Referencing Information

Site: QMplus - The Online Learning Environment of Queen Mary University of London
Course: Find It! Use It! Reference It! QMUL Information Literacy Skills
Book: Referencing Information
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Date: Thursday, 26 May 2022, 9:54 AM

Description

This section shows you how to properly reference the sources you use

1. Why do I have to reference my academic work?

It is important that you always reference your work. Correctly referencing your work means that you:

  • acknowledge the contribution that other people have made to your work
  • produce work that is credible and accountable
  • help the reader to locate the sources you have used to write your coursework: remember, someone else - not least your tutor - may wish to consult a particular book chapter or article that you have used

The essential point of referencing then, is to ensure that your work is demonstrably honest and reliable, and to make the sources and resources you have used as traceable as possible.

Find out more about referencing in the following chapters:

Chapter 2 gives you an overview of some of the most commonly used referencing styles.

Chapter 3 tells you about different reference management tools.


Need help or advice with anything on this page?  Contact the T&LS Team 

2. How do I correctly reference my work?

In this section, we will cover how to reference correctly, using some of the most commonly-used referencing styles. We have also included a section on constructing bibliographies, and there is a fun quiz at the end to test your knowledge.

Referencing styles

Before starting to reference, you should check your course handbook to see which referencing style is required by your school/department/supervisor or tutor. 

But whatever style you decide to use, it's useful to remember that all formats of referencing are made up of two parts:

1. The in-text citation

2. The reference list

The in-text citation is a 'marker' placed in the text at an appropriate point to indicate a reference. The marker can be a number - for example, 1 or [1] - when using a numerically based referencing system, or the author's surname and the year of publication when using an author-date system - (Lewis, 2018).

The reference list is the section of your essay where you list all of your sources in full, either in number order where the number matches the order in which the source appears in the text, or in alphabetical order using the author's surname.

When you’ve decided on your referencing style, make sure you stick to it throughout your essay. Consistency is an important part of referencing. Don't combine different styles as this will confuse your reader.

The following are the main referencing styles in use at Queen Mary. Read a little more, and then try some of the activities on these pages so that you know you are getting it right.


Start using Cite Them Right Online (CTRO) to learn more about this important subject. CTRO is an excellent interactive guide to referencing. You can search for sources, view correct examples and construct references which can be exported to your essays and assignments. Access Cite Them Right Online (CTRO)


an image of the book version of Cite Them Right by Richard Pears

The physical book version of Cite Them Right can also be found in the Library's Study Skills Collection under the classmark PN171.F56 PEA. You can find more books on referencing via Library Search


Need help or advice with anything on this page?  Contact the T&LS Team 

2.1. The Harvard Referencing Style

The Harvard referencing style is a commonly used author-date system.

Whenever you quote another person's words or specifically refer to their work you must cite the author's surname and the year of publication. For example:

Macromolecules are the central molecules of all living organisms (Liljas, 2009)... or Lijas (2009) notes that macromolecules are the central molecules of all living organisms...

This would be inserted into your reference list/bibliography as:

Liljas, A. (2009). Textbook of structural biology. Hackensack, NJ: World Scientific.

The following are some examples of how different items are referenced:





Learn more about the Harvard referencing style using Cite Them Right Online:


You can find more books on referencing via Library Search.

Cite them Right 



Need help or advice with anything on this page?  Contact the T&LS Team 

2.2. The Vancouver Referencing Style

Vancouver is known as a numeric referencing style, and is used in biomedical, health and some science publications.

Whenever you refer to another person’s work, you need to insert a footnote number in either superscript or in brackets in your text. For example:

Dinosaurs had to be cold blooded or they would overheat given their large body size.1

Dinosaurs had to be cold blooded or they would overheat given their large body size. (1)

This would be inserted into your reference list/bibliography as:

Spotila JR. Sea turtles: a complete guide to their biology, behaviour and conservation. Maryland: The Johns Hopkins University Press; 2004.

Authors should be cited by surname, then initials with no comma between surname and initials.

Only the first word and any proper nouns are capitalised and the title is not underlined.

The reference list/bibliography should be produced in the order you cite the works in your text, not in alphabetical order.

The following are some examples of how different items are referenced:




Learn more about the Vancouver referencing style by using Cite Them Right Online:


You can find more books on referencing via Library Search.

Cite them Right 


Need help or advice with anything on this page?  Contact the T&LS Team 

2.3. The APA Referencing Style

image of a lighthouse by the sea

The APA style, created by the American Psychological Association, is used by writers around the world for writing and publishing in the Social and Behavioural Sciences. APA is an author-date style similar to the Harvard style, but with its own characteristics in terms of formatting, spelling, construction of tables and graphs. It can also contain footnotes which allows authors to include additional information.

APA is a style used in academia  across various disciplines as well as in many scientific journals, and therefore it might appeal not only to students and researchers in the Psychological-Medical field, but also to students of Social Sciences/Politics.

Whenever you quote another person's words or specifically refer to their work you must cite the author's surname and the year of publication. For example:

There is huge variation as to how the concept of intelligence is defined (Gross, 2020) ... or Gross (2020) suggests that there is huge variation as to how the concept of intelligence is defined

This would be inserted into your reference list/bibliography as:

Gross, R. (2020). Psychology: the science of mind and behaviour (8th ed.). Hodder.

The following are some examples of how different items are referenced using the APA system:



Learn more about the APA referencing style by using Cite Them Right Online:


You can find more books on referencing via Library Search.

Cite them Right 

 


Need help or advice with anything on this page?  Contact the T&LS Team 

2.4. The MHRA (Modern Humanities Research Association) Referencing Style

An image of a heron


MHRA is a numeric referencing style published by the Modern Humanities Research Association.

Whenever you refer to another person’s words or ideas in your work, you need to insert a footnote number in your text. For example:

Giroux sums up how Disney transforms every child into a lifetime consumer of Disney products and ideas.1

When you refer to the publication for the first time, use full bibliographic details in the footnote.

Henry Giroux, The Mouse that Roared: Disney and the end of Innocence (Maryland: Rowland & Littlefield Publishers, 1999), p. 25.

*Note that the first name appears before the surname here!

When you refer to the same book later on, you can provide the information in a shortened form:

*Giroux, Mouse that Roared, p. 25.

*Just the surname here!

You can download the latest edition of the Style Guide (3) free of charge from the MHRA website which includes a Quick Guide to the main features of the MHRA style.

The following are some examples of how different items are referenced:

Book

First name and surname of author, title of book (italicised, all important words capitalised) (place of publication: publisher, year of publication), page numbers (p. for one page, pp. for more than one page).

Tom McArthur, Worlds of Reference: Lexicography, Learning and Language from the Clay Tablet to the Computer (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986), p. 59.

Chapter from a book

First name and surname of author(s), title of chapter in single quotation marks, in title of book (italicised, all important words capitalised), ed. by first name and surname of authors(s) (place of publication: publisher, year of publication), page numbers (p. for one page, pp. for more than one page).

Martin Elsky, ‘Words, Things, and Names: Jonson’s Poetry and Philosophical Grammar’, in Classic and Cavalier: Essays on Jonson and the Sons of Ben, ed. by Claude J. Summers and Ted-Larry Pebworth (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1982), pp. 31–55 (p. 41).

Journal article

First name and surname of author, title of article in single quotation marks, title of journal (italicised), volume number (date of publication), page numbers of article (with specific page reference).

Richard Hillyer, ‘In More than Name Only: Jonson’s “To Sir Horace Vere”’, Modern Language Review, 85 (1990), 1–11 (p. 8).

Website

Publication/name of author, title of article in single quotation marks,  year published or last updated <URL> [date accessed].

The Economist , 'The Digital Degree', 2014 <http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21605899-staid-higher-education-business-about-experience-welcome-earthquake-digital>; [accessed 28 July 2014].

The MHRA Style Guide does not contain an example of how to reference a lecture. The example below is based on the MHRA guidelines.

Lecture on QMplus

First name and surname of lecturer, title of lecture in single quotation marks, module code: module title (italicised). Year. Available at: URL of VLE [date accessed].

Stephen Henneberg, ‘Marketing Activities’, BUSM094: Introduction to Marketing Theory. 2014. Available at: http://qmplus.qmul.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=53 [Accessed 22 October 2014].

Live lecture

First name and surname of lecturer, title of lecture in single quotation marks, module code: module title (italicised). Location. Date of lecture.

Dr Phillipa Williams, 'Understanding 'Research' and Health Inequalities', GEG5013: Geographical Research in Practice. Queen Mary University of London. September 2014.



Learn more about the MHRA referencing style by using Cite Them Right Online:


You can find more books on referencing via Library Search.

Cite them Right 


Need help or advice with anything on this page?  Contact the T&LS Team 

2.5. OSCOLA (Oxford University Standard for the Citation of Legal Authorities) Referencing Style

image of mountain

The OSCOLA style is a set of rules specially designed to reference legal sources.

OSCOLA uses numeric references in the text linked to full citations in footnotes, and is characterised by light punctuation and heavy use of abbreviations. 

Whenever you refer to another person’s work, you need to insert a footnote number in superscript in your text and a footnote at the bottom of the page. In longer pieces of work there will also be a bibliography at the end.

Cartwright 1 in his book on contract law ...

This would then be inserted as a footnote like this:

1. John Cartwright, Contract law: an introduction to the English law of contract for the civil lawyer (3rd edn, Hart Publishing 2016).

In subsequent citations you can just provide a cross-citation in brackets to the full citation e.g. 2. Cartwright (no 1). Ibid can also be used where a citation directly follows a previous citation of the same work.


The entry in the bibliography would look like this:

Cartwright J, Contract law: an introduction to the English law of contract for the civil lawyer (3rd edn, Hart Publishing 2016)


Note the difference in the format of author's name between the footnote and bibliography.

For sources with more than three authors / editors use the first name followed by “and others”.

The following are some examples of how different items are referenced:



The Oxford University Faculty of Law website contains detailed information to help you master this complex referencing style.



Need help or advice with anything on this page?  Contact the T&LS Team 

2.6. Bibliography vs Reference List

 

A bibliography or a reference list is an essential part of academic writing that comes at the end of your written assignment.

A bibliography is a list of all the books, articles and sources you have used in your written work.   It includes background reading which are not cited.  

A reference list is a list of all the books, articles and sources you have cited in your written work.

Do check with your lecturer if you are not sure if a reference list or a bibliography is required.

Refer to Cite Them Right Online for more guidance with bibliographies and reference lists:


You can find more books on referencing via Library Search.

Cite them Right 



Need help or advice about anything on this page?  Contact the T&LS Team  

3. Test your referencing knowledge

It is important that you construct your bibliographies correctly! Review the information and links we've provided in the previous chapters before trying the quiz below:

Try this quiz to make sure you're familiar with different types of references

The next section of the module introduces you to free software that will really help you with putting together the perfect bibliography!


Need help or advice about anything on this page?  Contact the T&LS Team 

4. How to manage references

As you progress in your studies you will almost certainly find that you build up a considerable stock of academic information - references to articles that you have consulted and found particularly useful, PDFs, book chapters that you need to read at some point and so on; you may even wish to keep a note of things that are not relevant, simply so that you know you don't need to check these sources again.

Keeping this volume of information in some sort of order can be a challenge but please don't worry if you you start to feel overwhelmed by your growing library of references - you can store and manage your references effectively by using specially designed reference management software.


4.1. Introduction to Referencing Management Software

There are a number of reference management software packages which are freely available. We will introduce you to three of the most popular.

Each of these packages has various advantages, summarised on the table below. You can access each and set up accounts from the following pages - experiment and find which one suits your particular requirements.

Referencing Management Software Comparison Table

EndNote logo
Mendeley logo
Zotero logo

Availability

Online (Endnote Basic), desktop and mobile app.

Free - Version X9 available to download for through IT Services for your personal PC or Mac

An enhanced version of Endnote Basic is available via Queen Mary University of London Library's subscription through Web of Science.

For the enhanced version via the library’s subscription of Web of Science. Please click on bite size video demos and look for instructions under Signing up Off campus.

Online, desktop 

Free

Open source

Online, desktop and mobile app

Free

Open source

Word processor compatibility

MS Word

Apache OpenOffice

Pages

MS Word

LibreOffice

LaTeX

MS Word

OpenOffice/LibreOffice

Google Docs

Captures from pdf documents and webpages?

Yes 


Yes Yes

Citation / bibliography styles

List of citation styles in EndNote 

(A limited number of styles are available in Endnote Basic)

List of citation styles in Mendeley 

List of citation styles in Zotero 



Sharing / collaboration

Share your entire library with up to 100 other colleagues

With EndNote Basic, you can store up to 50,000 records and 2 GB of attachments.

With EndNote X7.2 and later, there is unlimited record and attachment storage.

Mendeley users with a free account can create and own a single private group. There's no limit on the number of private groups free users can join, however each private group created by a free account can only have a maximum of three members. 

For free users, the storage space limit is 2GB




Share your entire library and create groups. No limit on how many members may join your groups, and your full storage subscription is always available to your personal and group libraries.

Library training available?  Yes  Yes  No


Need help or advice about anything on this page?  Contact the T&LS Team 

4.2. EndNote

EndNote logo

There are two versions of EndNote, a desktop version which you can install on your own computer, and an online version which you can use from anywhere. An enhanced version of EndNote Online is freely available to all Queen Mary users.

Use the Library's Guide to Endnote to find out how to sign up for an online account, and how to access the desktop version. Watch our short videos on how to use both versions of EndNote effectively.


Need help or advice about EndNote?  Contact the T&LS Team  They can offer support and guidance for getting the best from EndNote.

4.3. Mendeley

an image of the Mendeley Logo

Mendeley is another freely available reference manager; it also functions as an academic social networking site which offers you the chance to collaborate online with other researchers and find out all about the latest research in your field.

See Guide to Mendeley

Or go to the Mendeley website to create your account and find more information on how to use Mendeley. 


Need help or advice about Mendeley?  Contact the T&LS Team 

4.4. Zotero

an image of the Zotero Logo

Zotero is a powerful research tool that is easy to use. It helps you gather, organise and analyse your source materials, and then share the results of your research. 

With Zotero you can collect PDFs, images, audio and video files, screenshots of webpages and so on.

See Guide to Zotero.

Or go to Zotero's website to create your account and find out for more information on how to use Mendeley. 


Need help or advice about Zotero?  Contact the T&LS Team 

5. It's Quiz Time!

We've provided you with a lot of practical guidance in this section of the module that will improve your referencing skills. Of course the more you apply the techniques outlined here the more you will improve: practice makes perfect.

See how much you can remember by trying this quiz:


Need help or advice about anything on this page?  Contact the T&LS Team