two students by tree in hard hats and vests

Citing Sources

When do you have to cite a source? 

You need to provide a citation whenever you:

  • actually quote someone else's words
  • paraphrase someone else's work (yes, you have slightly modified the wording, however, the ideas/ works are still that of someone else)
  • summarize someone else's work (same as above)

There are two parts to a citation:

  • in text citation - this simply provides author and date (and sometimes page number) within the text itself
  • end of document citation - also known as a Bibliography or References (this listing should only include works that you have cited in your text - if you wish to cite other sources that were helpful but not actually cited in your report then these sources should be provided in a separate list, e.g. Additional References)

How do you actually cite a source? There are several styles that vary in format, so we have chosen one (CSE) for consistency within VIU Forestry.

The CSE Style Guide (Council of Science Editors, formerly CBE) is one of the main style guides used when citing sources in a research paper for many of the natural sciences, including the Forestry Chronicle and the Canadian Journal of Forest Research. The VIU Library research guide for forestry provides useful links for using the CSE format for citations.

Here are a few examples of how to use this style using the Author-Date format in the text:

In text

According to Rodgers (2012) the green bay tree has large roots.
OR: The green bay tree has large roots (Rodgers 2012).


Journal article: Rodgers, A. 2012. A study of rooting habits of the green bay tree in frozen tundra soils. For. Chron. 88: 41-45.

Journal article (accessed on-line): Rodgers, A. 2012. A study of rooting habits of the green bay tree in frozen tundra soils. For. Chron. [Internet]. [cited 12 Feb. 2012]; 88: 41-45. Available from:

Website: Green bay tree [Internet]. [updated 2012 Jan 12]. Madison (WI): Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry; [cited 2012 Feb 12]. Available from

Book: Rodgers, A. 2012. The green bay tree. 2nd ed. Toronto (ON): GBP Press. p. 473-488.

e-Book: Rodgers, A. 2012. The green bay tree [Internet]. [cited 2012 Feb 12]. Available from:

Note: you can also use the CSE style using the citation number approach in the text—using a sequential number in parentheses (#), and listing the citations in order in the references.