Broadly, a citation is a reference to a published or unpublished source. More precisely, a citation is an abbreviated alphanumeric expression embedded in the body of an intellectual work that denotes an entry in the bibliographic references section of the work for the purpose of acknowledging the relevance of the works of others to the topic of discussion at the spot where the citation appears.
References to single, machine-readable assertions in electronic scientific articles are known as nano publications, a form of micro attribution.
Citation has several important purposes: to uphold intellectual honesty (or avoiding plagiarism), to attribute prior or unoriginal work and ideas to the correct sources, to allow the reader to determine independently whether the referenced material supports the author’s argument in the claimed way, and to help the reader gauge the strength and validity of the material the author has used.
The forms of citations generally subscribe to one of the generally accepted citations systems, such as the Oxford, Harvard, MLA, American Sociological Association (ASA), American Psychological Association (APA), and other citations systems, as their syntactic conventions are widely known and easily interpreted by readers.
Citation machine helps students and professional researchers to properly credit the information that they use. Its primary goal is to make it so easy for student researchers to cite their information sources, that there is virtually no reason not to.