Properly citing your sources is also important for many reasons. One of the most important is that you can easily establish for your reviewers and readers the context and relevance of your work.
The main reason for citing references correctly is to avoid scholarly dishonesty. Presenting the ideas of other researchers without proper acknowledgment is against scientific ethics. Although this is not the highest of ethical requirements, it is simply basic decency.
This is because we humans have a strong sense of ownership, not only of our physical properties, but also of our intellectual works and achievements. We have a strong desire to know who or where exactly information comes from and how ideas develop.
The purpose of quotes
You must properly reference a source even if you have reformulated the idea that you have drawn from it. Properly referencing a source is not only important for the right people to get proper recognition for their ideas. It is also crucial to the entire process of publishing and consuming research for the following reasons:
- To avoid plagiarism – Citations allow researchers to properly cite the work of others. This helps them recognize where the information is coming from.
- Respect for intellectual property rights – Research work may include industry information legally protected by intellectual property rights. These include trademarks, patents, industrial designs and geographical indications. Creative works for entertainment are also included, ranging from movies to architectural designs.
- To provide evidence – Citing studies and data correctly allows you to provide evidence for key points in your work. This is especially important when advocating for a position you take.
- To provide details of source documents – Citations make it easier for reviewers to check the data and even the line of arguments. Also, it helps direct readers to original sources where they can find more detailed information about the point you quoted and the topic.
Overall, referencing helps research communities to place a work in context to better judge its potential impact on its field.
There are many different fields and disciplines in the world of research. And, they have different styles and standards for what proper SEO is. The rules also vary depending on the types of sources you cite, including but not limited to research papers, technical reports, books, patents, court cases, conference papers, conference, podcasts, YouTube videos and social media posts.
For the majority of scientific articles, you can use LaTeX to manage your citations, I invite you to consult the LaTeX course to learn more.
When to cite?
Like most things, citing a source should be done in reasonable amounts. You should avoid underquotes and overquotes. The first is when you fail to cite a source while the second is when you put unnecessary citations which may be too awkward. By citing all sources used and giving proper credit to actual authors, academic writers not only prevent plagiarism, but also show that they have conducted extensive research, are knowledgeable about the subject of the study, and that their research is reliable.
The components of a citation or reference are designed to allow the reader to identify or locate the specific source being cited (Lanning, 2016). Whenever you use another individual's work, you really must cite a source. Forgetting or intentionally not doing so can seriously damage your reputation. So remember to cite when you:
- Quote the exact words of the authors
- Paraphrase or state the ideas of others in your own words
- Refer to data or datasets
- Reprint a long text passage or copyrighted test item
- Reprint or adopt any figure or table, including free images and diagrams from the Internet, even when free or licensed through Creative Commons
When authors fail to cite their sources, they commit under-citation, as the APA(nd) calls it. This leads to plagiarism. It's really frowned upon, not just in the academic research community. It's also a no-no in all types of publications, from movies to music. It is therefore preferable to be very thorough in collecting and referencing your sources. But, you also have to be careful not to be too thorough. Too much care or fear of underquoting can lead to overdoing it.
Putting more quotes than necessary is called overquoting. It is also frowned upon, but to a lesser extent. The reasoning here is that when you place inappropriate amounts of quotes, it can be quite distracting to readers. This is especially true when it comes to in-text citations. Readers and reviewers will struggle to follow the thoughts and arguments of your article if they are constantly interrupted by unnecessary in-text citations. It can get really awkward.
Overquotation usually occurs when authors repeat the same quote in every sentence, even though the topic and source haven't changed at all. To avoid overquoting when paraphrasing, remember to place a quote for a key point in a paragraph only in the first sentence where it is relevant. Do not repeat the quote when the source of the material remains clear and the same.
Additionally, overcitation can also be very unethical, especially when a writer cites a source as evidence, even if the source doesn't actually count as one. This unethical practice typically occurs when an author cites a study or data set to support a claim, but when reviewers and readers scan the source, they will find that it is not valid evidence for author's assertion.
Sometimes this can happen unintentionally, especially when an author misunderstands what was quoted or the implications of the quoted information. But, there may be instances where there is a malicious intent to increase the credits of a claim by bolstering works cited. This must be avoided at all costs.
Additionally, writers are strongly discouraged from citing themselves, especially when their works are unrelated. It can be quite tempting to cite your work or that of your colleagues to boost your profiles or publications. But, this should be avoided to keep the integrity of the work in progress. Reviewers and other researchers are able to recognize self-promotion when they see it. Stay within the context of work and avoid unrelated things and self-promotion.
How to cite in your scientific paper
In-text citations let users know which ideas are attributed to whom. The citation style has two major elements for in-text citation: the author and the date or sometimes just a number. It is possible to refer to it either by direct quotation (in parentheses or square brackets) or by mentioning it in a narrative arc (with the quotation as a bonus).
Quotations in parentheses
A quote in parentheses can appear inside or at the end of a sentence.
…98 % of participants (Smith, 2014).
… regardless of the age of the discoveries (see Bishop, 1996, for more explanations).
…(eg, experimental abnormalities in clinical trials; Chan, 2015).
In narrative citations, the author's last name appears in the current text while the citation follows it directly.
Yang  suggested that…
In 2004, Yang  concluded that…
Rules for multiple authors
- For a single author
Coleman (2019) stated that…
…hominids hunted big game (Coleman, 2019).
- For two authors
Smith and Johnson (2020) avoided the term…
…paradigm because of its use in ordinary language (Smith & Johnson, 2020).
- For three or more, use the first author's last name and "et al." even for the first quote:
…especially when observers are involved (James et al., 2017).
…for complex adaptive systems (Chambers et al., 2019).
Chambers et al.  propose a model…