I was writing a research paper that required me to use quotes and cite the websites/databases those quotes came from. Later, I needed some quick stats, so I googled them. I only used the numbers and didn't quote the website; I put it into completely different words. Do I still need to cite it? If so, then what should I put in my annotated bibliography for that source?

  • 3
    Cite what you use. Be honest. – paul garrett Dec 4 '18 at 0:48
  • Anything other than citing the source is plagiarism and unethical. – Peter K. Dec 4 '18 at 1:14
  • Yes, you still need to cite properly – N00 Dec 4 '18 at 5:06

It sounds to me like you don't want to cite this source because you don't know how to format it in your bibliography. This is a terrible reason for not citing a source. If you can't figure out the appropriate format, make one up. I can assure you that the source would much rather be cited with an improper format than not be cited at all.

There may be good reasons for not citing a source (for example, if you're being helped by somebody whose company doesn't think he should be spending time on this kind of work), but I don't think you have any of them.

  • 1
    Even in a case such as the latter, one could cite the source in an anonymized way. Useless for verification, but one still wouldn't take credit for other peoples' stuff. – Arno Dec 4 '18 at 11:08
  • @Arno: One could, but I don't think there's that much point to it. It's not going to help anybody else who's trying to check the reference, and it might contribute to "outing" the person who wants to remain anonymous. – Peter Shor Dec 25 '18 at 1:30

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.