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Biology: Cite Sources in CSE Style

Biology Subject Guide

Online CSE Style Guides

Check the following websites for examples and guidance on how to properly format citations in CSE style:

See our Citing Sources Research Guide for sample journal article citations and other help with citing sources:

Print Guide

You can borrow this guide at the Geisel Library reference desk.  The print guide includes examples for more specific or unusual types of sources than the online guides above.

Manage Your Citations with EndNote

EndNote icon

EndNote Basic (AKA EndNote Online and EndNote Web) is a web application that you can use to collect, organize, and format references, from any computer.  It makes it particularly easy to create in-text citations and bibliographies in a certain style (such as ACS, MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.). 

To set up your online account, go to the My EndNote Web website from any on-campus computer.

EndNote is also available as standalone desktop software, which has more features than the online version.  To download EndNote on your computer (PC or Mac), contact the IT Help Desk located in Geisel Library.

For more help with EndNote, see our User's Guide:

CSE Style for EndNote

EndNote (desktop) doesn't come with CSE style, but you can download it from the EndNote website:

Introduction

CSE style is the citation style established by the Council of Science Editors.  CSE is the format preferred by writers in many disciplines in the natural sciences, including biology.

CSE style has three variations, which refer to how sources are cited in-text and how they are ordered in the bibliography.

  • Name-Year (N-Y): In-text citations look like this: (Johnson 2017). Bibliography is alphabetical, and year appears after author name in the bibliography citation.
  • Citation-Sequence (C-S): In-text citations are superscripts1. Bibliography is in the order sources are cited in the paper, and year appears later in the citation.
  • Citation-Name (C-N): In-text citations are superscripts2. Bibliography is alphabetical and numbered in that order, and year appears later in the citation.

Check with your instructor to confirm what citation style he or she requires.

CSE Reference Guidelines and Examples

Journal Article Citation Format & Examples

CSE requires that you cite a source in the format you saw it. If you read a journal article online, cite it as such rather than as if you saw it physically in print.

Jump to:

Name-Year Format
Basic Format

Author AB, Author CD. Year. Title of article. Abbreviated Journal Title. Volume(Issue):Inclusive Pagination.

Voss SR, Woodcock MR, Zambrano L. 2015. A Tale of Two Axolotls. Bioscience. 65(12):1134-1140.

Online Journal Article (such as from the publisher's website)

Author AB, Author CD. Year. Title of article. Abbreviated Journal Title. [accessed Year Month Day];Volume(Issue):Inclusive Pagination. URL. doi:...

Voss SR, Woodcock MR, Zambrano L. 2015. A Tale of Two Axolotls. Bioscience. [accessed 2019 Feb 12];65(12):1134-1140. https://academic.oup.com/bioscience/article/65/12/1134/223981. doi:10.1093/biosci/biv153.

Article from a Library Database

Author AB, Author CD. Year. Title of article. Abbreviated Journal Title. Volume(Issue):Inclusive Pagination. In: Database Title [Internet]. Publisher Location: Publisher; [accessed Year Month Day]. Available from: URL. (Database document ID if applicable).

Voss SR, Woodcock MR, Zambrano L. 2015. A Tale of Two Axolotls. Bioscience. 65(12):1134-1140. In: JSTOR [Internet]. New York (NY): Ithaka Harbors, Inc.; [accessed 2019 Feb 11]. Available from: https://www.jstor.org/stable/90007510.

 

Citation-Sequence and Citation-Name Format
Basic Format

Author AB, Author CD. Title of article. Abbreviated Journal Title. Year; Volume(Issue):Inclusive Pagination.

Voss SR, Woodcock MR, Zambrano L. A Tale of Two Axolotls. Bioscience. 2015;65(12):1134-1140.

Online Journal Article (such as from the publisher's website)

Author AB, Author CD. Title of article. Abbreviated Journal Title. Year [accessed Year Month Day];Volume(Issue):Inclusive Pagination. URL. doi:...

Voss SR, Woodcock MR, Zambrano L. A Tale of Two Axolotls. Bioscience. 2015 [accessed 2019 Feb 12];65(12):1134-1140. https://academic.oup.com/bioscience/article/65/12/1134/223981. doi:10.1093/biosci/biv153.

Article from a Library Database

Author AB, Author CD. Title of article. Abbreviated Journal Title. Year;Volume(Issue):Inclusive Pagination. In: Database Title [Internet]. Publisher Location: Publisher; [accessed Year Month Day]. Available from: URL. (Database document ID if applicable).

Voss SR, Woodcock MR, Zambrano L. A Tale of Two Axolotls. Bioscience. 2015;65(12):1134-1140. In: JSTOR [Internet]. New York (NY): Ithaka Harbors, Inc.; [accessed 2019 Feb 11]. Available from: https://www.jstor.org/stable/90007510.

Explanation of Elements:

  • Author(s): List last name and then first and middle initials, without any punctuation. Author names are separated by commas.
  • Title of article: As it appears on the title page of the article itself.
  • Abbreviated Journal Title: Use the abbreviation for the journal title. See the Journal Abbreviations box for help finding the proper abbreviation for the journal you're citing.
  • Year: Put the year after the authors for Author-Date format, or before the volume number followed by a semicolon for Citation-Sequence and Citation-Name.
  • Volume and Issue: Volume number followed by issue number in parentheses, with no spaces.
  • Inclusive Pagination: The first and last page of the article separated by a hyphen.

See pages 582-590 of Scientific Style and Format for more guidance and examples.

Website Citation Format & Example

For websites, you should attempt to include at least the author or organization, a place of publication and publisher, date of publication, and extent of item.

Name-Year Format:

Author(s). Date of publication. Title of webpage. Place of publication: Publisher; [date updated; date accessed]. URL

Name-Year Example:

Axolotl. c1996-2019. Washington (DC): National Geographic Society; [accessed 2019 Feb 11]. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/amphibians/a/axolotl/

 

Citation-Sequence and Citation-Name Format:

Author(s). Title of webpage. Place of publication: Publisher; Date of publication [date updated; date accessed]. URL

Citation-Sequence and Citation-Name Example:

AxolotlWashington (DC): National Geographic Society; c1996-2019 [accessed 2019 Feb 11]. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/amphibians/a/axolotl/

 

See pages 627-637 of Scientific Style and Format for more guidance and examples. 

In-Text Citation Format & Example

In CSE, in-text citations can be formatted in one of three ways:

  • Citation-Sequence: Superscripts, numbered in the order they appear, at the end of the phrase or sentence.1
    • End references are ordered numerically, by the order citations appear in the paper.
  • Name-Year: Author and year in parentheses in the sentence (Lastname et al. 2018).
    • End references are ordered alphabetically by author.
  • Citation-Name: Superscripts, numbered by their position in the alphabetical reference list, at the end of the phrase or sentence.2
    • End references are ordered alphabetically by author, and then numbered in that order.

See pages 550-555 of the CSE Style Guide for more guidance and examples.

Reference List

  • Begin it on its own page with the heading "References," "Cited References," "Literature Cited," or "Bibliography."
  • Order and number your references based on the system you are using:
    • Citation-Sequence: End references are ordered numerically, by the order citations appear in the paper.
    • Name-Year: End references are ordered alphabetically by author, and then numerically by year if citing more than one work by the same author.
    • Citation-Name: End references are ordered alphabetically by author (and then by title if citing more than one work by the same author), and then numbered in that order.
    • See pages 550-555 of the CSE Style Guide for more guidance and examples.
  • Use a hanging indent on references that are more than one line.

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Journal Abbreviations

Journal titles must be abbreviated in CSE citations.

Avoiding Plagiarism

Walk through this tutorial to get a better understanding of what actions are considered plagiarism, and learn practical tips for how to avoid committing plagiarism.