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Finding Primary Sources in the FIU Libraries Catalog

How to pinpoint primary sources in the FIU library catalog, library databases containing primary sources, and freely accessible primary sources on the web


The FIU Libraries have a subscription to RefWorks. It may be accessed through the FIU Library home page or as a separate database. RefWorks is a bibliographic management tool for importing citations from sources like article databases and automatically integrating them into your research paper and bibliography. An expansive set of citation formats are supported.

At some point your professor may require you to send your file to Turnitin to check for plagiarism and check your citations.

Need more help?

Use our Citation Guide for in-depth help on citation styles, RefWorks, and Plagiarism Prevention.


Citing primary sources is like citing any other source:

  • Find out what style your professor wants you to use, or choose a style most commonly used by your discipline.
  • Examine the material to determine what format it is:  audiovisual, electronic, print, etc.
  • Determine whether the item is published or unpublished, part of a collection or an individual item.
  • Look it up in the style manual  (The three most commonly used style guides are shown below.)



A digital object identifier (DOI) can be used to cite and link to electronic documents.

A DOI is guaranteed never to change, so you can use it to link permanently to electronic documents.


To cite or create a link to a document using a DOI

The correct format for citing or creating a link to a document using its DOI is as follows:


To find a document using a DOI:

  1. Copy the DOI of the document you want to open.  For example, 10.1016/j.bbr.2011.03.031.
  2. Open the following DOI site in your browser:
  3. Enter the entire DOI in the text box provided, and then click Go.


Note: The DOI scheme is administered by the International DOI Foundation.

Many of the world's leading publishers have come together to build a DOI-based

document linking scheme known as CrossRef.


Source: Elsevier ScienceDirect