A reference providing information about where a particular quotation, text, etc., is to be found; a bibliographical reference. [Oxford English Dictionary]
In general, citations help readers to locate your sources of information, as well as avoid plagiarism.
Understanding and avoiding plagiarism
You need to understand why and how to use citations to help you avoid plagiarism! The Online Tutorial on Academic Integrity has been developed to raise students’ awareness of academic integrity and the University’s expectations for honest academic behaviour. Use this interactive tutorial to understand the importance and mechanics of avoiding plagiarism through proper citing.
The Library offers several reference management tools: EndNote, Mendeley, and Zotero (which are freeware). Understand the features of these tools from this page and choose a proper tool to organize your citations and references. Refer to this EndNote FAQ if you encounter any problems with EndNote.
Which citation style shall I use?
The citation style you use depends on your discipline. If you're not sure, check with your professor. Citation styles commonly used by various disciplines are listed below:
Mainly include Author name and publication year, e.g., Ashby (2001, p.19), Lo & Woon (2016)
Reference list should be
Sorted by the author name in alphabetical order
Consistent with the in-text citation
Example 1 (Print Book)
APA Style (6th edition)
Ashby, M. F. (2011). Materials selection in mechanical design (4th ed.). Burlington, Mass: Butterworth-Heinemann.
Vaclavik, V., & Christian, E. W. (2014). Essentials of food science (4th edition. ed.). New York: Springer.
Walpole, R. E. (2012). Probability & statistics for engineers & scientists (9th ed.). Boston: Prentice Hall/Pearson.
Example 2 (Journal article)
Kwok, S. T., Capra, S., & Leveritt, M. (2016). Factors influencing changes in eating patterns among hong kong young adults transitioning to tertiary education. Asia-Pacific Journal of Public Health / Asia-Pacific Academic Consortium for Public Health, 28(4), 347-355. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1010539516641500
Lo, I. M., C., & Woon, K. S. (2016). Food waste collection and recycling for value-added products: Potential applications and challenges in hong kong. Environmental Science and Pollution Research International, 23(8), 7081-7091. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-015-4235-y
Citation link on databases
Many databases provide quick link to citation style, you can simply "copy" the citation from your search result list and "paste" to your document. The following are a few examples of copying APA citation (6th edition) from online sources: