A citation points towards a specific source of information, and contains all the information you need to find it.
You'll find citations in textbooks, encyclopedia articles, academic books and journal articles. Lists of citations are called "Works Cited" or "Bibliography" or other names, depending on the discipline.
Here's a citation to a journal article:
Parag, Y., & Roberts, J. T. (2009). A battle against the bottles: Building, claiming, and regaining tap-water trustworthiness. Society & Natural Resources, 22(7), 625-636. doi:10.1080/08941920802017248
Distinguishing Features of a Journal Article Citation
The citation includes two titles: the title of the individual article and the title of the journal in which it is published
No place of publication or publisher's name is given
The citation specifies the exact volume and issue of the journal, plus the article's first and last page numbers.
The following are Not Distinguishing Features of a Journal Article citation
For a citation with an abbreviated journal title (e.g. Adv. Appl. Math. Mech.), search on Google to determine the full name.
To find journal articles by title, use Summon, the General search box on the Library homepage. As with the example below, remember to add quotations to search for the title as an exact phrase.
For a long title, as in the example below, enter just the first 5-6 words.
To get the full text of an article. Look for terms like "Link to full text", HTML Full Text or PDF. For example:
If you don't see a link to PDF or HTML full text, click on the button to connect to full text.
To find journal articles by author, you can use Summon. Type the name of the author in the "General" search box on the Library Homepage. As with the example below, remember to add quotations to search for the author as a phrase.
To get the full text of an article when search results display. Look for terms like "Link to full text", HTML Full Text, PDF, for example:
If you don't see a link to PDF or HTML Full Text, click on the button to connect to full text.