Citations are a method of giving credit to others for their work while avoiding plagiarism. They are also the means through which you may participate in a professional or intellectual discussion on a certain issue. In academic writing, citations are usually required for direct quotations or paraphrases. In scientific papers, they are also required for using the work of other scientists. In journalism, citations are used to attribute quotes or other material.
In technical writing, citations are used to acknowledge authors who have previously published information relevant to the current document and to provide links back to their publications. Although not necessary, it is recommended that you include page numbers for more reliable references. Technical writers should be aware of how many words are allowed in a given format by their publisher and should not write beyond this limit. Also, note that some journals require a citation even if you do not directly quote someone else's work; instead, you describe your analysis or interpretation of existing data.
The purpose of including citations is to show that you have read other people's ideas and understand how they fit into your own. Including appropriate citations shows that you have done some research on your topic and will help others find additional relevant material. Without citations, your readers would have no way of knowing where you are getting your information from or why you think it is important.
Citations serve several important functions, including maintaining intellectual honesty (or avoiding plagiarism), attributing prior or unoriginal work and ideas to the proper sources, allowing the reader to independently determine whether the referenced material supports the author's argument in the claimed way, and assisting the citer. These functions are not always mutually exclusive; for example, an author might cite another work as support for a claim while also noting that this other work has its own shortcomings.
In academic writing, citations are used to identify sources of information and evidence upon which authors rely during their research and writing processes. Academic writers often use bibliographic databases such as PubMed or Web of Science to search for relevant publications, then include these references when submitting papers for publication. The purpose of citing sources is threefold: first, others can evaluate the paper's claims by comparing them with those of other scholars; second, they can verify the accuracy of the information presented; third, others can learn from these sources by reading their works themselves (or having them cited by others).
In science journalism and books about science, citations are required to demonstrate that one has properly attributed content. Writers must give credit to previous researchers if they have taken something out of their imagination and put it into practice. They should also cite sources if they have drawn on stories or anecdotes told by scientists themselves. This shows that they have done some original research and written something novel, which will be appreciated by editors and readers.
To give your work credibility and to place it in context. Accurate citations place your work and ideas in an academic context. They demonstrate to your reader that you have done your study and are aware of what others have stated about your issue. Citation styles vary but most require you to provide the name of the author, year published, title of the article, journal or magazine where it appeared, and page numbers.
Citations help readers understand how previous researchers have dealt with similar issues and they provide evidence of your knowledge of the literature on the topic. Without citation practices, scholars would have no way of knowing who has said what idea, so they would have no way of placing their own ideas into context. Citing sources helps other scholars locate relevant information quickly because others have already thought about these issues and found useful ways to address them.
Citations also show that you have read at least part of the cited article. This demonstrates that you have done some research on your own and are able to integrate new information with what you have learned before. It is important to note that citing articles does not necessarily mean that you agree with their conclusions, but rather that you believe they are worth considering when developing your own ideas.
Last, but not least, citations allow you to attribute content specifically written for you.