Blog #6 | 2023

Citing and Referencing: A Comprehensive Guide for JAWRA Authors


Citation and referencing are crucial components of any academic paper, and the Journal of American Water Resources Association (JAWRA) is no exception. Properly citing and referencing sources not only lends credibility to your work but also allows readers to trace your research back to its origins. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the citation styles commonly used in JAWRA, offer tips on citing sources accurately, explore how to create a comprehensive reference list, and highlight the importance of proper citation for credibility.

Overview of Citation Styles Used in JAWRA

In JAWRA, two of the most commonly used citation styles are the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Chicago Manual of Style. These styles are preferred for their clarity and consistency. The choice of style may depend on your specific research or the guidelines provided by the journal, so always consult the journal's instructions for authors to determine the correct style to use for your manuscript.

Tips on Citing Sources Accurately

  1. Consistency is Key: Ensure that you use the selected citation style consistently throughout your manuscript. This includes formatting, punctuation, and in-text citations.
  2. Properly Format In-Text Citations: When referencing a source within the text, make sure to include the author's name, publication year, and page numbers (if applicable) in the correct format.
  3. Paraphrasing and Direct Quotes: Clearly distinguish between paraphrased content and direct quotes. Provide the page number for direct quotes to pinpoint the source's location.
  4. Cite All Sources: Every source that contributed to your research, ideas, or data should be properly cited. This includes not only published papers but also reports, websites, personal communications, and any other materials you used.
  5. Avoid Plagiarism: Plagiarism is a serious offense in academia. Always give credit to the original authors by properly citing their work. Failure to do so can have severe consequences for your academic and professional career.

How to Create a Comprehensive Reference List

A comprehensive reference list is a hallmark of a well-structured academic paper. Here are some steps to help you create one:
  1. Compile Sources: Gather all the sources you used during your research, including books, articles, reports, websites, and any other relevant materials.
  2. Organize the List: Arrange your sources alphabetically by the author's last name or, in the case of no author, by the title of the source.
  3. Follow Citation Style Guidelines: Ensure that your reference list follows the specific formatting and style guidelines of the chosen citation style (APA, Chicago, etc.).
  4. Double-Check Entries: Review each entry for accuracy, including authors' names, publication dates, titles, and page numbers.
  5. Online Resources: When citing online sources, provide the URL and check that it is accessible. Some citation styles may require you to include the publication date and the date you accessed the source online.

The Importance of Proper Citation for Credibility

Citing and referencing sources accurately is not just a matter of adhering to academic conventions; it is fundamental to the credibility of your work. Proper citation:
  • Demonstrates your commitment to academic integrity and ethical research practices.
  • Allows readers to verify the information you present and explore the sources for further insights.
  • Highlights the depth of your research and shows that your work is built on a solid foundation of prior scholarship.
  • Strengthens the overall quality and impact of your paper in the academic community.


In conclusion, citing and referencing are integral aspects of scholarly writing for JAWRA authors. By understanding the citation styles, following tips for accurate citations, creating a comprehensive reference list, and recognizing the significance of proper citation for credibility, you can contribute to the dissemination of high-quality research in the field of American water resources.


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