Citing Your Sources

Citations are used to identify and locate publications (book, journal article, video, etc.). They usually include title, author, publisher and date of publication. SMU instructors often require students to cite their sources using one of three styles. To make the process easier, SMU provides its students with the use of RefWorks, an online research management tool that generates citations and bibliographies in a range of styles.

Citation Styles

Distinct citation styles have been developed by professional and scholarly associations including the APA (American Psychological Association), the AMA (American Medical Association), and the ICMJE (International Committee of Medical Journal Editors).

An instructor will commonly ask you to adhere to a specific style when citing sources in a research paper or essay. This can be challenging, as each style contains its own formatting rules for citations, both in the body of the paper (in-text citations) and on the reference page. Your best defense is a good offense—be familiar with the styles most SMU instructors require: APA, AMA, and the ICMJE's URM.

Here are some useful resources on citations:

APA citation style

AMA citation style

Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals (International Committee of Medical Journal Editors ICMJE)

Citing Government Publications


RefWorks is an online research management, writing, and collaboration tool designed to help researchers easily gather, manage, store, and share all types of information, as well as generate citations and bibliographies in APA, AMA, or Uniform style. SMU students, staff members, and faculty members may sign up for a free RefWorks account. RefWorks is supported by all SMU libraries.

Here are some useful resources on using RefWorks:

Other Free Bibliographic Tools

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