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EXSC5010: Introduction to Research: Writing & Citing

This guide will provide an overview of library resources and services available to you and assist you with the research process.

Why do I need to cite?

You must cite your source of information any time you use another person’s ideas, opinion or theory. You must also provide citations for any facts, statistics, graphs, or drawings that are not common knowledge. Quotations of another person's actual spoken or written word and paraphrases of another person's spoken or written words must also be cited.

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Make Citing Your Sources Easier-Use RefWorks

RefWorks is a web-based, personalized system for managing citations and notes for research projects of any size. It can be used to add citation records from online catalogs, databases and other sources, as well as to produce bibliographies formatted in any major style.   RefWorks can be accessed from the Databases link on the main Library page. Refworks has a number of tutorials that can be viewed here:

Citation Examples in MSSE format

MSSE (Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise) Style 

For detailed information about using the Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise® (MSSE®) citation style, check out this page: MSSE Detailed Submission Guidelines

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise® (MSSE®) is the official journal of the American College of Sports Medicine and is published monthly.

The reference list shall be in order of citation (rather than in alphabetic order) and numbered. There shall not be more than 40 references for original investigations. Review articles are limited to 75 references. All references shall appear in the text. Examples of the types of references are as follows

  1. Journal Article
    • Blair SN, Ellsworth NM, Haskell WL, Stern MP, Farguhar JW, Wood PD. Comparison of nutrient intake in middle-aged men and women runners and controls. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1981;13(5):310–5.
  2. E-Journal Article
    • ​​Vickers AJ. Time course of muscle soreness following different types of exercise. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders [Internet]. 2001 [cited 2001 May 31];2(5). Available from: doi:10.1186/1471-2474-2-5.


  • Cohen J. Statistical Power Analysis for the Behavioral Sciences. 2nd ed. Hillsdale (NJ): Lawrence Erlbaum Associates; 1988. 567 p.
  • Paffenbarger RS, Hyde RT, Wing AL. Physical activity and physical fitness as determinants of health and longevity. In: Bouchard C, Shephard RJ, Stephens T, Sutton JR, McPherson BD, editors. Exercise, Fitness, and Health. Champaign: Human Kinetics; 1990. p. 33–48.

Conference Proceedings:

  • Matthie JR, Withers PO, Van Loan MD, Mayclin PL. Development of a commercial complex bio-impedance spectroscopic (CBIS) system for determining intracellular water (ICW) and extracellular water (ECW) volumes. In: Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Electrical Bio-impedance; 1992 Jul 28-31: Kuopio (Finland). University of Kuopio; 1992. p. 203–5.

Doctoral Dissertation:

  • Crandall C. Alterations in human baroreceptor reflex regulation of blood pressure following 15 days of simulated microgravity exposure [dissertation]. Fort Worth (TX): University of North Texas; 1993. 100 p.

Government Report:

  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Bone Health and Osteoporosis: A Report of the Surgeon General. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General; 2004. 436 p. Available from: U.S. GPO, Washington.

Website home page:

  • American Heart Association Web site [Internet]. Dallas (TX): American Heart Association; [cited 2006 Jan 1]. Available from:


An abstract can be cited when it is the only source of information.*

  • Kelley KM, Hamann JJ, Aschenbach WG, Gladden LB. Canine gastrocnemius muscle in situ: O2max [abstract]. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1996;28(5):S62.

*If you are in ExPh370: check with your instructor about whether or not you can cite an abstract for your assignment. 

Letter to the Editor:

  • Stöhr EJ, Balmain BN. Regarding high-intensity interval training and left ventricular mechanics [letter]. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2019;51(11):2423.

Non Refereed Journal/Magazine:

  • Funnell MP, Mears SA, James LJ. Dehydration and endurance performance: why hasn’t research in this area dried up? The Sport and Exercise Scientist. 2018 Autumn;57:10-11.
  • Lisanti J. The fittest 50. Sports Illustrated. 2019 Jan 14;130(1):52-55.


  • Pethick J, Casselton C, Winter SL, Burnley M. Ischaemic pre-conditioning attenuates fatigue-induced loss of knee extensor torque complexity during submaximal intermittent isometric contractions [Internet]. SportRxiv; 2019. Available from:

Note: In-text reference citations shall be baseline in parentheses, not superscripts [e.g., (14,15), not 14,15]. Personal Internet Web sites, Master of Science theses, personal communications, or other unpublished material are not acceptable as references. All book references require page numbers. Journal abbreviations should follow the abbreviations of Index Medicus published by the Library of Congress. Use of et al.—If fewer than seven (7) authors are listed, all should be mentioned. When seven or more authors are named, list only the first three.

Style information obtained from the Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, Onllne submission and review system


Writing a Literature Review

Preparing an Annotated Bibliography

Purdue University's Online Writing Lab has one of the best websites devoted to academic writing and citing sources. With definitions and examples, visit the site to learn how to create an annotated bibliography.