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UGS 302: Ethics of AI: Thinking About Good Systems / Jiao

Shortcut in research! Find sources from citations

This is a great tip for the rest of your research career!

Step 1: Find an article you like? Check the works cited/references/footnotes/bibliographies - where did this author get her evidence?

Step 2: Copy the citation - sometimes just the author and title is enough.

Step 3: Paste it into the search bar on

Step 4: Found it? Email yourself a permanent link. Careful because links are not permanent unless they say so!

Decoding citations

All of the below citations are in different styles. Why are there so many different citation styles? I don't know. There are hundreds of them, believe it or not, and they all are built within a subject area that decides what elements are most important to those doing research in that area.

RAAT, W. Dirk, (2012) “World History, MesoAmerica, and the Native American Southwest by W. Dirk Raat”, History Compass 10/7 (2012): 537–548

I know this is an article because there are page numbers. The 10/7 refers to a volume and issue number. All periodicals (magazines, newspapers and journals) have volume and issue numbers. 

When you see a title in quotation marks, it's likely an article...unless...

MORSE, Richard (1988) “Cites and People” Rethinking the Latin American City, edited by Richard Morse and Jorge E. Hardoy (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press) pp. 3-20.
This has quotation marks and it also has page numbers - but it's not an article. It's a chapter from a book. Books that contain the work of multiple authors have editors. Books are published by presses in a particular city.
Here's a citation for a book with an author and no editors credited. You can see just one title in italics:
Obama, B. (2004). Dreams from my father: A story of race and inheritance. New York: Three Rivers Press.

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