Skip to Main Content

* Writing & Citing: Citations

Style Guides

Citation Tracking: Finding articles by citation

Once you have one (or more) useful article on a topic, use the references at the end of article to find more sources on your topic using our Citation Search tool.  This helps you see what was written previous to your current article, often called citing backward.


Use Google Scholar to see who has cited your article after it was published.  This helps you see what has been written after your article was published, citing forward.

 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License by Justina Elmore, University of Rochester

Citation Managers

Citation managers like RefWorks, EndNote, Mendeley and Zotero help you track and organize your citations, so that when you're writing your paper, you can easily cite your sources. Citation managers also help you insert citations, create endnotes and bibliographies. 

Other Style Guide Resources

Helpful citation guides like The Writing Center guide from the University of Wisconsin-Madison will provide assistance with the most basic and frequently cited materials. For additional and more obscure material types, search Google, as many other citation guides exist from university to university. See the below screenshot as an example.

Image of a google search to find additional citation-related assistance

Citing Community Partner Knowledge

Before citing community or community partner knowledge, first determine if it is common knowledge. Common knowledge does not need to be cited. This will require a judgment call on your part. Generally, common knowledge is information that someone finds undocumented in at least five credible sources or if the information is assumed to be known by your audience, unless that information is under dispute. If a common fact is under dispute, your reader may want more information and it is good practice to document the source of the material.

A good rule of thumb is, when in doubt, cite it, especially if you risk excluding and/or marginalizing community partners' contributions and voices.

Common Knowledge
APA Basic principles of citation: cite any facts and figures that are not common knowledge, but don't assume something is common knowledge (APA Avoiding Plagiarism Guide, p. 2).
MLA 9th Edition - Section 4.12-4.16 When documentation is not needed (common knowledge, passing mentions, and allusions).
CMOS 17th Edition - How do I know when to cite something & CMOS FAQ Citation, Documentation of Sources

Community Knowledge
APA 7th Edition - Section 8.9 (p. 260): Personal communications
MLA 9th Edition - Personal communications, Citation Examples: Conversations & E-mail and Text Messages
CMOS 17th Edition - Section 15.53: Unpublished interviews (author/date references) and personal communications and section 14.214: Personal communications (notes/bibliography references).