Referencing is the way in which you acknowledge the ideas of others in your writing.
Any information or ideas discovered and used in your assessments must be acknowledged using a specific referencing style.
Referencing allows your readers to verify the sources within your work, and helps to avoid plagiarism.
Referencing also demonstrates that you have read relevant background literature and you are able to provide authority for statements you make in your assignments or written work.
Referencing and Citing Sources: a two part process
1. In-text citation - appears within the body of your work, it is an abbreviated way of acknowledging the source at the point at which you use it in your writing.
For example (APA style): Brown (1982) discusses three main points...
2. Reference list - provides full publication details at the end of your assignment and will help your readers to locate the original source of information. It can be in alphabetical or numerical order depending on the rules of the citation style you are using.
For example: (Harvard) Holt, DH 1997, Management principles and practices, Prentice-Hall, Sydney.
Choosing the right style:
All referencing styles contain different rules so it is important to refer to your unit outline or ask your unit coordinator to confirm what referencing style you should be using.
There are two main types of referencing styles:
- Author/date:These types of styles use the authors surname and the year of publication to identify the source of your ideas within your writing.
- Numbered: These style types use a numbering system within your writing that refers the reader back to the source in a footnote.
All reference styles generally require a complete reference list and full publication details at the end of your work.
This referencing guide sets out the basic steps you need to follow to Reference Right. It also provides links to other helpful resources.
WHAT ARE CITATION TOOLS?
Citation tools help you store, organize, and share your research citations. They also automatically format your bibliographies and in-text citations into whatever style you need (APA, MLA, Chicago, and many more).
WHICH TOOL SHOULD I USE?
UW Libraries supports four citation managers: EndNote Basic, Mendeley, RefWorks, and Zotero. These citation managers provide the same basic features -- they allow you to save citations, organize them into folders or libraries, and generate bibliographies and citations as you write.
To decide which tool is right for you, review the chart below and talk with people in your department about the tools they use and why. Once you choose a tool, know that you can always change your mind; sources can easily be transferred between tools. (Please note that attachments don't always transfer.)
The best way to figure it out is to set up an account on one of the tools and try it! It can also help to make an individualized appointment with a graduate student librarian at the Research Commons to learn more about choosing and using the tools. We are here to help!
*EndNote also has a desktop version available for purchase from the UW bookstore
**Save to widgets have varying levels of functionality. Zotero and RefWorks seem to be the best at gathering data from various sources
For a longer of list of citation managers and their features, see Wikipedia’s Comparison of Reference Management Software
Table last updated: 11/14/17