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How to cite?

Setting out citations

It is advisable to make a database with entries of studied documents already during your study of the documents. Best by describing documents – make references and with given entry you write what interests you in the particular document (or its part, some picture, chart, table) or vice versa.

There are many ways to describe a document (see Citation Styles), although all these forms follow the common objective. You need to describe the document in a way so that the information can be easily identified and located according to these data. This is to be remembered when making citations and when making decision what piece of information to cite.

While making citation different tools may be useful (see Citation tools):

General rules

  • Observe uniformity of the citation within your assignment (one style, one format and punctuation).
  • The citation must clearly identify the used source. Extent of detail is usually given by the citation style and by purpose which the citation is created for.
  • The piece of information must be literally copied from the original document. Information is not to be searched unless it is an important piece of information necessary to identify the document (e.g. date issue). All pieces of information taken from elsewhere than from the original document need to be marked – ordinarilly they are put in square brackets.
  • The information need to be used in the language of the document (ecxept for the information about number of pages and annotation). Observe the spelling rules of the respective country.
  • We transliter documents written in a non-Latin script (there are standards for transliteration and transcription).

Guidance for citing

  • Find out what type the cited document is, whether it is a book or proceedings; a journal article or a patent. Each document type is quoted differently.
  • Find out the form of document, whether it is a printed or an electronic one. Many citation styles distinguish according to the one being used, citations of these different forms of documents are different.
    • The electronic documents are easy to shift and change, therefore certain citation styles distinguish between types of documents which you refer. The citation style specifies which characteristics of electronic documents is taken into account (e.g. type of the document, date of citation, availability).
  • Chose the citing style. In each discipline there are different conventions. When publishing in journal the author follows the guidelines for authors (many publishing houses or journals use their own citing style). When writing thesis, the citation style is given by the university, faculty, department, etc.
  • Find the appropriate citation pattern.