HNFE 1114 - Orientation to HNFE - FYE: Citations

Resources, tools, and techniques for library research in Human Nutrition, Foods, Exercise, and related topics.

HNFE Librarian

Understanding Citations

For the assignment in this class, you need to be able to both understand how to read citations and create citations.  You'll be creating citations according to any major citation style.

However, as you read through sources and try to use their references or bibliographies in order to find additional articles, you'll be coming across a lot of different citation styles.  Citation styles, while they may look different, all contain the same basic information, as demonstrated in the diagram of a journal article citation below:


If you're looking for a journal article described in a particular citation, you can use its citation information to search for the full text.  See the box below for more information about this!

Searching for a citation

When you have a citation for an article that you're trying to find, there are a couple of different ways you can try to track down the article.

1.  Use Discovery Search

Screenshot of Citation Linker

Discovery Search can link you directly to articles.  Simply type in the full title of the article (such as, W. G. Sebald:  The Pleasure and Pain of Beauty").  If we have access to the article, Summon will link you to it.

2.  Check the journal subscription.  

If using Discovery Search to find the article doesn't work, then you'll want to check and see if we subscribe to the journal that the article is from.  In the example above, the journal title is German Life and Letters.  In order to see if we have access to that journal, I will use the Citation Linker on the library website: 

3.  Contact your librarian!

Citation Style Guides & Info

APA, or the American Psychological Association, uses one of the most well-known citation styles.  Detailed information about using this style is available in the APA Style Guide (shown below), but you can also find information on the web about using the APA style:

MLA, or the Modern Language Association, provides another well-known citation style, used frequently within the Liberal Arts and Humanities. Detailed information is available in the MLA style guide, whose call number and library location is listed on the VT Libraries MLA webpage below, but you can also find information online about using MLA style:

Even more citation styles - the VT Libraries Citation and Style Manuals page provides descriptions of many more frequently used styles, each of which also link to resources for using the style:

Citation Managers

Citation managers are research project time-savers. They allow you to build your own database of citations and sources for your research projects. They provide tools to automate in-text citation and bibliography creation for research documents, such as research papers, grant proposals, and article manuscripts. They may also include options to share all or parts of your citation database with others - for collaborative research projects.

The Citation Managers library guide at VT Libraries is a great resource!

Virginia Tech Libraries recommends using any of these citation managers:

Each of these tools can be helpful, depending on what type of project you're working on. View this citation manager comparison chart from the University of Wisconsin-Madison for help deciding which tool to use:

Citation Manager Comparison Chart

If you have questions about using these tools, don't hesitate to contact your librarian or one of the citation manager support groups on the citation managers library guide!