I am currently writing a paper, and I'm required to use in-text citations and to have a reference page at the end. My question is pertaining to the citations. One resource that I've used is pretty much just a compilation of other resources. None of the information in it is its own, and it has its own reference page as well. The question here would be can I still use that resource as a reference and cite it or should I use the references within the resource and cite those instead? This is the resource in question: http://www.airqualitycontrols.com/pdf/Healthcare%20Guide%20Standards.pdf

Expert Answers

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Requirements will vary by instructor, and I cannot emphasize enough that your best option would be to contact whoever gave you this assignment to be certain. But there would be nothing wrong with citing the resource you linked to, as it seems to be essentially a compilation of information that is relevant to your topic. An analogy would be quoting from an excerpt from a book that was contained within an anthology rather than using the book itself, and there is really nothing wrong with that. As you say, however, this resource does have pretty extensive references in its own right, and your paper might benefit from tracking a few of them down to learn more about the standards. But my judgement would be that unless you're specifically barred from using sources like this, there would be nothing wrong with citing this compilation as a source--as it says, it is intended to be a resource for professionals ("owners, engineers, architects, and hospital personnel") so it is surely good enough for a paper like the one you're writing.

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