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CSE Science Citation Style Guide: Council of Science Editors (CSE)

Introduction

When you use other people’s ideas in your work, you must observe the rules of academic integrity and cite your sources. Citations prevent any confusion over what is original to you and what you are borrowing.

However, many science fields do not use the familiar APA or MLA citation styles.  Instead, the Council of Science Editors (CSE) developed the Scientific Style and Format for the sciences and related fields. This style guide is used in a variety of scientific fields such as physics, chemistry, genetics, biological sciences, astronomy, ecology, and zoology. This Libguide was created to facilitate the use of CSE.

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In Text Citations

There are a few ways to cite references in-text. Select one and use it consistently in your paper. In most science journals, in-text citations use the author(s) names and year. Some journals use superscripted citations numbers (¹), while these save space in the paper, they can be tricky to keep track of while writing a paper and are more difficult for the reader to keep track while reading.

1. One Author- Year

  • Ex. Biologists agree that this is the ideal protocol (Smith 2010).

Note: Cite your source by using the author's last name and year of publication in parenthesis at the point of reference. You will arrange these sources alphabetically on the reference page.

2. Two Authors- Year

  • Ex. Biologists agree that this is the ideal protocol (Smith and Jones 2010).

Note: Cite your source by using the first author's last name and year of publication in parenthesis at the point of reference. You will arrange these sources alphabetically on the reference page.

3. More than 2 Authors- Year

  • Ex. Biologists agree that this is the ideal protocol (Smith et al. 2010).

Note: Cite your source by using the first author's last name and year of publication in parenthesis at the point of reference. You will arrange these sources alphabetically on the reference page.

4. Citation-Name

  • Ex. Biologists agree that this is the ideal protocol¹.

Note: While this style uses the same superscript number system, the citations are numbered alphabetically (not by the order of appearance) by the author's last name on the reference page.

5. Citation-Sequence

  • Ex. Biologists agree that this is the ideal protocol¹.

Note: Use superscripted numbers at the point of reference. The citations are then listed in order on the reference page. You can refer to more than one reference within one sentence by using a superscript sequence of numbers.

CSE Style Guide

The Council of Science Editors (CSE) developed the Scientific Style and Format for the sciences and related fields. This style guide is used in a variety of scientific fields such as physics, chemistry, genetics, biological sciences, astronomy, ecology, and zoology, for example. 

Bibliography, Literature Cited, or Reference List

Book

Author(s) or editor(s). Year. Title. Edition if other than first. Place of publication: publisher name; page(s) cited.

Book Chapter

Book chapter, or section with its own author: Author(s) or editor(s) of chapter. Year. Title of chapter. In: continue as you would with regular book citation.

eBook

Author(s). Date of publication. Title of book [medium designator]. Edition. Place of publication: publisher; [date updated; date cited]. Notes. 

Print Journal Article

Author(s). Year. Article Title. Journal title using abbreviations. Volume(issue number): inclusive pages, do not use p. 

Online Journal Article

Author(s). Date of publication year month day if available. Title of article. Abbreviated journal title [type of medium]. [date updated; date cited]; volume (issue number): pages cited. Availability statement.

Conference Paper

Author(s). Date of publication. Title of paper. Connective phrase: Editors of proceedings. Title of publication or name of conference, or both; inclusive dates of conference; place of conference. Place of publication: publisher. pages cited.

 

Note: These are just some examples, please refer to the CSE style guide for more in-depth coverage of citations/references.