listed in Reference.

Citing the sources and giving credit to the researchers that published the papers and books you have used in your research is key to advance the scientific knowledge.
"If I have seen further, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants". Sir Isaac Newton

The art of proper citation and referencing scientific papers. In the world of academia, research is the foundation upon which new knowledge is built. Scholars and scientists alike spend countless hours poring over journals, analyzing data, and formulating arguments to contribute to the ever-growing body of human understanding. But in this pursuit of knowledge, one critical element often overlooked is the proper citation. The credit should go to those who deserve it.

When we examine any scholarly article, we inevitably come across the section known as the "References." This section, often placed at the end of the article, contains a carefully curated list of papers and books that have been referenced by the author to support their arguments, validate their findings, and build upon the existing literature. These references are the foundation upon which the reasoning and conclusions of the article are built.

Citing sources and giving proper credit to the researchers who have published the papers and books used in one's research is not just an act of intellectual integrity, but a strategic move to advance the scientific discourse. It is a recognition of the intellectual lineage, a nod to the contributions of those who have paved the way, and an acknowledgment of the collaborative nature of scholarly pursuits.

As I've delved into the intricacies of academic writing and research, I've come to realize that the art of citing papers and books correctly is not just a mere formality, but a strategy that can elevate one's scholarly skill. I've realized that it is not just a matter of compliance with academic norms, but a calculated move to establish credibility, build authority, and enhance the impact of one's research.

In the game of citation, precision is key. Just as in any strategic move, the right timing, placement, and format of references can make all the difference. It is crucial to meticulously follow the prescribed citation style, whether it be APA, MLA, Chicago, or any other, and to adhere to the rules of formatting, punctuation, and capitalization. Latex helps too much; LaTeX is my preferred tool for citation.

Note that each reference should be meticulously crafted to accurately represent the work of the original author and provide readers with the necessary information to locate the source themselves. But citation is not just about following rules, it's about leveraging the power of authoritative sources to enhance one's own arguments. Just as in the game of chess, where each piece has a strategic value, each reference cited in a scholarly work carries its own weight. It's not just about the number of references, but the quality and relevance of the sources cited. By skillfully selecting and incorporating high-quality, peer-reviewed papers and reputable books, an author can bolster their own research with the authority and expertise of established scholars.

In conclusion, the art of citing papers and books correctly is not just a mundane task of academic writing, but a strategy that can elevate one's scholarly skill. It is a recognition of the collaborative nature of research. Give credit to those who have contributed to science, who have paved the way for you.

I express my gratitude to all the researchers who have published the papers and books that I have referenced in my own work. Their insights, expertise, and dedication to advancing knowledge have been invaluable in shaping my own understanding of science. I list here all of them, either in the PDF file or in this webpage (click here).