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Università della Svizzera italiana University Library Lugano

University Library Lugano



Any project, thesis or dissertation largely relies on information taken from other works. You can draw upon a multiplicity of sources when writing a text, such as books, articles, statistics, websites, etc.

You may quote from a source, by reporting the original author’s exact words; you may paraphrase, by putting a passage from a text into your own words, or you may discuss ideas developed by other authors. In any of these cases it is essential that you acknowledge your sources in order to:

This guide provides you with the basics on how to cite sources (printed and electronic) in the body of your text and how to list references at the end of your work. It follows the rules described in the Publication manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th edition (hereafter referred to as APA manual). Examples are given on how to cite the most common types of publications. For types of documents not exemplified here, you can refer to the Publication manual of the American Psychological Association cited in the List of references or ask the library staff for advice.

Topics explored include:

  • how to quote from other texts
  • how to cite sources using the APA style (author-date system)
  • elements that have to be included in citations
  • how to cite individual types of sources
  • how to arrange a list of references

The majority of the examples quoted in this guide, as well as some parts of the text, are taken from the Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (2019) or adapted from The Chicago manual of style (2017).


Quoting sources

Quotations may either be integrated into the text or set off as blocks. Remember that quotations must reproduce the exact words of the original passage (see the difference between “quote” and “paraphrase” in the glossary). For more information on how to paraphrase and summarize a text see the style manuals available at the library (section 808.02).

Run-in quotations

Generally, short quotations are integrated into the text and enclosed in double quotation marks.

In short, there has been “almost a continual improvement” in all branches of human knowledge;

Block quotations

Quotations longer than eight lines, as well as quotations that are the object of analysis, are generally set off from the text. Block quotations are not enclosed in quotation marks and are indented, commonly set in smaller type and single-line spaced. The sentence/phrase that introduces the quotation may be followed by a colon (as in the case of the introductory phrase “as follows”), a period or no punctuation at all.

In discussing the reasons for political disturbances Aristotle observes that

                 revolutions also break out when opposite parties, e.g. the rich and the people, are equally 
                 balanced, and there is little or no middle class; for, if either party were manifestly superior, 
                 the other would not risk an attack upon them. And, for this reason, those who are eminent 
                 in virtue usually do not stir up insurrections, always a minority. Such are the beginnings 
                 and causes of the disturbances and revolutions to which every form of government is liable.

Quotes within quotes

A quotation within a quotation must be marked by means of either single or double quotation marks.

Single quotation marks enclose in-text quotations within quotations.

“Don’t be absurd!” said Henry. “To say that ‘I mean what I say’ is the same as ‘I say what I mean’ is to be confused as Alice at the Mad Hatter’s tea party.”

A sentence quoted in a block quotation must be enclosed in double quotation marks.

Summarizing Gordon’s philosophy, Crane says that

                there has been “almost a continual improvement” in all branches of human knowledge …


Text added to quoted material must be enclosed in square brackets.

Marcellus, doubtless in anxious suspense, asks Barnardo, “What, has this thing [the ghost of Hamlet’s father] appear’d again tonight?”


The omission of words, phrases or more from quotations must be indicated by three dots (four dots if a whole sentence is omitted).

Emerson claims that “the spirit of our American radicalism is destructive and aimless.... On the other side, the conservative party … is timid, and merely defensive of property.... It does not build, nor write, nor cherish the arts, nor foster religion, nor establish schools."


The APA author-date system

The author-date method consists of very brief citations placed into the text, in parenthesis. As a necessary complement to in-text citations, you have to provide a fully-detailed list of references at the end of your work. The list must be alphabetically ordered by authors' names, in order to help readers to locate the documents for themselves. It is important that the authors’ names cited in the body of your text correspond to the entries in the reference list.

In-text citation

Here we empirically demonstrate that workers’ and regulatory agents’ understandings of discrimination and legality emerge not only in the shadow of the law but also, as Albiston (2005) suggests, in the “shadow of organizations.”

Reference list

Albiston, C. R. (2005). Bargaining in the shadow of social institutions: Competing discourses and social change in the workplace mobilization of civil rights. Law and Society Review, 39 (1): 11–47.


How to cite sources in the body of the text

In-text citations should include the author’s or editor’s name, the publication year and, when necessary, the page number. Citations can be integrated with discursive footnotes or endnotes.

Basic form

Full citation in parenthesis

Include the author and the publication year. Give the page number/s when quoting a sentence or paragraph or when referring to a specific passage.

It often happens that “in individual interviews, people tend to play safe” (Gordon, 1999, p. 159).

If the quoted material does not contain page numbers provide an abbreviated heading or section name. 

De Robbio (2000, introduction) explains that the technology...

Reference list

De Robbio, A. (2000). Gutenberg on demand. [Paper presentation]. XLVII Congresso nazionale AIB2000, Roma.

Narrative citation

The name of the author appears in running text and the date appears in parenthesis. 

According to Schatz (2004), the peer review editorial process is beneficial both to the manuscript and to the author (p. 182).

In rare cases, the author and date might both appear in the narrative. In this case do not use parentheses. 

In 2016, Koehler noted the dangers of falsely balanced news coverage. 

Two authors

Include both names in every citations.

(Walker & Allen, 2009)


Three or more authors

In the case of works written by three or more authors, include the name of only the fist author plus “et al.”in every citation.

(Bradley et al., 1999)

Organization as authors

Names of organizations may be abbreviated in parentheses. In the referece list enter the full name and then the abbreviation.

First citation
(Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance in Humanitarian Action [ALNAP], 2018).

Subsequent citations
(ALNAP, 2018)

Reference list

Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance in Humanitarian Action. (2018). The state of the humanitarian system 2018: Full report.

If there are several agencies listed as the author of a work, enter the most specific agency as the author in the reference, for instance use “National Institute of Nursing Research” rather than “U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Nursing Research”. The names of parent agencies not present in the group author name appear as publishers. 

Reference list

National Institute of Nursing Research. (2015). A family’s perspective: Pediatric palliative care stories (NIH Publication No. 15-NR-8018). U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health.

Unknown author

Citations to texts whose author/s is not known should include the title of the document in place of the author. Capitalize the title in the text using title case, even though sentence case is used in the reference list entry. If necessary, the title can be shortened for the in-text citation. 

(“The Guardian View on Britain and Europe,” 2015)

Reference list

The Guardian view on Britain and Europe: Never a place apart [Editorial]. (2015, May 28). The Guardian.

In case of website content, very often the author can be determined from context. In case of organizational or institutional websites, the organization or institution is cited as the author.

(British Library, n.d.)

Reference list

British Library. (n.d.). An introduction to the abolition campaign.

Unknown date

When citing an undated online document, write "n.d." in parentheses.

(Davidson, n.d.)

Reference list

Davidson, R. (n.d.). Save the Earth!

Same author, same year

References to two or more works by the same author/s published in the same year should be labeled by letters, both in text and in the reference list. In the reference list entries should be arranged alphabetically by title. 

In-text citation

(Koriat, 2008a)

(Koriat, 2008b)

Reference list

Koriat, A. (2008a). Easy comes, easy goes? The link between learning and remembering and its exploitation in metacognition. Memory & Cognition, 36, 416–428.

Koriat, A. (2008b). Subjective confidence in one’s answers: The consensuality principle. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 34, 945–959.

Also undated works designated n.d. must be labeled by letters. 

In-text citation

(Council of Europe, n.d-a)

(Council of Europe, n.d-b)

Reference list

Council of Europe. (n.d.-a). Human rights and rule of law: Directorate

Council of Europe. (n.d.-b). Human rights and rule of law: Venice commission


Multiple references

If you are discussing several works by different authors, provide all the authors’ names in one set of brackets separated by semi-colons, in alphabetical order by the surname of the first author.

Web 2.0 techniques are more and more frequently employed in information literacy instruction (Godwin & Parker, 2008; Valenza, 2007).

References to the same source

When you repeatedly refer to the same source in one paragraph, cite the work on first mention. Once the work has been cited, it is not necessary to repeat the citation as long as the context of the writing makes it clear that the same work continues to be paraphrased. The citation may be either parenthetical or narrative; if you select the narrative approach and repeat the author names in the narrative of subsequent sentences, the year of the work can be omitted (see APA Manual, Section 8.16 for an example). 

Velez et al. (2018) found that for women of color, sexism and racism in the workplace were associated with poor work and mental health outcomes, including job-related burnout, turnover intentions, and psychological distress. However, self-esteem, person-organization fit, and perceived organizational support mediated these effects. Additionally, stronger womanist attitudes - which acknowledge the uniques challenges faced by women of color in a sexist and racist society - weakened the association of workplace discrimination with psychological distress. These finding underscore the importance of considering multiple forms of workplace discrimination in clinical practice and research with women of color, along with efforts to challenge and reduce such discrimination. 

If you cite the same text in a new paragraph, reintroduce the citation.

If you cite multiple sources in one paragraph, or switch among sources, repeat the citation so the source is clear. 

Secondary sources

It is always advisable to read original sources. However, if they are not available, it is possible to cite works mentioned in other texts. In this case identify the primary source and then write "as cited in" the secondary source that you used. If avaiable also provide the year of the publication of the primary source. In the example below, Zukofsky is the original source and Costello is the secondary source. 

In-text citation

In Louis Zukofsky’s “Sincerity and Objectification,” from the February 1931 issue of Poetry magazine (as cited in Costello, 1981) . . .

Reference list

List the secondary source only.

Costello, B. (1981). Marianne Moore: Imaginary possessions. Harvard University Press.


How to compile a list of references

The list of references include all the references cited in the text, alphabetically organized by the surname of the first author. The following sections describe rules and examples of how to cite a variety of publications. It is important to pay attention to the order of the elements in the citation, the punctuation and the style. An example of reference list is available at the end of this part.


Basic rules

Authors’ names

For up to 20 individual authors, invert the authors' names providing the surname first, followed by a comma and the initials. Regarding the use of punctuation, see the examples in the following sections. For more than 20 authors see the APA Manual, Section 9.8 for instructions. 

Group authos should be entered with the full name. 

In case of works with no known author, move the title of the work to the author position. 


The year of publication follows the author’s name, separated by a full stop and enclosed in parentheses. If there is no publication date insert the abbreviation "n.d".


Capitalization: capitalize the first word of the title and the subtitle. Lowecase the other words. For examples see the APA Manual, Section 6.17

Style: in general, italicize the titles of stand-alone works (e.g. books, journals, reports, webpages and websites). Do not italicize the titles of works that are part of a greater whole, like articles or chapters in a book. 

Electronic sources

If avaible, cite the document DOI. If the source does not have a DOI, cite the document URL. It is possible to shorthen the URL, provided that you verify the link.
Do not provide a date of access, unless the source is an unarchived work that is likely to change (e.g. a map generated by Google maps). For more information see APA Manual, Section 9.16. 



Correct bibliographic information can be found on the title page of the book and its reverse side.
Write the publisher name but not the publisher location.

One author

Frederickson, H. G. (1997). The spirit of public administration. Jossey-Bass.

In-text citation
(Frederickson, 1997)

Two to twenty authors

Insert all surnames and initials, separated by commas. Use an ampersand before the last author's name. 

Chesney, M., Gheyssens, J., & Taschini, L. (2013). Environmental finance and investments. Springer.

In-text citation
(Chesney et al., 2013)

Editor as author

Heath, R. L. (Ed.). (2010). The Sage handbook of public relations. Sage.

In-text citation
(Heath, 2010)

Edition other than the first

Ross, S. M. (2007). Introduction to probability models (9th ed.). Academic Press.

In-text citation
(Ross, 2007)

Multivolume works

Work as a whole

Arrow, K. J., & Intriligator, M. D. (1981-1991). Handbook of mathematical economics (Vols. 1-4). North-Holland.

In-text citation
(Arrow & Intriligator, 1981-1991)

Single volume
Insert the publication date and number of the cited volume.

Arrow, K. J., & Intriligator, M. D. (1982). Handbook of mathematical economics (Vol. 3). North-Holland.

In-text citation
(Arrow & Intriligator, 1982)

Reprinted works

Cite the original date of publication of works that have been reprinted, as shown in the example. The in-text citation should include both the year of publication of the original work and the year of publication of the reprint. 

Jung, C. G. (2012). Die Beziehungen zwischen dem Ich und dem Unbewussten. Sarastro. (Original work published 1928)

In-text citation
(Jung, 1928/2012)


Translated works

Cite the name of the translator and the date of publication of the original work.The in-text citation should include both the year of publication of the original work and the year of publication of the translation. 

Piaget, J., & Inhelder, B. (1969). The psychology of the child (H. Weaver, Trans.; 2nd ed.). Basic Books. (Original work published 1966)

In-text citation
(Piaget & Inhelder, 1966/1969)

Electronic Books

For books consulted online, cite the document DOI (if available) or URL. Do not include the format, platform or device.

Rabinowitz, F. E. (2019). Deepening group psychotherapy with men: Stories and insights for the journey. American Psychological Association.

In-text citation
(Rabinowitz, 2019)


Contribution to a book

Cite the individual author and title of the chapter, if there is one.

Hinchliffe, L. J. (2008). Future of information literacy. In C. N. Cox & L. E. Blakesley (Eds.), Information literacy instruction handbook (pp. 230-235). ACRL.

In-text citation
(Hinchliffe, 2008)

This rule also applies if the citation refers to the introduction or any other section of the text without a distinctive title, written by a specific author.

Dodds, E. R. (1959). Preface. In Plato, Gorgias (pp. v-vi, E. R. Dodds Ed.). Oxford U. P.

In-text citation
(Dodds, 1959)

For a reprinted work, provide the details of the original publication at the end of the citation, in parenthesis. The in-text citation must include both the year of the original publication and that of the reprint, as shown in the example. 

Baxter, L. A. (2010). Relationships as dialogues. In P. Schulz (Ed.), Communication theory (Vol. 2, pp. 143-171). Sage. (Reprinted from "Relationships as dialogues," 2004, Personal Relationships, 11, 1-22,

In-text citation
(Baxter, 2004/2010)

Journal articles

Include volume, issue and pages in the citation, if available. See the examples in the Books section for the format of the author names.  See the following examples for the correct punctuation.

Light, M. A., & Light, I. H. (2008). The geographic expansion of Mexican immigration in the United States and its implications for local law enforcement. Law Enforcement Executive Forum Journal, 8(1), 73-82.

In-text citation
(Light & Light, 2008)


Electronic Journals

The rules for citing printed articles also apply to electronic articles. Add the article DOI or URL. The date of access is not required.

Articles with DOI

Moshe, M. (2012). Media time squeezing: The privatization of the media time sphere. Television & New Media, 13, 68-88.

In-text citation
(Moshe, 2012)

Articles without DOI

Ahmann, E., Tuttle, L. J., Saviet, M., & Wright, S. D. (2018). A descriptive review of ADHD coaching research: Implications for college students . Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability, 31(1), 17-39.

In-text citation
(Ahmann et al., 2018)


Articles on databases

The rules for citing articles on electronic journals also apply to articles on databases. Include the document DOI , if there is one. Do not provide the name of the database, unless the latter provides access to original, proprietary content (i.e. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews). If there is no DOI do not include a URL or the database name. 

Articles with DOI

Nabi, S., & Sullivan, J. (2001). Does television viewing relate to engagement in protective action against crime? A cultivation analysis from a theory of reasoned action perspective. Communication Research, 28, 802-825

In-text citation
(Nabi & Sullivan, 2001)

Articles without DOI 

McCombs, M. E., & Shaw, D. L. (1972). The agenda-setting function of mass media. The Public Opinion Quarterly, 36, 176-187.

In-text citation
(McCombs & Shaw, 1972)


Newspaper articles

Schwartz, J. (1993, September 30). Obesity affects economic, social status. The Washington Post, pp. A1, A4.

In-text citation
(Schwartz, 1993)

Electronic Newspapers

Cite the document URL. The date of access is not required.

Carey, B. (2019, March 22). Can we get better at forgetting? The New York Times

In-text citation
(Carey, 2019)

Unsigned Articles

In case of articles with no known author, move the title of the work to the author position. As shown in the example below, in the in-text citation the title is formatted differently than in the reference list. 

The Guardian view on Britain and Europe: Never a place apart [Editorial]. (2015, May 28). The Guardian

In-text citation
(“The Guardian View on Britain and Europe,” 2015)



Cite the review author and title, if given.

Schatz, B. R. (2000,  November 17). Learning by text or context? [Review of the book The social life of information, by J. S. Brown & P. Duguid]. Science, 290, 1304.

In-text citation
(Schatz, 2000)


Theses, papers


Specify the type of thesis and the academic institution.

Carlbom, P. (2000)Carbody and passengers in rail vehicle dynamics [Doctoral dissertation, KTH Royal Institute of Technology].

In-text citation
(Carlbom, 2000)

Papers presented at meetings

Specify the meeting name and place.

Maddox, S. Hurling, J., Stewart, E., & Edwards, A. (2016, March 30-April 2). If mama ain't happy, nobody's happy: The effect of parental depression on mood dysregulation in children [Paper presentation]. Southeastern Psychological Association 62nd Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA, United States.

In-text citation
(Maddox et al., 2016)

Working papers

Specify the type of material and the academic institution.

Cochrane, J. H. (2012). Continuous-time linear models (NBER Working Paper 18181). National Bureau of Economic Research.

In-text citation
(Cochrane, 2012)


Dictionaries and encyclopedias

Cite the author, the title of the entry, the title of the work and the page range of the entry. The page number is not required. In case of online documents, insert the document URL without the date of access, which is required only if there is neither a publication nor a revision date.

Konijn, E. A. (2008). Affects and media exposure. In W. Donsbach (Ed.), The international encyclopedia of communication (Vol. 1, pp. 123-129). Blackwell.

In-text citation
(Konijn, 2008)

If the author and the publisher are the same, enter the name in the author element only.

Encyclopaedia Britannica. (1998). Synthetism. In The new encyclopaedia Britannica (15. ed., Vol. 11, p. 466).

In-text citation
(Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1998)

Online works

If the date of publication is unknown use the abbreviation "n.d.". A retrieval date is necessary only if the entry is not permantently archived.

Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Heuristic. In Merriam-Webster’.com dictionary [20.11.2019]

In-text citation
(Merriam-Webster, n.d.)


Wikipedia entries should be used with caution, particularly because information may be created or modified by someone who is not an expert in the field. It is worthwhile checking whether more authoritative resources are available as an alternative. We recommend checking the instructions regarding the use of Wikipedia with the academic supervisor.

Cite the archived version of the page, which may be found by selecting "View history" and then the date and time of the version you used. 

Caloris planitia. (2019, May 30). In Wikipedia

In-text citation
(“Caloris Planitia,” 2019)



Unpublished interviews

Unpublished interviews are generally cited in running text.

Andrew Macmillan, principal adviser of the  FAO Investment Center Division, explains that ... (personal communication, June 20, 2019)

Published interviews

Published interviews must be cited in the reference list.

Carson, C. (1999). Inventing Carson: An interview [Interview]. Chicago Review, 45 (3/4), 92-100.

In-text citation
(Carson 1999)


For the format of corporate or group authors names see the section Organization as authors.

American Library Association. (2010). Psychology information literacy standards.

In-text citation
(American Library Association, 2010)


Audiovisual material


Provide the director's name.

Forman, M. (Director). (1975). One flew over the cuckoo's nest [Film]. United Artists. 

In-text citation
(Forman, 1975)

Television series

Cite the writer and director of the episode and the executive producer. 

Barris, K. (Writer & Director). (2017, January 11). Lemons (Season 3, Episode 12) [TV series episode]. In K. Barris, J. Groff, A. Anderson, E. B. Dobbins, L. Fishburne, & H. Sugland [Executive Producers], Black-ish. Wilmore Films; Artists First; Cinema Gypsy Productions; ABC Studios. 

In-text citation
(Barris, 2017)

Powerpoint slides or lecture notes

If you cite slides from a company intranet or a learning management system, and the audience you are writing to can access that resource, provide the name of the platform and the URL. 

Mack, R., & Spake, G. (2018). Citing open source images and formatting references for presentations. [PowerPointslides]. Canvas@FNU. 

In-text citation
(Mack & Space, 2018)


When you cite individual web pages provide any useful element available: author, date, title (in italics), URL. Include a retrieval date only for sources that clearly change over time or do not have an archived version.

Unknown date
Use the abbreviation "n.d."

Tomlin, C. M. (n.d.). Rosa Parks.

In-text citation
(Tomlin, n.d.)

Unknown author
If no individual author is specified, enter the name of the organization responsible for the content of the website as the author. 

British Library. (n.d.). The slave trade: A historical background

In-text citation
(British Library, n.d.)

If there is no author, include the title of the document in place of the author, as shown in the second example below.

Webpage on a news website
Cite the title of online news sources (e.g. BBC News, CNN)  in italics. 

Avramova, N. (2019, January 3). The secret to a long, happy, healthy life? Think age-positive. CNN.

In-text citation
(Avramova, 2019)

If there is no author, include the title of the document in place of the author. Shorten the title in the body of the text, if necessary.

North Carolina's Asheville unanimously approves reparations for slavery. (2020, July 16). BBC News.

In-text citation
(North Carolina's Asheville Unanimously Approves, 2020)


You Tube, blog post and social media

You Tube Video
Use this template to construct the reference for YouTube videos:
Author/Person who uploaded the video. (year, day, month). Title of the video [Video]. YouTube. URL

CBS Boston. (2019, July 15). Apollo 15: 50 years later [Video]. YouTube.

In-text citation
(CBS Boston, 2019)

Blog Post

Use this template to construct the reference for Blog posts: 
Author. (year, day, month). Title of the post. Title of the Blog. URL

Saxe, K. (2019, March 7). Mathematical sciences and the NSF big ideas. Capital Currents

In-text citation
(Saxe, 2019)

Social media

Use this template to construct the reference to social media content: 
Author/Username. (year, day, month). Content of the post up to the first 20 words [Description of audiovisuals, if any] [Descritpion of content type]. Site name. URL


Gaiman, N. (2018, March 22). 100,000+ Rohingya refugees could be at serious risk during Bangladesh’s monsoon season. My fellow UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Cate Blanchett is [Image attached] [Status update]. Facebook.

In-text citation
(Gaiman, 2018)



Badlands National Park [@BadlandsNPS]. (2018, Febrary 26). Biologists have identified more than 400 different plant species growing in@BadlandsNPS#DYK #biodiversity [Tweet]. Twitter.

In-text citation
(Badlands National Park, 2018)



Alarez, S. [@salvarezphoto]. (2019, June 23). Basin and Range national monument [Photograph]. Instagram.

In-text citation
(Alvarez, 2019)


E-mail messages

Private messages should be cited in the text only. Messages posted in public lists may be cited in the reference list. 

Personal communications

In-text citation
(N. Smith, personal communication, September 28, 2019)

Public messages

Olson, N. (2017, January 22). Re: How did the ‘cool kids’ from high school turn out? [Online forum post]. Quora.

In-text citation
(Olson 2017)


Example of reference list

In the reference list entries must be arranged alphabetically by the authors’ last names (or editors').

Works by the same author should be ordered chronologically, starting from the oldest. Undated works precede dated works.

A single-author work must be entered before a multi-author work beginning with the same name.

Works by unknown authors should be ordered alphabetically by title. 

More information at sections 9.43-52 of the APA manual.

American Library Association. (2010). Psychology Information Literacy Standards

Arrow, K. J., & Intriligator, M. D. (1982). Handbook of mathematical economics (Vol. 3). North-Holland.

Heath, R. L. (Cur.). (2010). The Sage handbook of public relations. Sage.

Krugman, P. R. (2007). The conscience of a liberal. W.W. Norton.

Krugman, P. R., & Wells, R. (2006). Economics. Worth.

Mankiw, N. G. (2007). Macroeconomics (6th ed.). Worth.

Mankiw, N. G. (2008). Principles of economics (5th ed.). South-Western Cengage Learning.

Moshe, M. (2012). Media time squeezing: The privatization of the media time sphere. Television & New Media, 13, 68-88.

North Carolina's Asheville unanimously approves reparations for slavery. (2020, July 16). BBC News.

Tomlin, C. M. (n.d.). Rosa Parks.



We provide here a brief list of abbreviations, some of which are Latin, commonly used in text writing, citations and reference lists. Some of these are Latin. For a detailed list please consult a style manual.

anon. : anonymous
cf. : confer (compare with)
ed. : edition
ed./eds. : editor/editors 
e.g. : exempli gratia (for example, for instance)
et al. : et alii (and others), used in citations and reference lists.
fig. : figure
i.e. : id est (in other words)
ill. : illustration
n.d. : no date
para./paras. : paragraph/paragraphs
ref./refs. : reference/references
s.v. : sub voce/verbo (under the word), used to quote a specific entry in a reference work.
vol./vols. : volume/volumes


List of references

American Psychological Association. (2019). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.). American Psychological Association.

De Mauro, T. (2000). Il dizionario della lingua italiana. Paravia.

Diozzi, F. (2003). Glossario di biblioteconomia e scienza dell’informazione. Editrice Bibliografica.

Lesina, R. (1994). Il nuovo manuale di stile (2nd ed.). Zanichelli.

University of Chicago Press. (2017). The Chicago manual of style (17th ed). Univ. of Chicago Press. Also available at (subscription only)



Author : a person/organization responsible for the creation of a work and its content in its published form.


Citation :  a reference to a work/document that provides the necessary information to identify the source.


Cite : see Citation.


Bibliography : see Reference List.


Database : "a structured set of data held in a computer, esp. one that is accessible in various ways" (Pearsall and Trumble 2002).


DOI (Digital Object Identifier) : “… a permanent identifier given to an electronic document” (Wikipedia, 18 June 2008).


Domain name : “a name that identifies a computer or computers on the Internet. These names appear as a component of a Web site's URL” (Wikipedia, 17 June 2008).


Editor : "a person who edits [assembles, prepares, modifies or condenses] material for publication or broadcasting" (Pearsall and Trumble 2002).


Intellectual Property :  “a property that is the result of creativity and does not exist in tangible form …” (Pearsall and Trumble 2002).


Paraphrase : “a free rendering or rewording of a passage” (Pearsall and Trumble 2002).


Plagiarize : “take and use (the thoughts, writings, inventions, etc. of another person) as one’s own” (Pearsall and Trumble 2002).


Proxy Server : “… a server (a computer system or an application program) which services the requests of its clients by forwarding requests to other servers” (Wikipedia, 16 June 2008).


Quotation : see Quote.


Quote : “repeat or copy out (a passage) usually with an indication that it is borrowed” (Pearsall and Trumble 2002).


Reference list : a list containing full bibliographic information regarding the works cited and consulted in one’s own text.


Source (source text) : “a text (sometimes oral) from which information or ideas are derived” (Wikipedia, 17 June 2008).


URL (Uniform Resource Locator) : “in popular usage, it means a web page address. Strictly, it is a compact string of characters for a resource available via the Internet” (Wikipedia, 17 June 2008). Root URL:  generally it corresponds to the website homepage or domain name.