The last few years have witnessed an explosion in the number of papers being published on solar energy. The number of peer-reviewed, refereed papers on the subject has nearly quintupled since 2012. This is largely due to the growing popularity of photovoltaic (PV) cells and solar panels, and the ever-increasing demand for electricity around the world. The ability to generate electricity using only the rays of the Sun, rather than polluting fuels, has huge implications for the planet.
For an academic paper, a comprehensive list of references and bibliography is essential. This is particularly important for published articles as new papers are constantly being added to the literature. For a general guide on writing academic papers, check out this page from the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Define Your Research Subject
The first step in writing any paper is to properly define your research subject. This topic should be quite broad, covering all aspects of solar energy including PV cell modeling, PV system design, and forecasting of future PV installations. The more specific you can be, the easier it will be to find relevant papers to cite.
Some journals, such as Renewable & Sustainable Energy, will allow you to submit a broad paper and then break it down into smaller articles for publication. The idea is to generate multiple citations for your work, meaning that various papers will pick up on your work and build on it. This is often referred to as “bibliometrics” or “publication mining.” The advantage of this approach is that it saves you the effort of gathering multiple citations for your work over time.
Cite The Relevant Papers
Once you have defined your research subject, you can begin to look for relevant papers to cite. There are a variety of online resources that can help with this task, such as Google Scholar and Scopus. You can search for your keywords and use filters to sort your results by relevance. Once you have found relevant papers, read the abstracts and papers to see if they are worth citing.
If you find a paper that seems especially relevant to your work, read the entire thing to see if it is a good fit for your audience. Some key papers to read are:
- NREL Report on Cost Trends for PV Systems in the United States
- A Primer on PV System Costs and Financial Analysis
- The Role of Financial Analysis in Solar Project Decisions
- PV System Performance and Economic Analysis
- The Effect of Financial Analysis on the Performance of a PV System
- PV System Performance, Reliability, and Cost Analysis
- PV System Performance and Economic Analysis
- A Review of the State of PV System Cost Studies in 2017
- The Impact of New Technologies on the Cost of a PV System
- The Role of Economics in PV Technology Investment Decisions
- The Solar Industry Review
- The Changing Face of Solar Power
- The Role of Government Policy in Promoting Solar Energy
- Renewable Energy and Sustainable Development: Opportunities and Challenges in Developing Countries
- Solar Radiation Management
- The Future of Solar Energy
The first paper listed above is from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and it is one of the most cited papers on the subject. This is partly because NREL has published several other relevant papers on similar topics. You can find the full list of NREL’s publications here. This organization also sponsors a yearly conference on solar energy, which you can learn more about here.
These papers, and many more, can be found in the Solar Resource Library which is where you should begin your search for relevant papers. You can also find the entire contents of the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s online public library here. Search the entire repository for relevant papers on solar energy design, and then use the navigation panel on the left to narrow your search to cite only the most relevant results.
Use The Right Bibliography Format
The next step is to properly format your bibliography. Every paper has a bibliography, including any cited papers, which provides a list of the sources that were used to create the work. For a scholarly paper, you must use a specific set of formatting rules, which follow a particular style known as the Chicago Manual of Style. You must also follow the guidelines for citation as explained in the previous section.
When writing your bibliography, begin by identifying the relevant papers that were used to create your work. For instance, if you are using the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s database to gather the data for your paper, you should list NREL’s publications as a first-level source. Next, list the other papers that were crucial in your research, whether it was an article, a book, or a conference proceeding. Use a comma to separate each of the sources. The last step is to provide an indicator of the level of confidence you have in the data that was used to support your findings. For instance, if you are presenting your work at a conference and you have not yet published it, you can say that you are “pending publication” or that you are “working on a final version of [your] paper.”
If you follow these instructions, you will ensure that your bibliography looks precisely like the one below:
The formatter will then check your work for technical errors and provide you with a clean, formatted document. Once you are satisfied with the formatting, print off a hard copy to use as a reference during the rest of your academic career. If you find this paper useful, be sure to cite it in your own work:
“(1) NREL Report on Cost Trends for PV Systems in the United States, (2) A Primer on PV System Costs and Financial Analysis, (3) The Role of Financial Analysis in Solar Project Decisions, (4) PV System Performance and Economic Analysis, (5) The Effect of Financial Analysis on the Performance of a PV System, (6) PV System Performance and Citation, (7) PV System Performance and Economic Analysis, (8) A Review of the State of PV System Cost Studies in 2017, (9) The Impact of New Technologies on the Cost of a PV System, (10) The Role of Economics in PV Technology Investment Decisions, (11) The Future of Solar Energy, (12) Solar Radiation Management, (13) The Changing Face of Solar Power, (14) The Role of Government Policy in Promoting Solar Energy, (15) Renewable Energy and Sustainable Development: Opportunities and Challenges in Developing Countries, (16) Solar Resource Library, and (17) The American Association for the Advancement of Science’s online library.