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Academic Integrity Toolkit

The tools you need to help you succeed in university study

When do I need a citation?

One of the key purposes of referencing is to acknowledge the role that the work of others has played in developing your ideas. This means that you must include a citation every time you use an idea that you got from someone else – not just when you quote directly. That includes images, tables, graphs etc. if they’re not your own work.

 

A direct quote:

Hunter (2010, 67) has argued that “referencing is one of the most difficult academic practices to learn.”

A paraphrase:

It has been suggested that learning referencing is especially hard to do. (Hunter, 2010, 67.)

A direct mention:

Jabbar (2011) is a good example of this approach.

An indirect mention:

There has been much research done recently on student referencing practices. (Hunter, 2010; Brown, 2011; Jabbar, 2011.) 

You do not need to include a citation for:

  • common knowledge (commonly accepted facts)
  • your own understanding and interpretation

Is it common knowledge?

Facts that are common knowledge do not need a citation. Are these common knowledge?

 

Shakespeare was born in Stratford-on-Avon in the mid-16th century.

 

Photosynthesis is the process used by plants to convert light into energy.

 

Photosystems I and II are found in the thylakoid membrane.



 

Shakespeare probably earned about £200 a year from his writing.

 

These are the answers to the exercises:

 

Shakespeare was born in Stratford-on-Avon in the mid-16th century.

Yes

Photosynthesis is the process used by plants to convert light into energy.

Yes

Photosystems I and II are found in the thylakoid membrane.

Yes if you are writing at an advanced level in the discipline. Otherwise, give a citation.

Shakespeare probably earned about £200 a year from his writing.

No – this is constructed knowledge

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Frequently asked questions

“If I cite everything, won’t it just look like a collection of other people’s ideas?”

No, providing you are selective and critical. You show your understanding by selecting evidence to include and discard, and through your critical analysis of the evidence and ideas you present. Always consider: why have you chosen to include them? How do they help you build your argument? How do they work? Do they succeed or fail -- and why?

 

“Isn’t it always better to just quote the author’s own words? They are the experts.”

If your work is mostly made up of other people’s words, it will look derivative and you will not have room to include your own critical analysis. Writing your own understanding of other people’s words helps you to process and learn the information yourself, and shows your marker that you understand it. Also remember that the original author will have had a different purpose in writing to your own purpose.

 

“It might be easier if you just tell me when I don’t need a citation!”

You don’t need a citation for: an historical overview (when the facts are widely-known and drawn from different sources); your own arguments (the conclusions you’ve come to after reading and analysing the evidence from your research); or ‘common knowledge’ (widely-known and agreed statements like “The sun rises in the East”).

Does it need a citation?

In which cases do you need to include a citation?

 

 

Yes/No

When quoting directly from a published source?

 

When using statistics or other data that is freely available from a publicly accessible website?

 

When summarizing the course of undisputed past events and where there is agreement by most commentators on cause and effect?

 

When using definitions taken from a ‘wiki’ Internet site: one that has open access to anyone who would like to contribute to it?

 

When summarizing or paraphrasing what is found on a website, and when no writer, editor or author’s name is shown?



 

When summarizing or paraphrasing the ideas of an author that has also been summarized by another person; for example, when author A summarizes what author B has said?



 

When summarizing in a concluding paragraph of your assignment what has been discussed and referenced earlier in your text?

 

When you include photographs or graphics in your assignment that are freely available on the Internet and where no named photographer or originator is shown?

 

When emphasizing an idea you have read and that you feel makes an important contribution to the points made in your assignment?

 

When summarizing undisputed and commonplace facts about the world?

 

Adapted from LearnHigher (n.d.). Preventing plagiarism: When to reference. online at  http://learning.londonmet.ac.uk/TLTC/learnhigher/Plagiarism/quiz/quiz1.html, accessed 19/4/13

These are the answers to the exercises:

 

 

Yes/No

When quoting directly from a published source?

Yes

When using statistics or other data that is freely available from a publicly accessible website?

Yes

When summarizing the course of undisputed past events and where there is agreement by most commentators on cause and effect?

No

When using definitions taken from a ‘wiki’ Internet site: one that has open access to anyone who would like to contribute to it?

Yes

When summarizing or paraphrasing what is found on a website, and when no writer, editor or author’s name is shown?

Yes (use whoever has responsibility for website as author)

When summarizing or paraphrasing the ideas of an author that has also been summarized by another person; for example, when author A summarizes what author B has said?

Yes (e.g. Brown, 2006, 21, cited by Smith, 2010, 67)

When summarizing in a concluding paragraph of your assignment what has been discussed and referenced earlier in your text?

No

When you include photographs or graphics in your assignment that are freely available on the Internet and where no named photographer or originator is shown?

Yes (include details of website)

When emphasizing an idea you have read and that you feel makes an important contribution to the points made in your assignment?

Yes

When summarizing undisputed and commonplace facts about the world?

No

Adapted from LearnHigher (n.d.). Preventing plagiarism: When to reference. online at  http://learning.londonmet.ac.uk/TLTC/learnhigher/Plagiarism/quiz/quiz1.html, accessed 19/4/13

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Writing brief and full citations

Adding citations to your work shows your reader how your ideas have developed in response to your reading. You need to show both what has influenced you (full citation listed in your bibliography) and where this influence is evidenced in your writing (brief citation at the point of mention in the body of the text). These examples show the details needed for commonly used materials and are in a version of Harvard style: you should use the style preferred by the department to which you are submitting the assignment.

 

Book:

Bould, M. & Reid, M. (eds) (2005). Parietal Games. Cambridge: Science Fiction Foundation.

Bould & Reid, 2005.

 

Journal article:
If there are more than two authors, you can use 'et al' in the brief citation

Turner, J.E., Henry, L.A. & Smith. P.T. (2000). The development of the use of long-term knowledge to assist short-term recall. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. Section A, 53.2, 457-478.

Turner et al, 2000.

 

Chapter in an edited collection:

Shahabudin, K. (2006). From Greek Myth to Hollywood Story: Explanatory Narrative in Troy. In M. M. Winkler (ed.). Troy: From Homer's Iliad to Hollywood Epic. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 107-118.

Shahabudin, 2006.

 

Website:
Include as many details as are available. If there is no single person listed as author, look to see who has responsibility for the website (an organisation, for instance). Use n.d. if not dated.

Royal Horticultural Society (n.d.). Plant finder: Genista. online at www.rhs.org.uk/plantfinder/genista, accessed 25th Aug 2007.

Royal Horticultural Society, n.d.

 

E-journal:
This is an example for journals which are only available online. If you read a journal article on-screen which is actually a facsimile of one available in print (including articles accessed through JSTOR), use the citation format for the print version, even if you have read it online. These will often be in PDF format and will always include page numbers.

Hamilakis, Y., Pluciennik, M. & Tarlow, S. (2001). Academic Performances, Artistic Presentations. Assemblage, 6, online at www.shef.ac.uk/assem/issue6/art_web.html (accessed 8th July 2002).

Hamilakis et al, 2001.

 

Cited by:
Where Author A cites Author B, it is best practice to follow up the reference to Author B and read the original. If you do this, you can include both texts in your bibliography.

If you cannot do this, use the following conventions, with full details for Author A in your bibliography (not Author B as you haven’t read the text).

Bender, A.E. (1978). Food processing and nutrition. London: Academic Press.

Chang, 1952, 338, cited by Bender, 1978, 76.

How would you cite these?

The following four citations model a correct format for full citations (i.e. as you would use in your bibliography or reference list) for books, journal articles, book chapters and websites, respectively, using a version of the Harvard style:

Book

Begon, M., Harper, J.L. & Townsend, C.R. (1990). Ecology: Individuals, Populations and Communities. Oxford: Blackwell Scientific Publications.

Journal article

Hirschberger, P. & Bauer, T. (1994). The coprophagous insect fauna and its influence on dung disappearance. Pedobiologia, 38, 375-384.

Book chapter

Holt, R.D. (1993). Ecology at the mesoscale: the influence of regional processes on local communities. In R. E. Ricklefs & D. Schluter (eds.). Species Diversity in Ecological Communities. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 77-88.

Website

Crook, A. C. & Finn, J. (2002). STARS: Scientific Training by Assignment for Research Students. online at http://www.ucc.ie/research/stars, accessed 16th Nov 2004.

 

1. How would you write the brief citations to reference each text in the body of your writing?

2. Based on the examples, identify & correct any mistakes in the following references:

Bloggs, X. (1990), How to write a good reference list. From http://www.nonsense.com 12th Mar 2003

 

Connell, J.H. (1983). On the prevalence and relative importance of intraspecific competition: evidence from field experiments. Am. Nat., 122, 661-696.

 

Doube, B.M. (1990). A functional clasification for analysis of the structure of dung beetle assemblages. Ecological Entomology, 15, 371-383.

 

Doube, B.M. (1987). Spatial and temporal organization in communities associated with dung pats and carcasses. Organization of Communities: Past and Present, pp. 253-280, (ed. by J. Gee and P.S. Giller), Blackwell Scientific Publications.

 

Finn, J.A. and Giller, P.S. (2000). Patch size and colonisation patterns: an experimental aproach using coprophagous north temperate dung beetles. Ecography, 23 315-327.

 

Finn, J.A. (2001). Ephemeral resource patches as model systems for diversity-function experiments. Oikos, 92, 363-366.

 

These are the answers to the exercises:

Begon et al, 1990

Hirschberger and Bauer, 1994

Holt, 1993

Crook and Finn, 2002

 

Bloggs, X. (1990). How to write a good reference list. Online at http://www.nonsense.com, accessed 12th March 2003.

Title of website should be in italics; good practice to use ‘online at’ (instead of from) and ‘accessed’ before date.

Connell, J.H. (1983). On the prevalence and relative importance of intraspecific competition: evidence from field experiments. American Naturalist, 122, 661-696.

This may be fine but note that abbreviated versions of journal titles are not always appropriate: you may be expected to include a key or use the full title on first mention. Check the guidance you have, or ask your tutor if not sure.

Doube, B.M. (1990). A functional classification for analysis of the structure of dung beetle assemblages. Ecological Entomology, 15, 371-383.

‘Classification’ is misspelt; journal title should be in italics.

Doube, B.M. (1987). Spatial and temporal organization in communities associated with dung pats and carcasses. In J. Gee and P.S. Giller (eds.). Organization of Communities: Past and Present. Oxford: Blackwell Scientific Publications, 253-280.

Place of publication is missing; other information is misordered. Editors should be listed before title; page numbers at end; add ‘in’ between chapter and book details to indicate that it is a chapter.

Finn, J.A. and Giller, P.S. (2000). Patch size and colonisation patterns: an experimental approach using coprophagous north temperate dung beetles. Ecography, 23, 315-327.

Missing punctuation after year of publication and after issue number of journal (punctuation is important to separate information); ‘approach’ is misspelt.

Finn, J.A. (2001). Ephemeral resource patches as model systems for diversity-function experiments. Oikos, 92, 363-366.

This citation is correct.

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