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Set up citations and bibliographies in Docs

Add and edit sources

A source is any work you might reference in your document, such as a book, journal, or website. Once you add sources, you can use them to add in-text citations and create a bibliography. The bibliography includes all sources. If you add sources you don’t want to include or didn’t end up citing, you can delete them from the bibliography.

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Add a source manually

  1. Open your document in Docs.
  2. Click Toolsand thenCitations.
  3. In the Citations section, make sure the correct format is selected.
  4. Click Add citation source.
  5. Choose the source type. For more details, go to About source types and access types.
  6. For Accessed by, choose how you accessed the source. For more details, go to About source types and access types.
  7. Add the contributor, such as author, editor, or director of a film. If you need to add an organization instead of an individual, check the Corporation/organization box. You can add multiple contributors. 
  8. Add any other details about the source. For recommended details, you’ll see an asterisk (*). 
  9. Click Add citation source.

    For more details about which fields to specify, refer to the relevant style manual.

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Add a source automatically

You can search online for books, book sections, websites, and newspapers. The search results are used to create a source automatically.

  1. Open your document in Docs.
  2. Click Toolsand thenCitations.
  3. In the Citations section, make sure the correct format is selected.
  4. Click Add citation source.
  5. Set the source type to Book, Book sectionWebsite, or Newspaper article.
  6. Depending on the source type, select an Accessed by option:
    • For Book and Book section types, select any option.
    • For Newspaper article and Website types, select Website.
  7. Click Search with an ISBN or Search with a URL and enter the book ISBN or website URL.
  8. Click Search.
  9. Verify the source is correct and click Continue.
  10. Add any additional information to the source or edit the source.
  11. Click Add citation source.

Tip: To create the source manually at any time, click Cite manually

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Edit a source

  1. Open your document in Docs.
  2. Click Toolsand thenCitations.
  3. In the Citations section, point to the source that you want to edit and click More ""and thenEdit.
  4. Update the details.
  5. Click Save source.

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About source types and access types

When you’re adding sources, you need to set the source type to indicate what you’re citing, such as a book, magazine, film, and so on. You also need to indicate how you accessed the source.

Source types

  • Book—A standalone book that has the same authors or editors for the entire work.
  • Book section—A section within a larger work where the container has its own title and authors or editors. Examples include anthologies and short story collections.
  • Website—A page on a website.
  • Journal article—An article in an academic journal.
  • Newspaper article—An article in a newspaper or magazine.
  • Film—A movie.
  • TV series—An entire television series.
  • TV episode—A single episode of a television series.
  • Miscellaneous—A generic source type when other types are not applicable.

Accessed by

  • PrintOn film, or On TV—Use for books, magazines, films, or TV series identified using publication information.
  • Website—Use for works identified using a URL, such as websites or online copies of books.
  • Online database—Use for works retrieved from an online database or service, such as JSTOR, YouTube, or Hulu. These works may also have a URL provided by the database or service.
  • Physically—(Miscellaneous source type only) Use for works accessed physically or in person, such as works of art in a museum or conferences that took place at a given time and place.
  • Website (originally in print)—(Newspaper article source type only) Use for works in newspaper articles where it is important to distinguish between publications originally published online and publications originally published in print that were then accessed online.

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