CSE Name-Year

In this CSE citation system, references in your text give the last name of the author or authors and the year of publication within parentheses. These parenthetical refer to sources listed at the end of the document.

In-text references

CSE’s name-year in-text reference takes the form of the author’s last name and the year of publication, in parentheses.

Cite a source written by one author

The rapid discovery of the unique mechanisms underlying crown gall disease demonstrated how quickly an area could advince given significant investment and competition (Zambryski 1988).

Cite a source written by two authors

Initial infection of tubers by H. solani occurs in the field either from the seed tuber (Jellis and Taylor 1977) or soil (Merida and Loria 1994).

Cite a source written by three or more authors

For example, terrestrial carbon can play a central role in supporting lake food webs (Pace et al. 2004), while the problem of aquatic ecosystem eutrophication is driven by urban and agricultural land use that contributes nutrients to downstream aquatic systems (Carpenter et al. 1998).

Where to cite

Cite sources as close as practicable to the information they support. This might mean citing a source at the end of a sentence or in the middle of a sentence. This might lead to long sentences, with citations immediately following the topics with which those sources are associated:

Although “target” ranges of MUN have been proposed (Hof et al. 1997; Kohn et al. 2002), its use as a management tool on farms remains uncertain because of permanent or temporary effects specific to herds (e.g., rolling herd average for milk production; Rajala-Schultz and Saville 2003), cows within a herd (e.g., breed, parity, stage of lactation; Godden et al. 2001), DHI test-day level of milk production (Johnson and Young 2003), method of sampling (morning vs. evening; Godden et al. 2001), method of analysis (Peterson et al. 2004; Kohn et al. 2004), and time-dependent factors such as month (Arunvipas et al. 2003) or season (Godden et al. 2001).

If you name your author in the sentence near the citation, you do not need to repeat that name in the citation itself:

In this study we develop a conceptual model for understanding the linkages between aquatic habitats and the surrounding terrestrial landscape, building on ideas presented by Polis and Hurd (1996) and Gasith and Hasler (1976) who examined spatial linkages between islands and the surrounding sea and terrestrial organic inputs into lakes, respectively.

Cite a source written by an organization

When citing an organization, corporation, or university as an author, use an abbreviation or acronym to avoid interrupting your text with a long citation.

Holstein dairy cows in the Dairy Herd Improvement program born in 2009 compared to 1990 had a 28-percent-greater milk yield (26,861 pounds vs. 20,959 pounds) (AIPL 2011).

Here is what the reference list entry for this source would look like:

AIPL (Animal Improvement Program Laboratory), USDA. 2011. Trend in milk BV for Holstein [Internet]. [Cited 20 June 2013.] Available from http://aipl.arsusda.gov/eval/summary/trend.cfm?R_Menu=HO#StartBody.

Cite a work cited by your source (secondary citation)

Secondary citations refer to material that you have not seen in its original form but rather have obtained from another document that cited the original source. In the 2006 edition of the CSE Manual, secondary citations are not listed as a valid form of citation. Instead, find and cite the original source.

Quote or excerpt a source

Although CSE provides rules for how to quote or excerpt sources, in practice almost no scientists publishing in journals that use CSE documentation choose to quote sources. Instead, these authors paraphrase or simply cite authors.

When you quote or excerpt a source, include an in-text reference to help your reader see what source you are quoting from. The seventh edition of the CSE Manual does not provide specific rules for identifying the page number or other location information for that source.

The below examples demonstrate how journals adapt CSE’s guidelines to include page numbers after the year of publication:

Farmers participating in these knowledge networks, Hassanein writes, “challenged the power relations in agricultural knowledge production and distribution by relying on their own and members’ experiential knowledge” (Hassanein 1997, 304).

Similarly, Hayward, Simpson, and Wood (2004:95) describe “a mythologizing of the power of participatory methodologies to accomplish problem solving, emancipation or empowerment.”

Cite multiple sources in a sentence

Multiple works by different authors

Put the sources in chronological order from oldest to most recent (and alphabetically if published in the same year). Separate studies by semicolon:

Readers curious about plant pathogenic bacteria are encouraged to explore the following and other older sources, which describe key research questions that remain unsolved (Smith 1920; Walker 1963; Schuster and Coyne 1974; Vidaver 1981; Mount and Lacy 1982; Starr 1984; Billing 1987; Nester 2004).

Theoretical studies suggest that plant diversity is a primary determinant of animal diversity (Hutchison 1959; Rosenzweig 1995; Knops et al. 1999), and experimental work has demonstrated a positive relationship between plant diversity and upper trophic-level diversity (Siemann 1998; Siemann et al. 1998; Knops et al. 1999; Koricheva et al. 2000; Haddad 2001).

Multiple works by the same author or set of authors (different years)

Cite them by naming the author, or set of authors, once and listing the years separated by commas:

Similarly, a series of epidemiological studies of P. syringae as a bean epiphyte and pathogen by Hirano and Upper laid the foundation for elegant experiments showing that type III secreted effectors and the Gac regulon are each critical for epiphytic fitness in the field; these important phenotypes were invisible in the controlled environment of a growth chamber (Upper and Hirano 1996; Hirano et al. 1997, 1999).

Multiple works by the same author or set of authors (same year)

Add a letter after the year to help your reader see which source in your reference list you mean. Assign letters chronologically, so that the work that was published first is listed, for example, as 2002a.

Mobile organisms that regularly traverse ecosystem boundaries have the capacity to deliver nutrients and energy, and affect consumers within a recipient ecosystem (Lundberg and Moberg 2003) including vertebrate (Sabo and Power 2002b) and invertebrate taxa (Henschel et al. 2001b, Yang 2006).

Here is what the end references for the Sabo and Power sources look like:

Sabo JL, Power ME. 2002a. River-watershed exchange: effects of riverine subsidies on riparian lizards and their terrestrial prey. Ecology 83(7): 1860-1869.

Sabo JL, Power ME. 2002b. Numerical response of lizards to aquatic insects and short-term consequences for terrestrial prey. Ecology 83(11): 3023-3036.

Multiple works by the same first author but by different additional authors (same year)

If you are citing works published by the same first author in the same year but with different groups of additional authors, CSE’s official rule is that you should name as many authors as necessary for your reader to be able to distinguish each source.

Recent studies investigating the location of the Vitamin D3 receptor (Wang and DeLuca 2011; Wang, Borchert, et al. 2012; Wang, Marling, et al. 2012; Wang, Zhu, et al. 2012) suggest that . . .

However, many publishers simplify this rule so that the primary author in a group of 3 or more total authors authors is classed as one group. In other words, “Wang et al.” counts as one author, even though the “et al.” may be different people on different studies:

Recent studies investigating the location of the Vitamin D3 receptor (Wang and DeLuca 2011; Wang et al. 2012a, 2012b, 2012c) suggest that . . .

End references and the reference list

The goal of your reference list is to help your reader identify each numbered source quickly and clearly. CSE has standardized the information to be provided for ease and predictability of reading.

What to call your reference list

“Reference list” is CSE’s generic term for the list of sources at the end of your document. Your list should be given a more formal title: References or Cited References. If you used some documents as sources but did not cite them in your paper, list them alphabetically by author under the heading Additional References.

Format your end references

  • Authors’ first names are rendered as capitals after their surnames.

    Otegui MS, Kiessling LL, Batzli J.

  • The reference list is organized alphabetically by author’s last name. When there is more than one work by an author, those works are organized chronologically.

    Allen C, Bent A, Charkowski AO. 2009.
    Bennett AB, Gratton C. 2012.
    Bennett AB, Gratton C. 2013.
    Gratton C, Vander Zanden MJ. 2009

  • Only the first word of a book or article title should be capitalized.

    The fat-soluble vitamins: handbook of lipid research 2.

  • Titles are not italicized. However, species names are italicized.

    In vitro and in vivo reconstitution of the cadherin-catenin-actin complex from Caenorhabditis elegans.

  • To save space, journal titles are abbreviated according to the ISO 4 standard, shortening significant words and omitting insignificant words. Read more and search the List of Title Word Abbreviations at ISSN.org.

    Livestock Prod Sci.
    Biochem Mol Biol Educ.
    J Dairy Sci.

  • Year of publication and volume number are required for all references to articles. Issue number is strongly recommended. To save space, use no spaces to separate an article’s date, volume, and page.

    Annu Rev Phytopathol. 50:425-49.
    Mol Plant Microbe Interact. 24(7):773-86.

Examples of end references


References for books follow the order Author(s). Year. Title. Edition. Place of publication: publisher. Extent.

Allen C, Prior P, Hayward AC. 2005. Bacterial wilt: the disease and the Ralstonia solanacearum species complex. St. Paul (MN): APS Press 508 p.

[A book’s extent in number of pages (“508 p.” in the example above) is optional but provides useful information.]

Book chapter

References for chapters or other parts of a book follow the order Author(s). Year. Chapter title. In: Editor(s). Book title. Place of publication: publisher. Page numbers for that chapter.

Allen, C. 2007. Bacteria, bioterrorism, and the geranium ladies of Guatemala. In: Cabezas AL, Reese E, Waller M, editors. Wages of empire: neoliberal policies, repression, and women’s poverty. Boulder (CO): Paradigm Press. p. 169-177.

Otegui MS. 2007. Endosperm: development and molecular biology. In: Olson OA, editor. Endosperm cell walls: formation, composition, and functions. Heidelberg (Germany): Springer-Verlag. p. 159-178.

Journal article

References for journal articles follow the order Author(s). Year. Article title. Abbreviated journal title. Volume(issue):pages.

To save space, CSE suggests that writers abbreviate the titles of journals in according to the ISO 4 standard, which you can read about at ISSN. You can also search ISSN’s List of Title Word Abbreviations.

Flores-Cruz Z, Allen C. 2011. Necessity of OxyR for the hydrogen peroxide stress response and full virulence in Ralstonia solanacearum. Appl Environ Microbiol. 77(18):6426-6432.

Powell JM, Wattiaux MA, Broderick GA. 2011. Evaluation of milk urea nitrogen as a management tool to reduce ammonia emissions from dairy farms. J Dairy Sci. 94(9):4690-4694

Wang Y, Zhu J, DeLuca HF. 2012. Where is the vitamin D receptor? Arch Biochem Biophys. 523(1):123-33.

Journal article found online

Reference list information for articles found online adds a medium designator—[Internet], including the brackets—at the end of the title of the journal, as well as a citation date and a URL.

The CSE Manual does not explicitly require this information if the online content is identical to the print content.

Werling BP, Lowenstein DM, Straub CS, Gratton C. 2012. Multi-predator effects produced by functionally distinct species vary with prey density. J Insect Sci [Internet]. [cited 12 Sep 2013];12(30). Available from: insectscience.org/12.30

8 Bennett AB, Gratton C. 2013. Floral diversity increases beneficial arthropod richness and decreases variability in arthropod community composition. Ecol Appl [Internet]. [cited 12 Sep 2013];23(1):86-95. Available from: http://labs.russell.wisc.edu/gratton/files/2013/03/Ecological-Applications.pdf

Internet resource

Williamson RC. 2004. Deciduous tree galls [Internet]. Madison (WI): University of Wisconsin-Madison; [cited 2013 Sep 12]. Available from http://labs.russell.wisc.edu/pddc/files/Fact_Sheets/FC_PDF/Deciduous_Tree_Galls.pdf

ASAP: systematic annotation package for community analysis of genomes [Internet]. 2013. Madison (WI): University of Wisconsin-Madison; [cited 2013 Sep 12]. Available from http://www.genome.wisc.edu/tools/asap.htm

Stem Cell Research Oversight Committee. 2009. University of Wisconsin-Madison policy for multisite research studies using human pluripotent stem cells [Internet]. Madison (WI): University of Wisconsin-Madison; [cited 2013 Sep 12]. Available from http://www.grad.wisc.edu/admin/committees/scro/documents/MultisiteresearchpolicyFinal.pdf

Government document

Working Group on Diversity in the Biomedical Research Workforce (US). 2012. Draft report diversity in the biomedical research workforce [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Institutes of Health (US); [cited 2013 Sep 12]. Available from http://acd.od.nih.gov/Diversity%20in%20the%20Biomedical%20Research%20Workforce%20Report.pdf


Oliver SS. 2012. Context dependent protein interpretation of the histone language [dissertation]. University of Wisconsin-Madison. 238 p.

Conference presentation or lecture

If a conference paper is subsequently published, either in the proceedings of the conference or in a journal, cite as a chapter in a book or as an article in a journal. Otherwise, cite as follows.

Vierstra R. 2011. Atomic perspectives on phytochrome photoactivation and signaling. Paper presented at: Steenbock 35. Proceedings of the 35th Steenbock Symposium on Advances in Biomolecular NMR; Madison, WI.

References for this page

All examples on this page are taken from publications by UW-Madison professors, postdocs, and graduate students. Note that CSE doesn’t call for hyperlinks.

Allen C, Bent A, Charkowski AO. 2009. Underexplored niches in research on plant pathogenic bacteria. Plant Physiol [Internet]. [Cited 20 June 2013.] 150(4):1631-1637. Available from http://www.plantphysiol.org/content/150/4/1631.full

Bennett AB, Gratton C. 2012. Measuring natural pest suppression at different spatial scales affects the importance of local variables. Environ Entomol. 41(5):1077-85.

Bennett AB, Gratton C. 2013. Floral diversity increases beneficial arthropod richness and decreases variability in arthropod community composition. Ecol Appl. 23(1):86-95.

Charkowski A, Blanco C, Condemine G, Expert D, Franza T, Hayes C, Hugouvieux-Cotte-Pattat N, Lopez Solanilla E, Low D, Moleleki L, et al. 2012. The role of secretion systems and small molecules in soft-rot enterobacteriaceae pathogenicity. Annu Rev Phytopathol. 50:425-49.

Dreyer J, Hoekman D, Gratton C. 2012. Lake-derived midges increase abundance of shoreline terrestrial arthropods via multiple trophic pathways. Oikos [Internet]. [Cited 20 June 2013.] 121:252-258. Available from http://labs.russell.wisc.edu/gratton/files/2012/04/Dreyer-et-al.-2012-Lake%E2%80%90derived-midges-increase-abundance-of-shorelin.pdf

Gratton C, Vander Zanden MJ. 2009. Flux of aquatic insect productivity to land: comparison of lentic and lotic ecosystems. Ecology 90(10):2689-2699.

Lyon A, Bell MM, Croll NS, Jackson R, Gratton C. 2010. Maculate conceptions: power, process, and creativity in participatory research. Rural Sociology [Internet]. [cited 20 Jun 2013];75(4):538-559. Available from http://labs.russell.wisc.edu/gratton/files/2012/01/Lyons-et-al-2010-Rural-Soc-Maculate-conceptions.pdf

Lyon A, Bell MM, Gratton C, Jackson R. 2011. Farming without a recipe: Wisconsin graziers and new directions for agricultural science. J Rural St [Internet]. [cited 20 June 2013];27:384-393. Available from http://labs.russell.wisc.edu/gratton/files/2012/01/Lyon_Farmingworecipe2011.pdf

Mattupalli C, Genger RK, Charkowski AO. 2013. Evaluating incidence of Helminthosporium solani and Colletotrichum coccodes on asymptomatic organic potatoes and screening potato lines for resistance to silver scurf. Am J Potato Res [Internet]. [Cited 20 June 2013.] Available from http://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs12230-013-9314-3.pdf

Thomas DL. 2012. Utilization and potential of estimates of genetic value from an industry perspective. Sheep & Goat [Internet]. 27:13-15.

Wang Y, DeLuca HF. 2011. Is the vitamin d receptor found in muscle? Endocrinology. 152(2):354-63.

Wang Y, Borchert ML, Deluca HF. 2012a. Identification of the vitamin D receptor in various cells of the mouse kidney. Kidney Int. 81(10):993-1001.

Wang Y, Marling SJ, Zhu JG, Severson KS, DeLuca HF. 2012b. Development of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in mice requires vitamin D and the vitamin D receptor. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 May 29;109(22):8501-4.

Wang Y, Zhu J, DeLuca HF. 2012c. Where is the vitamin D receptor? Arch Biochem Biophys. 523(1):123-33.

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