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Cite Sources: CSE Style

General Information on CSE

The CSE Citation Style—described in Scientific Style and Format, 8th edition—is commonly used in biology and other science subjects. Science classes at Montgomery College typically use the CSE Citation Sequence System.

Create In-Text Citations in CSE Style

Sources are numbered as they are first mentioned. The number from the reference list is used in the body of your paper: 

The speciation evident in the diversity of species among the islands of Galapagos is commonly regarded as an example of this because of the distances that separate the islands5.


If the same source is used again, use the earlier reference number again: 

Unfortunately, that prediction did not come true. In The Beak of the Finch7, Weiner details how the finch song patterns and the sexual selection based on them decayed not long after the Grants’ first paper5 was published and that the songs never seemed to reassert themselves even over the decades of continued observation.


If multiple sources are used at the same time, separate them with a comma: 

Or, as the Grants said in the final line of their paper, paraphrasing John Maynard Smith, “establishment of a stable polymorphism in a heterogeneous environment is a crucial step in sympatric speciation”5,8.

Create a Reference List in CSE Style

Sources are listed at the end of a paper in the order that they are first mentioned. Here is part of a list from a Reference page: 

5. Grant BR, Grant PR. Darwin’s finches: population variation and sympatric speciation. Proc Nat Acad Sci USA. 1979;76(4):2359- 2363.  

6. Endler JA. Natural selection on color patterns in Poecilia reticulata. Evolution [Internet]. 1980 [accessed 2010 Feb 7];34(1);76-91. Available from:  

7. Weiner J. The beak of the finch. New York (NY): Vintage; 1994.  

8. Smith JM. Sympatric speciation. Am Nat [Internet]. 1966 [accessed 2010 Feb 7];100(916):637-650. Available from:  

Cite Books and E-Books in CSE Style

Print and electronic books are cited the same way in CSE style:

Author(s). Title. Edition (if needed). City: Publisher, year. 

Cooper C. Organic Chemist’s Desk Reference. 2nd ed. Boca Raton: Taylor & Francis, 2011. 

Print and electronic books are cited in the same way in CSE style:

Author(s). Chapter title. In: Book editor(s), editor(s). Book title. Edition (if needed). City: Publisher, year. Pages. 

Ozinga S, Mowat H. Strategies to Prevent Illegal Logging. In: Wijen F, Zoeteman K, Pieters J, van Seters, P, editor. A Handbook of Globalization and Environmental Policy, 2nd ed. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2012. p. 439-466.

Cite Articles and Reports in CSE Style

Author(s). Article title. Journal name. Date; volume(issue): pages.  

Zanchetti D, Bruni S, Raicich F, et al. Sea-level rise in Venice: historic and future trends (review article). Natural Hazards & Earth System Sciences. August 2021; 21(8):2643-2678.

Author(s) (if applicable). Title. Publication series or Publication number (if applicable). Place of publication: publishing organization; date. Extent. Publication series or Publication number (if applicable). URL.  

Assessing Security and Privacy Controls in Information Systems and Organizations.  Gaithersburg: National Institute of Standards and Technology.  January 2022. 733 pages. NIST Special Publication 800-53A Revision 5. Available from:  

Cite Websites, Streaming Media, and More in CSE Style

Author(s) (if applicable). Title of Page. Place of publication: publisher; date of publication [date accessed]. URL. 

COVID-19 Vaccine Boosters. Atlanta: Centers for Disease Control; April 15, 2022 [accessed April 18, 2022]. Available from: 

Author(s). Title [medium]. Place of publication: publisher, date of publication [date accessed]. URL.

Kurzgesagt—In a Nutshell. Geoengineering: A horrible idea we might have to do [YouTube video]. Munich, Germany: Kurzgesagt, October 27, 2020 [accessed April 18, 2022]. Available from:

Author(s) (if applicable). Title. Place of publication: publisher; date of publication [date accessed]. URL. 

Richter, Felix. Americans Owe $1.75 Trillion in Student Debt. Hamburg: Statista, April 6, 2022 [accessed April 18, 2022]. Available from:  

Author(s) (if applicable). Dataset title [medium]. Place of publication: publisher; date of publication [date accessed]. URL. 

Energy production, trade and consumption [CSV file]. New York: United Nations Statistics Division; 2018 [accessed April 2022]. Available from:

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CSE sample papers:

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