References for a Scientific Manuscript

  • Represent 'Data' for the Discussion and Introduction
  • Quality of Your References Must Match Target Journal Quality

References represent EVIDENCE for statements made in the manuscript.  You must accurately reference similar
or relevant work.  If your paper is of high quality, make sure that your references are from high-quality journals.  
References can influence reviewers (put references for the reviewers that you select into your paper!)  Endnote is
a great software program for references, download a 30 day trial version at  

When citing a reference, focus on the ideas, not the authors.  Literature citations should be parenthetical, rather
than in the body of the sentence:

Preferred:  "Though mean axon elongation rates in Idaho are <10 cm per year (Table 2), elongation rates of >80
cm are common in populations in Colorado (Snider et al., 1982)."

Avoid:  "Though mean axon elongation rates in Idaho were <10 cm per year (Table 2), Snider et al. (1982) found
that axon elongation rates of >80 cm were common in populations in Colorado."

Acknowledgments are straightforward:  We consider a demonstration of gratitude important when appropriate.
Parts of a MS Home
Reference within the
manuscript should make
readers think about the
ideas, NOT other authors!