This tutorial is about interpreting journal article citations in print and online indexes. How citations are formatted in such resources might differ substantially from one index to the other, and also from well-known citation styles like APA and MLA.

Print indexes, for instance, traditionally abbreviate journal titles and author names in order to conserve space. Unlike a “works cited” page, they might also list information by topic, and give prominence to article titles instead of to an author’s last name. Additionally many indexes, whether paper or online, provide descriptive information, such as whether an article has charts or graphs, that established citation styles like APA and MLA avoid considering. Sometimes this descriptive information might be hard to spot, or appear confusing.

For illustration purposes this tutorial uses its own citation format. The concepts embodied can then be generalized to other citation styles.

In order for the tutorial to work properly, the screen resolution needs to be set to a minimum of 1024 x 768, preferably higher. Ideally, the tutorial should be given as much screen space as possible. In particular, there should be no frames or menus to the left or right of the browser window.