The Need for Different Citation Styles

There are many different citation styles. Different disciplines in the world of academics have different expectations on how they expect their authors to give citations. There are instances where different reports in the same field of study use different guidelines for giving citations. The information that is provided by all the styles is more or less the same. It is mostly the approach that varies from one to the other. When a researcher is working with a university he is already given certain guidelines on what citation style he is expected to use for his work. Either that or he is given a couple of options that he can choose from. The only effort that the researcher has to put in is to find out as much about the citation style as he possibly can so that he can use it correctly.

There are two reasons why there are so many styles for presenting citations. The first reason is that there are quite a few differences between the various disciplines like medicine, law and humanities. The various disciplines tend to give different levels of importance to different criteria. It has been noticed that in the social sciences it is common for researchers to give the example of a work published in a scholarly article. But in the field of humanities it is noticed that authors tend to give the examples of archived personal letters and first edition works. This naturally creates a difference in the way the researchers would provide citations and the styles that they would prefer to use.

The second reason for the variances is that many of the traditionalists in the research community have been using a certain style for many years. They are comfortable in that style and they know exactly how it is to be used. They find it difficult to change now. Some of the citation styles that have come into being are more recent in nature and hence the researchers are unaware of them. Thus they continue using the old styles and many of the universities and institutions that they work for also prefer the old ways. The MLA style is well suited to literature and thus its use can be widely found in the humanities. The APA style is comfortable for those working in quantitative studies and the social sciences. The Chicago Manual of Style is ideal for people working in any field.

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