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Environmental Studies: Citing Sources

Start conducting research in environmental studies with the best indexes, databases, and reference works recommend by the subject librarian.

Evaluting References/Peer Review

Checklist for Evaluating Sources:

  • Signs of bias
  • Assessment of the argument-does it follow from the evidence?
  • Authorship-is it clear and who is it?
  • Sponsorship-is it clear and who is it?
  • Purpose and audience of the work; is it supposed to be for a scholarly, professional or general audience?
  • Currency
  • Authority
  • Agreement with other valid sources
  • Has it been through the peer review process? You can limit searches in databases to peer reviewed material or look the journal title up in  Ulrich's International Periodicals Directory  If it has been peer reviewed, or "refereed", you can count on these things:
    • it has been read by other experts
    • it has been evaluated for sound research and scholarly methods
    • it was only published after revisions based on these reviews; not all papers submitted for publication in a peer reviewed journal are accepted for publication
    • it will have a list of references cited and/or footnotes
    • it will have the author(s) names and academic or professional affiliations clearly stated
    • the journal in which it is published will have stated editorial policies regarding its peer review process
    • it will be considered a reliable source to use for your argument

RefWorks and Zotero for Managing Citations

Reference management programs allow you to build a personal database of your references to articles, books, websites - any information source - and then easily create bibliographies and reference lists using any particular style, without having to retype or reformat. See this overview of reference management programs widely used at Dartmouth.

RefWorks is a web-based reference management program that allows users to create their own personal database of references by importing references from online databases (eg Web of Science). RefWorks makes it easy to search, sort, and cite these references in writing papers and then to automatically format the paper and the bibliography. You can create more than one account, so can create shared accounts for group projects.Learn to use RefWorks in 20 minutes

Zotero is an open source program that you download for free; it works well as a Firefox extension on all platforms but there is now a standalone option too.  Zotero is great at grabbing descriptive information from web pages that allows you to cite that page. It will also save full text and associate that with your reference.  Zotero downloads RIS formatted references.  Help with Zotero 

Chicago Style

Chicago Manual of Style online-the whole thing hyperlinked in sections

Chicago-Style Citation Quick Guide

From this source, a brief description of the Author-Date style: "The author-date system of documentation comprises two indispensable parts: a complete list of sources cited, often called a reference list (the term used in this chapter), and very brief text citations, usually enclosed in parentheses."

Chicago Author-Date style examples