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Latin American Library Research Basics

A self-guided learning tool for building research skills in Latin American, Caribbean, Latinx, and Iberian Studies at Tulane University.

9.1. Learning Goals: Cite Your Sources

In this module, you will:

  • get clarity on why it's important to cite your sources
  • learn where to find citation guides and tools
  • reflect on citation politics--that is, who is cited most frequently, who is not cited, and why 

9.2. Why Cite?

Why should you properly cite your research?

  • Point out the conversation you are having with other scholars and their ideas.
  • Enhance the credibility of your own argument with supporting evidence.
  • Provide your reader with additional sources for further reading.
  • Give credit where credit is due.
  • To avoid plagiarism, a serious academic violation.

9.3. How to Cite

9.4. Citing Using Library Search

Library Search has a built-in citation tool. It offers machine-created citations in APA, Chicago, Harvard, and MLA styles. Please note: as these citations are created on-the-fly by a machine from the information provided in the record, you may find errors.You may also have to reformat the citation in your paper using proper indentation, spacing, and fonts.

To get a citation:

  • Click on "..." in your desired record.
  • Click on "Citation."
  • Select your desired style and click "Copy the Citation to Clipboard"
  • Paste the copied text into your document.

9.5. Citing Using Google Scholar

Google Scholar Logo

If you use Google Scholar, you can get citations for articles in the search result list. Copy and paste a formatted citation (APA, Chicago, Harvard, MLA, or Vancouver) or use one of the links to import into your bibliography management tool.

  • Click on the Cite link next to your item.
  • Select your citation style.
  • Paste the citation into your working document.
  • Double check and adjust formatting as needed to match your selected citation style.

9.6. Citing Using Databases

Most of the databases available through the library have citation help integrated into each record. The location of the link/button varies by database, but it is usually located in the tools menu.



  • After doing a search and finding an article, click on the article title to view the entry.
  • On the upper right of the record, click on "Cite."
  • Select your citation style and copy/paste.




  • After doing a search and finding an article, click on the article title to view the entry.
  • On the right-hand side, you will find the Tools Menu. Select "Cite."
  • Select your citation style and copy/paste.
  • You also have the option to "Export to Bibliographic Management Software."


  1. Use the citation button in Library Search, Google Scholar, or another academic database to generate a citation for a source you're interested in your desired style (MLA, Chicago, APA, etc.). 

  2. Click on the Citation Guide in Box 8.3 and find the style guide for the style you're using (MLA, Chicago, APA, etc.) Cross-check your citation with the examples from the style guide. Are there any errors in the automatically generated citation? Revise the citation if needed.

9.7. Citing in Spanish


1. El uso de mayúsculas

  • En inglés y en portugués las palabras de los títulos llevan mayúsculas –excepto artículos y  preposiciones (As I Lay Dying, O Crime do Padre Amaro).
  • En español solamente se ponen en mayúsculas la primera palabra y los nombres propios

Ej:  Variación en historias dietéticas entre los inmigrantes de Machu Picchu

  • Se debe utilizar la mayúscula cuando se nombra un período o una corriente (Romanticismo, Modernismo, la Colonia, la Conquista, Edad Media). No así cuando se utiliza la palabra como adjetivo o nombre de lugar (“La poesía modernista de Darío”).

2. La puntuación

  • Las comillas siempre preceden a otra puntuación (la coma, el punto, etc.) en textos en español, pero en textos en inglés se procede a la inversa

Ej: "El descubrimiento de Machu Picchu". 

3. Múltiples apellidos

  • Muchos autores hispanos tienen 2 apellidos
  • La entrada bibliográfica debe ser así: 

Primer apellido Segundo apellido, Nombre.

Ej:. García Márquez, Gabriel.


1. Corrige las mayúsculas y la puntuación en estos ejemplos de citas bibliográficas:

Aguilar Diaz, Miguel. "Entre Diálogos Y Repatriaciones Reparación Colonial Por La Memoria Y Preservación De Machu Picchu." Revista Antípoda 12 (2011): 211. 

Sánchez Macedo, Marino Orlando. De Las Sacerdotisas, Brujas Y Adivinas De Machu Picchu. Lima: M.O. Sánchez Macedo, 1989. 

Villasante Arelí Araoz. Fantástico Machu Picchu: Mitos, Leyendas, Cuentos Y Tradiciones Orales Sobre La Ciudad Inca. Lima: Editorial San Marcos, 2013. 

9.8. Citation & Research Management Tools

9.9. Citation Politics

Citation politics is about reproducing sameness. Academia has a long history with intellectual gatekeeping. Institutions of higher education in the United States still employ a predominantly white male faculty population resulting in white male dominated research production favoring Anglo- and Euro-centric systems of knowledge.

Women are cited less on average than research authored by men. If a women co-authors with a man, the paper has a higher chance of being cited. 

People of Global Majority (people that have been racialized in white imperialist contexts as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) are less cited than their white colleagues even if they have more experience than white researchers.

Well-cited scholars gain authority because they are well-cited. However, well-cited does not equate to quality especially at the expense of those less-cited.

Language adapted from Dawn Stahura's LibGuide, "Evaluating Sources: Act Up."

9.10. Breaking the Citation Cycle

Practice citation counting: literally count how many women and people of the global majority are included in your references. Also: how many scholars working outside the United States do you cite? How many scholars working in languages other than English? 

Cite research produced in Latin America and the Caribbean, and in languages other than English, when you are writing about those regions.   

There are different kinds of authority. Consider the context in which you are writing and determine: what kind of expert do you need? For example, when might a government site not be as reliable as a personal narrative?

Push against the narrow definition of academic scholarship that is exclusive, misogynistic and racist. Just because someone's work has not been heavily cited does not mean it does not have value. Strive towards citation politics that are feminist and anti-racist.

There are more contributors to research than just the author(s). Take a critical look at the methodology section to see who contributed and who didn't. 

Who you cite matters! We have a responsibility to thoroughly evaluate our sources.

Language adapted from Dawn Stahura's LibGuide, "Evaluating Sources: Act Up."

9.11. Gender Balance in Citation

9.12. Further Learning on Citation Politics

Ahmed, Sara. “Making Feminist Points." feministkilljoys. September 11, 2013. 

Cite Black Women.

Delgado, Richard. “The Imperial Scholar: Reflections on a Review of Civil Rights Literature.” University of Pennsylvania Law Review 132, no. 3 (1984): 561–78. 

Kim, Annabel L. “The Politics of Citation.” Diacritics 48, no. 3 (2020): 4–9. (* intro to special issue on the topic*)

McKittrick, Katherine. "Footnotes (Books and Papers Scattered about the Floor)," in Dear Science and Other Stories, pp. 14-34. Durham: Duke University Press, 2021. Click here for ebook link via Tulane University Libraries.

Tuck, Eve, K. Wayne Yang, and Rubén Gaztambide-Fernández. “Citational Practices Challenge.” Critical Ethnic Studies. April 2015.


  1. Analyze the bibliography of a source you are working with--or the bibliography of your own research project. Do some research about the authors cited. What percentage of authors cited are men? What percentage are women? What percentage are people of global majority? 

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