Some Reasons Why Scholars Cite 1
- To persuade ("...persuasion by argument, buttressed by support from authoritative papers in the field") . 2
- To embody concepts or methods (rather than describing how to determine a protein, I cite the paper that tells you this, and move with my own addition to knowledge).
- To provide credibility (they allow the reader to check the evidence and chain of logic themselves).
- To give credit for ideas and show the reader where to go for a further elaboration
Note: You need to cite sources in your writing if you use someone else's ideas, data, methodologies, illustrations, etc.; it does not matter what format they are in.