When to Cite Sources
Insufficient source citation is a frequent reason why a chapter submitted for consideration for a Regional History Series publication is rejected or returned to a writer for revision. Citing sources is necessary to acknowledge where quotes, others’ ideas, and facts originated, as well as to provide readers a trail to follow should they wish to further research the topic, to evaluate the origin and context of a source, or to confirm the accuracy. Statements of common knowledge, the writer’s own thesis statement, interpretation, and analysis, normally do not require citations.
Sentences and paragraphs summarizing others’ ideas in one’s own words require citations of the original sources of the information.
Solely citing one’s own previously published work as a source, “self-citation,” is strongly discouraged.
Prior to submitting a chapter for consideration, please review each paragraph to ensure that quotes, others’ ideas, and facts are all cited correctly. Previous entries in this blog provide specifics on the required citation style. Please do not use “Ibid.” to indicate a source is the same as the one just cited, but rather use a complete source citation. This ensures that the correct citation will be intact should rearranging of paragraphs occur during editing. “Ibid.” will be used during the final editing process.
These two websites provide additional details about when to cite sources:
How to Cite a Site
Citing printed sources is pretty straight-forward. Though not all of the elements are always present, the author, title, publisher, place and date of publication, and the page numbers are normally easy to identify. Websites and blogs can be more difficult to cite because these elements are not always easy to identify or are consistent between websites. The EasyBib Blog entry for “Website” provides several examples of where the bibliographic elements are located on web pages. Below is a citation for this blog entry in the Regional History Series style based on Turabian. Click on the url to go to the blog. Below the EasyBib citation is a citation for this blog entry as another example.
Endnotes Made Even Easier
If you have a smartphone (Android or iPhone) you can scan (or type) the ISBN numbers from most books published after 1970 into the RedLaser app, email yourself the list it generates, and paste the ISBNs into Zotero, which will look up and add all of the bibliographic information from the Library of Congress catalog.
ISBN numbers are frequently displayed as a barcode on the back of a book, often in the lower right corner. The copyright page also includes an ISBN, if the book was assigned one by the publisher. Below are step-by-step instruction on how to create a list of ISBNs with RedLaser and to get the bibliographic information into Zotero for endnotes and bibliographies. For more information about Zotero see the earlier post "Endnotes Made Easy."
Endnotes Made Easy
Doing research can be a lot of fun, but when it comes to writing proper reference citations, one can be less than enthusiastic. Good history is not credible if not accompanied by good citations. A great tool for managing reference sources is the browser plugin Zotero.
Zotero is designed to easily manage references in numerous formats including books, documents, journal articles, magazine articles, manuscripts, newspaper articles, web pages, and many more. You can create collections of references for different projects and add notes, tags, and relationships to other references in your Zotero library. You can add files, or links to files, to make it easy to locate PDFs of articles, and you can capture web pages so ephemeral web information is still accessible.
Numerous library catalogs, databases, and websites allow Zotero to populate the bibliographic data fields with just a click—no more typing! Well, almost. Not all sites talk to Zotero, but you can copy and paste information into the item records, or just type in the ISBN and the record is completed with the data from the Library of Congress catalog.
Zotero is free plugin for Firefox, Chrome, and Safari browsers on Windows, Mac, and Linux computer platforms. Plugins for Microsoft Word and LibreOffice make it easy to add correctly formatted endnotes to papers with a number of supported citation styles. You can download the Regional History Series style, based on Turabian, and add it to Zotero to better ensure your citations are correctly formatted for RHS publications.
Papers submission basics
Papers submitted for consideration for PPLD's Regional History Series publications should be between 6,000 and 12, 000 words, including endnotes. The deadline for the near-final draft of a paper is always in early May. The revised final paper is due for evaluation in early July. It may take several months for the editorial committee to consider papers for publication. Not all submissions are accepted. To ensure a paper submission is accepted:
Comply with all deadlines
Read and follow the recommended practices on this website
Solidly tie the paper to the topic of the publication
Cite sources correctly
Present new research
Use primary sources
Though the Regional History Series publications are about the Pikes Peak region, our target audience is not limited to local readers. Papers should be written to appeal to readers who are not familiar with the region's history, geography, or personalities.
Papers can be uploaded from the Contact page.
Newspaper titles freqeuntly changed and sometimes weekly, daily, and evening editions coexisted making it difficult to identify correct titles in text and citations. Use the Library of Congress U.S. Newspaper Directory 1690-Present to determine the correct title for your citation. Below is the fomat for the notes with examples.
1. [Author if identified], [Headline in quotes], [Newspaper in italics (first mention identify location)], [Month (spelled out) Day, Year].
1. Carol McGraw, "Security Boosted at City Offices," Gazette (Colorado Springs), February 2, 2013.
Omit the author and headline if not available.
2. Out West (Colorado Springs), March 23, 1872.
In 19th and early 20th century newspapers it was common for men to be identified by their initials and surname, rather than by their given name and surname. It is helpful to today's readers to use given (first and middle) names whenever possible. Given names are sometimes found in city and business directories or the U.S. Federal Census.
Avoid using contractions unless they are essential to the voice and tone of the chapter. Use "do not" instead of "don't," "cannot" instead of "can't," and "was not" instead of "wasn't." Contractions within quotes are an exception.
Too many note numbers can distract the reader. When possible, combining notes into a single note at the end of a paragraph is desireable. Citations should be listed in the order in which they appear in the paragraph and should be separated by semicolons (;).
The U.S. Federal Census is a frequently cited source. The RHS citiation style for a census record located in a database is:
[year] U.S. Federal Census, entry for [given name] [initial] [surname], [locality], [county], [state], [source consulted], [url of source consulted] (accessed [date]).
11. 1880 U.S. Federal Census, entry for William E. Hook, Missoula, Missoula, Montana, Ancestry.com subscription database, http://ancestry.com (accessed April 27, 2012).
Use the actual spelling of the names from the cited record, even they are incorrect. Otherwise, smeone checking the source may not find the record doing a search query.
Tips for writing Regional History Series papers