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BSC 4312 - Advanced Marine Biology

CSE Style Citation Basics

The Council of Science Editors (CSE) offers three systems of documentation. In all three systems, a reference list at the end of the paper provides all the information your reader needs to track down your sources. In-text references in your sentences show your reader which sources support the claims and information of that sentence.

  • Citation-sequence and citation-name
  • Name-year

A quick overview of CSE styles

The systems differ in the details of how they format in-text references and how they organize the reference list. For more information about each system, click on the appropriate link below:

Example from Charkowski (2012):

Despite this, there has been significant progress in modeling gene regulation in SRE, including mathematical models of virulence 75 and examination of gene expression at the single cell level 87,158,159,166.

Example from Newbury (2013):

These interactions have been implicated in many systems, including small molecules 4, peptides 5, proteins 6, peptoids 7, and nucleic acids 8.

Example from Wattiaux (2005):

Milk urea nitrogen can be used as an indicator of the adequacy of protein and the balance between energy and protein in lactating dairy cow diets (Broderick and Clayton 1997; Wattiaux and Karg 2004a) and as a predictor of urinary nitrogen excretion (Kauffman and St Pierre 2001; Kohn et al. 2002; Wattiaux and Karg 2004b).

  • In the citation-name system, number your sources alphabetically by each author's last name in the reference list at the end of your paper. In the sentences of your paper, cite these sources using the number from the reference list. This means that the in-text citation 1 refers to the first source in your alphabetical list.
  • In the citation-sequence system, number your sources in the reference list at the end of the paper by the order in which you refer to them in your paper. In the sentences of your paper, cite these sources using the number from the reference list. This means that the in-text citation 1 refers to the first source mentioned in your text.
  • In the name-year system, list (but do not number) your sources alphabetically in the reference list at the end of your paper. In the sentences of your paper, cite these sources by giving the author's last name and year of publication in parentheses.

For a class paper, check to see if your instructor prefers one of these systems. For a journal article, check the journal's instructions to authors to find out which system to use.

For a full description of these systems and the philosophy behind them, consult Scientific Style and Format: The CSE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers, the Seventh Edition (2006) of the CSE manual.

Examples of CSE Style


References for books follow the order Author(s). Title. Edition. Place of publication: publisher; date. Extent.

1 Allen C, Prior P, Hayward AC. Bacterial wilt: the disease and the Ralstonia solanacearum species complex. St. Paul (MN): APS Press; 2005. 508 p.

[A book's extent in number of pages ("508 p." in the example above) is optional but provides useful information.]

Book chapter

References for chapters or other parts of a book follow the order Author(s). Chapter title. In: Editor(s). Book title. Place of publication: publisher; year. Page numbers for that chapter.

2 Otegui MS. Endosperm: development and molecular biology. In: Olson OA, editor. Endosperm cell walls: formation, composition, and functions. Heidelberg (Germany): Springer-Verlag; 2007. p. 159-178.

3 Allen, C. Bacteria, bioterrorism, and the geranium ladies of Guatemala. In: Cabezas AL, Reese E, Waller M, editors. Wages of empire: neoliberal policies, repression, and women's poverty. Boulder (CO): Paradigm Press; 2007. p. 169-177.

Journal article

References for journal articles follow the order Author(s). Article title. Abbreviated journal title. Date;volume(issue):pages.

To save space, CSE suggests that writers abbreviate the titles of journals in according to the ISO 4 standard, which you can read about at ISSN. You can also search ISSN's List of Title Word Abbreviations.

4 Wang Y, Zhu J, DeLuca HF. Where is the vitamin D receptor? Arch Biochem Biophys. 2012 Jul 1;523(1):123-33.

5 Powell JM, Wattiaux MA, Broderick GA. Evaluation of milk urea nitrogen as a management tool to reduce ammonia emissions from dairy farms. J Dairy Sci. 2011;94(9):4690-4694

6 Flores-Cruz Z, Allen C. Necessity of OxyR for the hydrogen peroxide stress response and full virulence in Ralstonia solanacearum. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2011;77(18):6426-6432.

Reference list information for articles found online adds a medium designator—[Internet], including the brackets—at the end of the title of the journal, as well as a citation date and a URL. The CSE Manual does not explicitly require this information if the online content is identical to the print content.

7 Werling BP, Lowenstein DM, Straub CS, Gratton C. Multi-predator effects produced by functionally distinct species vary with prey density. J Insect Sci [Internet]. 2012 [cited 12 Sep 2013]; 12(30). Available from:

8 Bennett AB, Gratton C. Floral diversity increases beneficial arthropod richness and decreases variability in arthropod community composition. Ecol Appl [Internet]. 2013 [cited 12 Sep 2013];23(1):86-95. Available from:

Internet resource

9 Williamson RC. Deciduous tree galls [Internet]. Madison (WI): University of Wisconsin-Madison; 2004 Apr 25 [cited 2013 Sep 12]. Available from

10 ASAP: systematic annotation package for community analysis of genomes [Internet]. Madison (WI): University of Wisconsin-Madison; c2013 [cited 2013 Sep 12]. Available from

11 Stem Cell Research Oversight Committee. University of Wisconsin-Madison policy for multisite research studies using human pluripotent stem cells [Internet]. Madison (WI): University of Wisconsin-Madison; 2009 [cited 2013 Sep 12]. Available from

Government document

12 Working Group on Diversity in the Biomedical Research Workforce (US). Draft report diversity in the biomedical research workforce [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Institutes of Health (US); 2012 Jun 13 [cited 2013 Sep 12]. Available from


13 Oliver SS. Context dependent protein interpretation of the histone language [dissertation]. University of Wisconsin-Madison; 2012. 238 p.

Conference presentation or lecture

If a conference paper is subsequently published, either in the proceedings of the conference or in a journal, cite as a chapter in a book or as an article in a journal. Otherwise, cite as follows.

14 Vierstra R. Atomic perspectives on phytochrome photoactivation and signaling. Paper presented at: Steenbock 35. Proceedings of the 35th Steenbock Symposium on Advances in Biomolecular NMR; 2011 June 26-28; Madison, WI.