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CSE Referencing Style

on February 7, 2019 by ProofreadingPal in Writing Guides facebook in twitter

Last
time on Referencing Style Theatre, we examined the Vancouver
referencing style used by many medical journals.

This
time, let’s dive into a different style used by another corner of academia: the
physical sciences.

What Is CSE Referencing?

The
physical sciences (e.g., physics, chemistry, genetics, biological sciences, astronomy)
often rely on CSE referencing, a style created and updated by the Council of
Scientific Editors.

The
CSE style can be adapted to suit the guidelines of specific fields or journals.
That means that you must always check with the target journal, your professor,
or whomever you’re submitting the final paper to to ensure that you follow the
sub-style they prefer.

Citations
in CSE style can adhere to one of three varieties.

Citation-Sequence

In
citation-sequence referencing, you’ll include citations in the text by using
numbers within brackets, such as [1]. Each of these numbers then corresponds to
that number in your bibliography. All you have to do is create a numbered list
on your reference page and go down the line, recording each reference in the
order you cited it in the text.

Citation-Name

Citation-name
referencing is also straightforward. In this style, your reference page is
formatted alphabetically and sorted by the last name of the cited publication’s
primary author, just like in APA style. You’ll then create a numbered list from
this alphabetical list, so you’d see something like the following:

1.
Aaron

2.
Beaujohn

The
difference comes up in the main text of the manuscript when citing all those
references. You’ll use the number that corresponds to the number of the
alphabetized reference entry, regardless of where in the main text the citation
appears.

For
instance, you might cite Beaujohn before Aaron in the text, meaning that [2]
appears before [1] as in the following:

  • According to
    Beaujohn [2], Aaron is completely wrong about the origins of floating ice disks
    in New England rivers [1].

Name-Year

Finally,
we have name-year referencing, which is basically identical to APA style. Here,
you organize your reference list alphabetically by primary author’s last name,
then follow that with the year.

CSE Referencing Examples

Now
that we’ve seen the three systems used to organize your reference page entries,
let’s look at how to format those entries in the text and bibliography. The
Citation-Sequence and Citation-Name systems use a similar structure, whereas
Name-Year is a little different.

Citation-Sequence and Citation-Name
Bibliography Entries

To
reference a journal using a CSE numbered citation style, use the following
basic format in your bibliography:

Author(s).
Article title. Journal title. Date;volume(issue):location.

Do
not use periods after authors’ initials and do not include “and” or “&” in
your reference. Article titles are formatted in sentence case, with only the
first word and any proper nouns capitalized. Use the ISSN abbreviation for
journal titles with no periods in the abbreviation.

So,
for instance, you might have:

  1. Aaron MR, Hoffman
    JG. Origin of perfect ice disks in New England rivers: Aliens or earth science?
    Earth Surf Process Landf.
    2001;62(11):1812–1817.

If
there are more than ten authors, write out the first ten authors’ names and
then “et al.”

To
refer to this entry in the text, you’d use the appropriate numbered citation, in
this case, [1]. No other information is necessary in the main text.

Note
that some journals prefer the use of superscript numbers to bracketed
references. You’ll want to check to be sure which is used by the journal or
professor to whom you’re submitting. If superscript numbers are preferred, the
above example would be cited like this.1

Need
to cite a book? Just follow this basic information outline:

Author(s).
Title. Edition. Place of publication: publisher; date. Extent. Notes.

“Notes,”
in this case, refers to any essential information that will help a reader find
what you’re talking about, such as a URL for an online book.

Once
again, titles are formatted in sentence case, with only the first word and any
proper nouns capitalized. Here’s an example of a CSE number-formatted book
entry:

  • Beaujohn F,
    Stephenson R, Donatello T. Geothermal oddities of North America. New York (NY):
    Springer; 2000.

For
a website, provide all the information you can find to allow others to
replicate your search. Here’s the basic structure:

Title of Homepage. Edition. Place of publication: publisher; date of publication.Notes.


[date updated; date accessed]

If
you can’t find the date of publication, use the website’s copyright date. If
you can’t find that, include only the date updated (if available) and the date
accessed. “Notes” here refers to the URL and any other pertinent information.

So
you might see:

  • NYTimes.com. There’s
    a huge ice disk in a Maine river. No, the aliens aren’t coming. New York (NY):
    New York Times; 2019 Jan 17 [accessed 2019 Jan 18].
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/15/science/maine-river-ice-disk.html

Name-Year Bibliography Entries

The
only real difference in structuring a bibliography reference in the Name-Year
system, compared to other CSE systems, is that where you place the date moves
up to appear just after the authors’ names. So to reference a journal, use the
following basic format:

Author(s).
Date. Article title. Journal title. Volume(issue):location.

As
with the numbered citation styles, do not use periods after authors’ initials
and do not include “and” or “&” in your reference. Article titles are formatted
in sentence case, with only the first word and any proper nouns capitalized.
Use the ISSN abbreviation for journal titles with no periods in the
abbreviation.

Going
back to our earlier example, you’d have:

Aaron MR, Hoffman JG. 2001. Origin
of perfect ice disks in New England rivers: Aliens or earth science? Earth Surf Process Landf.
62(11):1812–1817.

In
the text, you would cite this reference as: (Aaron and Hoffman 2001).

See?
The only difference on the reference page is where the date appears, while the
difference in the text is the use of a written citation rather than a number.

Name-year referencing in CSE style is essentially identical to Harvard style. For more specific guidelines, check out our handy overview of Harvard referencing here.

So
the next time you’ve got a physical sciences paper to put together, be sure to
check which of the three CSE systems your editor prefers, and then get
crackin’!

Kate S.

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