A citation is a brief summary that provides all the necessary data about a book, journal, or website so that someone else can easily find this source on their own.
There are standard formats for citing different types of source materials, like journals, books, and websites. Generally a citation may include all or part of the following pieces of information:
- Title of the work: article, book chapter, book, technical report
- Publisher of the work
- Volume, issue, or edition of the work
- URL or DOI (“A digital object identifier (DOI) is a unique alphanumeric string assigned by a registration agency (the International DOI Foundation) to identify content and provide a persistent link to its location on the Internet. The publisher assigns a DOI when your article is published and made available electronically.” http://www.apastyle.org/learn/faqs/what-is-doi.aspx)
When conducting a literature review, you may gather a variety of citations to journals, books, datasets, technical reports, and professional guidelines. Keeping track of all these resources doesn't have to be overwhelming. Learn how to use citation management software.