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Referencing: Welcome & Why Reference?


Welcome to the Referencing LibGuide. This guide will:

  • give you information on why referencing is an important academic skill
  • advise which referencing style your tutors expect you to use
  • provide links to tutorials and further help and support.

Citation, Reference, Bibliography?

Citation: this is where you refer to the source in the text of your document. This is a shortened way of citing the source, with full details given in the reference list.

Reference: the full bibliographic details of the source you have cited. In the Harvard style this is given as a reference list at the end of a document.

Bibliography: this includes any sources you have read as part of your research, whether you have cited them directly or not. When a bibliography is requested, this is also a list at the end of a document.

Harvard Referencing Quiz

Put your referencing skills to the test with this great short quiz from Newcastle University Library.

Cite Them Right

The Library has purchased online platform Cite Them Right:

Key features:

  • Cite any information source, from ancient texts to Twitter
  • Examples are given in Harvard, APA, and Vancouver referencing styles, among many others
  • Simplified advice on referencing online publications
  • Diverse range of sources covered, including medical images, statues, PowerPoint presentations and more
  • Guidance on plagiarism and how to avoid it!

Referencing & Plagiarism

Why reference?

Accurate referencing is essential in all academic work, and it:

  • allows you to acknowledge your sources
  • gives academic credibility to your work
  • shows you have carried out thorough research
  • allows your reader to find the sources you have read
  • demonstrates your knowledge of a subject area
  • prevents accusations of plagiarism.

What is plagiarism?

Definition of plagiarism


What should I reference?

You should always reference a source when:

  • using a direct quote
  • summarising a theory
  • discussing someone else's opinion
  • using case studies
  • quoting statistics or visual data

Use this flowchart to help you decide if you need to reference (click on the image for a larger view):
When to cite