The reference style used for reporting and citing sources in engineering research papers is typically the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) style as defined by the American National Standards Institute in the document ANSI/NISO Z39.29-2005 (R2010) – National Information Standards Organization) Standards for Papers Used in Research and Scholarship. This is the predominant referencing format used across most engineering fields in both the US and internationally.
Some key aspects of the ANSI reference style include:
- References are listed numerically in the order they appear in the text. They are compiled at the end of the paper in a section titled “References”.
- In the body of the text, the reference number is placed in superscript immediately following the cited information. For example: It has been shown that steel has a high strength-to-weight ratio.^1^
- Reference entries have a hanging indent, with the first line of the entry flush with the left margin and subsequent lines indented. This makes entries easy to visually scan.
- The main components of a reference always include the author(s) name(s), article/book title, journal/book title, volume number, page range or arthritis number, publisher, and year of publication. Omitting any of these core elements means the source cannot be properly attributed or found by the reader.
- Author names are written in reverse order, with the surname followed by a comma then initials. For example: Smith, John A.
- Journal articles must include the month or season of publication. Books and conference papers do not require this.
- Webpages are referenced with the date accessed included, since webpages can change over time. Print journals/books do not require access dates.
- DOIs (digital object identifiers) are included when referencing journal articles, to provide a persistent link to the source.
- When referencing standards, reports or theses – the type is specified in square brackets after the title (e.g. [Standard]; [Report]; [Masters thesis]).
- References are listed in alphabetical order based on the surnames of the first listed author. If multiple sources by the same author(s), they are ordered chronologically with the earliest year of publication first.
- Authors’ names are listed using “et al.” when there are more than two authors. All authors are always listed in the reference list entry.
Some example references following the ANSI reference style include:
- Smith, John A., and Sara B. Johnson. “Effects of Alloying on the Tensile Properties of Aluminum.” Materials Science and Engineering A325, no. 1-2 (2002): 23-35. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0921-5093(01)01555-9.
- Doe, Jane, Michael Brown, Martin White, and David Black. Fatigue Testing of Steels Used in Structural Applications. ASTM STP 500. Philadelphia: ASTM, 2009.
- ASTM E8/E8M-16a, “Standard Test Methods for Tension Testing of Metallic Materials,” ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2016, www.astm.org, accessed date.
- Garcia, Francisco. Experimental characterisation of materials behaviour: An introduction. Les Ulis: EDP Sciences, 2010. ProQuest Ebook Central.
- Turnbull, Alexander, and Irina Hussainova, eds. New Materials for Next-Generation Commercial Transports [Report]. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press, 1996. https://www.nap.edu/catalog/5313/new-materials-for-next-generation-commercial-transports.
- Jackson, Mark. “Finite Element Modelling of Steel Structures.” PhD diss., University of Strathclyde, 2007. ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global.
I hope this detailed response on the reference style used in engineering research papers following the ANSI standard is helpful. Please let me know if you need any clarification or have additional questions. Proper referencing is an essential part of engineering research integrity and allowing other researchers to effectively engage with your work.