Citation Rules in the CSE (Council of Scientific Editors) Style
What to cite:
- Exact quotes
- Data items, particularly if quantitative
- Models, hypotheses, and comments not original to the paper
- Definitions (note: it is never a good idea to cite a standard-type English dictionary
definition for a scientific paper. The definitions used should be cited from a scientific
- Whenever an exact quote is given
- If all information items in a paragraph come from a single source, than just cite it
once that paragraph. (If the same source is the cited in the next paragraph, you should
cite it again there)
- Anytime you switch from one source to another source in a paragraph
- For exact quotes, you must cite the page number(s) as well as the author(s) and year
- For anything else, including quantitative data, you should not cite the page numbers,
just the author(s) and year of publication
- For a single author, use the form (Author's last name, year)
- For two authors, use the form (Author A and Author B, year)
- For three or more authors, use the form (Author A et al., year) ["et al." is an
abbreviation for the Latin et alii, "and others"]
- Always cite the author(s) of a work, not the editor (unless you are simply referring
to the edited volume as a whole unit)
- "It is regrettable that we cannot study the effects of scaling by building super-sized
elephants" (p. 7, Schmidt-Nielsen, 1984). [Exact quote]
- The bending strength of canines of hyenas is greater than that of wolves (Van
Valkenburgh and Ruff, 1987). [Information not generally known]
- Carpenter and McIntosh (1994) report the discovery of a baby Apatosaurus humerus
only 227 mm long. [Numerical data]
- Tyrannosaurid forelimbs are greatly reduced relative to body size (Osborn, 1906, 1916;
Russell, 1970; Molnar et al., 1990). [Multiple sources for the same information in the
same sentence; list in order of publication date. Also, two different references for
- Recent lines of evidence, including 40Ar/39Ar ages
(Kowallis et al., 1998), magnetostratigraphy (Steiner, 1998), spores and pollen (Litwin et
al., 1998), and charophytes and ostracods (Schudack et al, 1998), agree the Morrison
Formation is predominantly of Kimmeridgian age, although the lowermost units may be latest
Oxfordian and the uppermost earliest Tithonian. [Multiple sources for different data in
the same sentence]
- There have been many recent advances in the study of dinosaur eggs and babies (Carpenter et al., 1994). [Citing an edited volume rather than individual contributions]
- "It is regrettable that we cannot study the effects of scaling by building super-sized elephants" (p. 7, Schmidt-Nielsen, 1984). [Exact quote]
- Always list bibliographic sources alphabetically by last name of first author
- Any source cited in the text must be in the bibliography; anything in the bibliography must be cited in the text.
- Exact styles vary (some sources use abbreviations for journal names, others don't; some sources use italics or bold for book and journal titles and volume numbers, others don't); be consistent in your paper.
- For websites, cite the exact URL for that site and the date you accessioned it. Cite by author's name if known; if not, by organization.
Examples (using the sources cited above):
- Roecker F. 2000. CBE style form guide. Available from:
http://www.lib.ohio-state.edu/guides/cbegd.html. Accessed 2000 Aug 14. [Online resource]
- Carpenter, K. and J. McIntosh. 1994. Upper Jurassic sauropod babies from the Morrison
Formation, pp. 265-278. In, Carpenter, K., K.F. Hirsch, and J.R. Horner (Eds.), Dinosaur
Eggs and Babies. Cambridge Univ. Press. [an individual article within an edited,
- Carpenter, K., K.F. Hirsch, and J.R. Horner (Eds.) 1994. Dinosaur Eggs and Babies.
Cambridge Univ. Press, 372 pp. [a book with multiple authors cited as a single unit, so
that the editors rather than the individual authors are cited]
- Kowallis, B.J., E.H. Christiansen, A.L. Deino, F. Peterson, C.E. Turner, M.J. Kunk, and
J.D. Obradovich. 1998. The age of the Morrison Formation. Modern Geology 22:235-260.
- Litwin, R.J., C.E. Turner, and F. Peterson. 1998. Palynological evidence on the age of the
Morrison Formation, Western Interior U.S. Modern Geology 22:297-319.
- Molnar, R.E., S.M. Kurzanov, and Dong Z.-M. 1990. Carnosauria, pp. 169-209. In,
Weishampel, D.B., P. Dodson, and H. Osmólska (Eds.), The Dinosauria. Univ.
California Press. [Note that the last author in this chapter writes his name (Dong Zhiming)
in the traditional Chinese style, family name first]
- Osborn, H.F. 1906. Tyrannosaurus, Upper Cretaceous carnivorous dinosaur (second
communication). Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 22:281-296.
- Osborn, H.F. 1916. Skeletal adaptations of Ornitholestes, Struthiomimus,
Tyrannosaurus. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 35:733-771.
- Russell, D.A. 1970. Tyrannosaurs from the Late Cretaceous of western Canada. National
Museum Natural Sciences Publications in Palaeontology 1:1-34.
- Schmidt-Nielsen, K. 1984. Scaling: Why is Animal Size So Important? Cambridge Univ. Press, 241 pp. [a single-authored book]
- Schudack, M.E., C.E. Turner, and F. Peterson. 1998. Biostratigraphy, paleoecology and
biogeography of charophytes and ostracodes from the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation,
Western Interior, USA. Modern Geology 22:379-414.
- Steiner, M.B. 1998. Age, correlation, and tectonic implications of Morrison Formation
paleomagnetic data, including rotation of the Colorado Plateau. Modern Geology 22:261-281.
- Van Valkenburgh, B. and C. Ruff. 1987. Canine tooth strength and killing behavior in large carnivores.
Journal of Zoology, London 212:379-397.