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Citing Your Sources

It is important to conduct thorough and balanced research in order to ensure an authentic experience for trail users. Interpretive trail signs are not intended to be temporary displays, but long-standing physical markers that accurately convey the area's natural and cultural heritage. If just one sign contains a factual error or unattributed images, it could negatively affect the impact of all other interpretive efforts along the trail.

Larger interpretive projects may require the contribution of volunteers. If volunteers accurately identify where they found their information during the research process, it will allow project leaders to verify accuracy, provide proper citation and efficiently respond to inquiries on sources. The following identifies the type of information that should be recorded. If a different type of source or a more complex version is used, please refer to a citation style that you are comfortable with, such as APA, MLA, Chicago or Turabian.


Provide author, title of book, location of publisher, publisher, copyright date and page number. Examples:

  • One author: Lambrecht, Bill. Big Muddy Blues: True Tales and Twisted Politics Along Lewis and Clark's Missouri. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2005, 28-29.
  • Two authors: Becker, C. Dale, and Duane A. Neitzel. Water Quality in North American River Systems. Columbus: Batelle Press, 1992.

Newspaper Article

Provide author, title of article, name of publication, date and page number. If no author is identified, begin the citation with the article title. Example:

  • Aucoin, Jim. "Development Plans Revealed for Section of Missouri River." Lincoln Journal-Star. August 22, 1979. 27.

Magazine or Journal Article

Provide author, title of article, name of publication, volume, issue, date and page number. (NOTE: Popular magazines may not have volume or issue information.) Example:

  • Davidson, John. "Multiple-Use Water Resources Development Versus Natural River Functions: Can The WSRA and WRDA Coexist on the Missouri River?" Nebraska Law Review 83, no. 2 (2004): 365.


Provide interviewee, title or relevant position, organization (if applicable), interviewer, date of interview, and location of interview. Please note that an interview release form should be completed prior to the interview. Examples:

  • In-person interview: Hedren, Paul, Superintendent, Missouri National Recreational River. Interview by Todd Jones. June 29, 2007, Omaha, Nebraska.
  • Telephone interview: Taggart, Terry, Vice President, Missouri River Bank Stabilization Association. Telephone interview by Daniel Spegel. October 25, 2007.

Internet Web Sites

Provide author, name of article, date accessed and the full web site address (not just the Home page). Please note that, because internet content can change, it is important to indicate the date you accessed the material. Example:

  • McDonald's Corporation. "McDonald's Happy Meal Toy Safety Facts." Accessed July 19, 2008.

Archives Collection

Provide creator or author, specific item title, page, date; box and file number (the majority of materials found in archives, that are not books, are housed in some sort of container and, within the container, the various items are separated for various reasons in files); repository (this is the name of the archives). Example: (A Person to Person Letter).

  • General Pick to Sam McGuffie, 8 May 1989, Box 14, Folder 3, MRBSA Collection, The University of Nebraska at Omaha Archives.

Photographs & Images

  • From a private collection: Have the owner complete and sign a photo use release form. If the individual does not own the image rights, please provide the person's name and contact information.
  • From publications or archives: Please follow the standards outlined above.


Updated 05/30/2017