Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Citing Sources: When to Cite

When You Don't Need to Cite

When do you not have to include citations?

Check out the When You Don't Need to Cite page!

A note about copyright

Information that is in the public domain (no longer under copyright) and available freely on the web must still be cited.

 For more information see:

When you need to cite

  1. When you include any ideas, quotations, diagrams, images, video, or audio in your work that are not your own.

  2. When you present specific information, such as statistics.

  3. When you include any information that is not generally agreed upon by scholars or is considered controversial.

Why cite?

  1. To give proper credit to the ideas you have referenced.

    Scholarly research always involves building on the ideas of other researchers.  Citations are a way to show appreciation for the time and effort of fellow researchers. 

  2. To make your sources easily identifiable.

    Other scholars may want to use some of the same sources you did, or check your sources to make certain your research is well-founded.  Proper citation style will ensure that your sources can be easily identified. 

For more information on why and when to cite, see:

Citation management

Zotero logo


Access Zotero                 Zotero Guide

Questions? Need help? Ask Us
Davidson College Library, Box 7200, 209 Ridge Rd., Davidson, NC 28035-7200
Creative Commons license logo for CC by-sa 4.0
This Davidson College Library Research Guides are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
All box-title icons from Entypo pictograms by Daniel Bruce —