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Citation Styles: Vocabulary

This guide gives an overview of the most common Citation styles along with information on parts of sources and DOIs


The below definitions were taken from a larger list of library terms.

  • annotated bibliography - A bibliography in which each entry is accompanied by explanatory notes.
  • author - The person(s) or corporate body (including organizations, institutions, conferences, etc.) responsible for the writing or compilation of an article, book, or other publication.
  • bibliographic citation - An individual citation in a bibliography, index, or catalog. A bibliographic citation may contain all or some of the following information: names(s) of authors(s), the full title of the work, place of publication, publisher, date of publication, and page numbers. Sometimes referred to as a bibliographic entry, or simply as a citation.
  • citation - Information that precisely identifies a book or an article: includes author, title, volume, page numbers, and publication information. Often other information such as subject headings or index terms will be included in a citation. Electronic (or computerized) indexes are databases of citations to books, articles, etc.
  • database - A collection of information arranged into individual records to be searched by computer.
  • DOI (digital object identifier) - a series of numbers and/or letters used to identify an article or book.  DOI is often part of an article or book citation.  Given the DOI then your reader can verify the citation at
  • edition - 1. A version of an earlier publication that has had substantial changes or additions. 2. All the copies of a specified issue of a newspaper (Sunday edition).  
  • full-text - The entire content of an item, usually also including an abstract and citation. Databases can be full-text.
  • HTTP - Hypertext transfer protocol is a World Wide Web delivery mechanism used to find and retrieve a particular web page. Example: retrieves the USC Upstate campus home page.
  • hyperlink - A hyperlink is text (usually blue, underlined text) or an image that brings you to another place, either on the same page, another page, or another site entirely.
  • ISBN - International Standard Book Number; A unique ten or thirteen digit number identifying a specific edition of a book.
  • ISSN - Similar to the ISBN but used for serials, the International Standard Serial Number is a unique number assigned to serials worldwide. Users can conduct an ISSN search in the online catalog and in some databases.
  • issue number - An issue number is used in conjunction with the volume number to indicate a specific magazine or journal issue. For example The American Journal of Public Health v87 no. 2, February 1997, is the second issue of the journal for the year 1997.
  • journal - A periodical that is considered more scholarly than a popular magazine. Journal articles usually contain footnotes and/or bibliographical references and are usually published by an educational or research institution or professional society. See also a magazine, scholarly journal, trade journal professional journal See also peer-reviewed journal; professional journal; scholarly (academic) journal; trade journal.
  • magazine - A periodical that consists of popular articles written for the general reader rather than for scholars in a particular field.
  • manuscript - Handwritten or typewritten copies of an author's work before the work is published.
  • monograph - A scholarly piece of writing that is essay or book-length on a specific, often limited subject.

Vocabulary continued ...

  • primary source - Original manuscript, contemporary record, or document used by an author in writing a book or other literary work. Includes letters, diaries, memoirs, contemporary newspaper reporting, archival collections, personal papers, speeches, novels, public documents (legislative bills, court records, census records, vital records, etc.), laboratory studies, field research reports, and eyewitness accounts. See Also secondary source.
  • professional journal - Journal published by a professional organization. Examples: the Journal of the American Medical Association, American Archivist (Journal of the Society of American Archivists), and Journal of the American Chemical Society
  • refereed journal - A publication, usually scholarly, in which articles are reviewed by a panel before being accepted for publication.
  • reprint - 1. A new printing that is identical to an original. 2. A separately printed excerpt; an offprint.
  • scholarly (academic) journal - Journal containing articles with full documentation, identifying sources used and written by scholars whose credentials are identified. Example: Social Science and Medicine.
  • secondary source - Works that are not original manuscripts or contemporary records but are one step removed from the original; often an evaluation of, commentary on, or summary of primary sources, or a critical study. Examples: critical reviews, biographies, journal articles, historical studies, and second-person reports
  • serial -Publication issued at regular intervals (daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually, or biennially, for example) or in installments. Includes periodicals as well as bulletins, annual reports, and multi-volume works issued in parts (e.g. almanacs, annual reports, journals, magazines, etc.). See also periodical.
  • source list - A list of the sources used to complete an assignment, etc., that is placed at the end of the assignment.
  • Style manuals - Publications listing and describing specific guidelines for writing research articles, essays, and bibliographies. Many professional fields have their own style manuals. Style manuals are also important because they ensure consistency among publications. Two examples of style manuals are APA Publication Manual and MLA Handbook.
  • title - The distinguishing name of a book, book chapter, essay, story, play, poem, picture, statue, piece of music, film, etc.
  • trade publications - Periodicals written by and for people working in specific trade occupations. Restricted to the interests of a specific trade or industry which may include news items; articles; descriptions of goods, products, and manufactured articles; lists of new publications; statistical data; etc. Also called a trade journal or trade paper. Example: Manufacturing Chemist and Aerosol News.
  • URL (uniform resource locator) - The Internet “address” for an electronic document identifying location and mode of access. URLs may begin with HTTP://, gopher://, FTP://, or telnet://. See also HTTP.
  • volume - A number of issues of a periodical, usually bound together when complete, or one part of a complete set of books, such as an encyclopedia, or an individually bound book (a volume of poetry).