Writer & Author Resources

Subject guide with Mayo and web resources to help with the writing process

Citation Verification

What is citation verification?

Being able to verify citations correctly requires a specific set of knowledge and skills: 

  • To be able to identify if a citation is complete or not
  • To be able to identify what type of reference to be verified. Is is a book chapter? an article? a dissertation?
  • To be able to identify the subject area or discipline of the reference
  • To be aware of the variety of tools (online and print) that are available for citation verification and to be able to select the appropriate tool for verification
  • To be able to use the searching and browsing features of these tools

Gathering Information about the Citation

Sometimes you can verify a citation just knowing an author’s name and the title of the work. Usually, however, you will need more information. Gather as much information as you can, such as:

  • Author(s) names, with first name or initials
  • Year of publication
  • Words from the journal or book title
  • Subject of the citation
  • Reference type, see below

Having as much information as possible helps by giving you many different search options. NOTE: Just because someone gave you information does not mean the information is correct. It is very easy to leave out the details of a reference.

Determining the Reference Type

One of the first steps in verifying a reference is determining what type of reference it is: journal article, book, book chapter, dissertation, report, etc. Without this information, it will be more difficult to verify the citation.

Selecting and Searching Resources

For help selecting an appropriate resource to verify a citation, consult the help guide Resources for Verification. Many of us are familiar with searching resources like MEDLINE by topic. There are other options as well: searching or limiting by author, year, words in the title, volume, publisher, etc. Consult the help sheets and online help of the resource you are searching.