Basic Principles of Citation
An important component of academic research includes the publishing of results to make them available for review by a wider audience.
A further aspect is that you must explain and defend your own research and results. This requires an in-depth evaluation of other research approaches and opinions.
An important prerequisite for this step is excerpting, that is, using passages from others' work. The purpose is to provide evidence for your statements that can be verified by others.
Excerpts are generally provided in the form of quotations. There are two kinds of quotations: direct and indirect quotations. In a direct quotation, a passage of a source text is copied word-for-word and placed in quotation marks. Changes to the wording are permissible only if placed in brackets [ ] to mark the added section and as long as the meaning of the quotation is not altered by the addition. In an indirect quotation, you summarize the ideas of the source text in your own words so quotation marks are unnecessary.
In both types of quotations, it is critical to document the source fully and precisely by noting the title, author, page numbers, and any other pertinent information.
When you collect quotations or excerpts for a research project, it makes sense to distinguish between two situations:
- You are reading from a more general text such as a survey textbook or a standard work. In this case, excerpt only the sections that are of immediate relevance to the problem or thesis of your work.
- You are reading from subject literature, normally for a specific purpose, for example, preparing a talk. In this case, you might look at details and claims that you want to agree with or criticize. The excerpt serves as material for your own research.
In the Reference Editor, on the Quotations tab, Citavi lets you create and manage an unlimited number of quotations from a reference.
When you add an excerpt, there is a dedicated field for the core statement. This makes it easier for you to quickly recognize the content and significance of the excerpt later on. You can also organize your quotations by using keywords. By assigning your quotations to categories you can further structure them.