Any person who has ever conducted research in the field of science recognizes how important it is to explore the research of other authors. Previous studies in science provide the foundation for new and emerging research that extends the body of existing knowledge. Citing previous studies places research in a scientific context, relates the rationale for a research study, and shapes an understanding of the science behind a new idea or hypothesis. Not every source cited in a research study supports the premise of the study; sometimes research is presented to demonstrate views that challenge a research premise to provide a starting point for a particular argument. In each case, citing sources in scientific studies is an essential part of this type of academic research. The foundation for any scientific research paper is the correct and adequate referencing of all of the materials that informed the research.
The referencing style outlined in this article is described as an “Author/Date” style that was adapted by the Council of Biology Editors in its final form in 1994. This article also includes information on the citing and documenting of government reports, and referencing for internet sources, as well as information related to paraphrasing and referencing of research in science.