Genetics: Formatting References
For a more detailed discussion of reference formats, including examples
(read it before you write your fly paper), look HERE.
Here are several things to keep in mind when you are citing a reference:
For a journal article, only the first word and any proper nouns should be capitalized in the article title. However, all words in the title of the journal should be capitalized.
Scientific names (Latin binomials) should be italicized. Do not italicize the article or journal titles.
URLs should be included for websites. However, do not include a URL for a journal article, even if you downloaded the article from the internet or read it online.
Double-check the title of the journal. Commonly, the pdf version of an article will include additional information such as the web respository in which the article is
stored (e.g., Science Direct), the professional society that sponsors the journal (e.g., Genetics Society of America), or the publisher (e.g., Elsevier).
Be sure that you distinguish the journal title from these other pieces of information; you may need to do a little bit of web searching to make sure.
A note on literature types:
Scientific information may be peer-reviewed or not. Peer-reviewed sources have gone through a fairly rigorous review
process, in which the source (usually an article) has been examined by one or more editors and one or more other scientists (reviewers) that have
read the source and hopefully identified any shortcomings in methods, results, conclusions, etc. If these shortcomings are too significant, an article will
be rejected for publication. Once the article has reached publication, it has usually been through one or more rounds of revision and additional
peer review -- this doesn't mean that it's perfect (mistakes or even deliberately dishonest results can slip through), but peer review is the most important tool that scientists have to make
sure that published research findings are as accurate as possible. Most scientific journals are peer reviewed. Some, but not all, reports from governmental and non-governmental
organizations are peer-reviewed. Websites and non-scholarly literature sources are generally not peer-reviewed (they may be copy edited for grammar and spelling,
but that's different than peer review for scientific content).
Peer-reviewed journal articles are generally one of two types: review articles or primary research articles. Review articles describe the state of knowledge on a particular topic.
They do not merely summarize previous articles, but synthesize them and draw conclusions, identify important themes and ideas, and identify important
topics for further research. Primary research articles include new experiments and/or analyses. These articles can generally be distinguished from
review articles because primary research articles include a Methods section and a Results section.