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CSE Quick Citation Guide

This guide contains some examples of common citation formats in CSE Style (Council of Science Editors, formerly called the CBE Council of Biology Editors).

CSE Systems

CSE style describes three systems for references; use the style which is commonly used in your discipline:

  • Name-Year (N-Y) system
    • Uses the surname of the author and the year of publication within the text to refer to the end references
    • End references are then listed alphabetically by author and then by year.
    • The general sequence of information in the end reference is author names are followed by the year of publication followed by the title, and additional items.

      In text example: By contrast, the several antisera that have been raised against Sp1, a defined RNA polymerase II transcription factor (Kadonaga 1986), stain exclusively the nucleus...

 

  • Citation-Sequence (C-S) system
    • Uses superscript numbers within the text to refer to the end references.
    • End references are listed in the order they are referred to in the text.
    • Subsequent citations to the same document use the same number as its initial citation.
    • the general sequence of information in the end reference is author name, title, and additional items (including year of publication).

      In text example: Modern scientific nomenclature really began with Linnaeus in botany1, but other disciplines2,3 were not many years behind in developing various systems4-7 for nomenclature and symbolization.

 

  • Citation-Name (C-N) system
    • Uses superscript numbers within the text to refer to the end references.
    • End references are listed alphabetically by author and then by title.
    • Subsequent citations to the same document use the same number as its initial citation.
    • The general sequence of information in the end reference is author name, title, and additional items (including year of publication).

      In text example: Modern scientific nomenclature really began with Linnaeus in botany4, but other discipline1,5 were not many years behind in developing various systems2-3,6,10 for nomenclature and symbolization.

General Principles

In the N-Y system, author names are followed by the year of publication, then the title, then all the other items.

In the C-S and C-N systems, the general sequence of information in a reference is author name, title, and then additional items (including year of publication).

Note: Author names with initials are recommended for reference lists that also include references to journal articles, for which names with initials are preferred. When there are 2-10 authors, all should be named; if more than 10 authors, list the first 10 followed by “and others”.

Note: throughout CSE style, no commas are used to offset the author's last name from his or her initials, no space separates the first and middle initial, and periods do not, in general, follow initials.

Note: in CSE style, titles of periodicals (newspapers, journals, magazines) are capitalized as they normally are; book titles and article titles have only the first word of the title (and of any subtitles), as well as proper nouns, capitalized. Obvious exceptions are capitalized abbreviations and symbols (e.g., HIV-1, DDAVP, pH).