Citing sources is part of how new research interacts with the existing scholarly conversion. The scholarly conversation is the practice of publishing scholarly articles and participating in various conferences with the aims of adding contributions to the scientific community and receiving feedback on your scholarship. If we look back in time at citations, a network will emerge with clustered connections surrounding pivotal studies and the academic fields and subfields.
When you are looking through a list of references in another work, it's helpful to learn to recognize what type of resource you're looking at. The slide show below will help you identify the anatomy of a journal article citation and identify some key pieces of information differentiating resources.