Citation Project Overview and Recent Research

The Citation Project is a series of research studies on source use. Their purpose is to provide data and analyses that can help with educators’ questions about plagiarism, information literacy, and the teaching of source-based writing. By collecting data and replicating or adapting the methods of other studies to analyze it, ongoing Citation Project research builds on and extends the work of other scholars, generating deeper and more nuanced understanding of source-based writing.

Students and Their Sources - NEW RESEARCH!

This single-site, mixed-methods study replicates and builds on other transcontextual studies of student source selection, source use, and understanding of these processes. By following the information research and writing of a group of US undergraduates from the first library search to the submission of final papers, researchers hope to gain deeper understanding of student information literacy and engagement with source materials, expanding the information and perspectives of data collected in previous studies. Follow-up multi-site studies will be developed once this study is complete.

Details and IRB forms

Writing from Sources

Citation Project researchers studied researched papers written by 174 first-year students at 16 US colleges and universities and collected in the Citation Project Source-Based Writing Corpus (CPSW). Intertextual analysis of these students’ work produced a data-based portrait of student reading and source-use practices, presenting an image of students moving into their sophomore year of college while only sometimes demonstrating expert reading, summary, and citation practices. The findings can guide source-use and plagiarism policies and pedagogies.

Findings & related publications

Teaching the Teachers

This single-site mixed-methods study of graduate students explores what future teachers know about citation practices and how they apply that knowledge in their own work. By using a design-based approach that engaged research subjects in analysis of their own writing, this study enhanced participants’ understanding of source integration and helped them develop strategies for teaching, while also generating data for others to study. These pedagogical methods can be adapted to other contexts, and the findings can guide revision of graduate and teacher education.

Findings & Related Publications

To learn more about the Citation Project, see the “About” page, and for information about additional research see “Studies.