Well, the entire process seems to require the ability to follow precise rules that change occasionally to imply correctly to your reader where exactly you got your information. From my first research paper until now I have been on Team MLA. It's all we were ever taught and I am somewhat comfortable with it, yet I still reference the Little Brown Book to make sure I didn't miss a period, capitalize the wrong words or forget the parentheses. Last week while working on my Annotated Bibliography I used the APA style, just to try it out. Overall, they both have similar rules and accomplish the same goal.
Citations are an important part of research because they give the reader of your argument the chance to verify the facts that you outline in your paper. Citations also let your reader know that the argument you are presenting was well researched and documented and finally citations give credit to the author of an original concept.
Documentation isn't a hard activity, it's just time consuming with all the different sets of rules for different types of sources. Nowadays, with all of the online cites, like the citation machine, that help with documentation you really have all you need to cite a source at your fingertips. On Proquest, in the NU Library, you can even click the link "cite this" on your source, choose the documentation style, and your computer does the work for you. All you are left to do is cut and paste it into your resource page, verify it was done correctly in your Little Brown, and your done.
Citations are a viable and valuable part of the research process and without them in your paper it may be difficult to classify it as research.
Here is an online article explaining why citations are so important