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Academic Integrity Toolkit

The tools you need to help you succeed in university study

Resources

Note that we have updated the example references on this page to use the Cite Them Right version of Harvard (detailed in our Citing references guide linked below). We are planning to update the PDFs below in Summer 2023. In the meanwhile please contact studyadvice@reading.ac.uk if you would like us to update a specific document.

Citing less common materials

While you will mostly use books, journal articles and websites, you may also need to cite less common materials like conference papers, legal documents, TV programmes and ebooks: maybe even very uncommon or new materials like postcards, apps or packaging. There are lots of websites (including the Library) which give example citations for unusual sources; some of these are listed in the Resources box on the left.

However you should be able to work it out for yourself, using some key principles:

  • Citations have common elements, whatever kind of material they are. Use the examples here to help you work out what information you need for those elements.

  • Provide enough detail to enable anyone else to find the source you are citing.

  • Format your citation in the style your School or department has asked you to use.

Be consistent in the way you set out your citations for all materials.

Examples

Common citation elements

Author

This could be a person or persons, organisation, company etc.

Date

The date the material was first produced in this form. Use c. for circa if the date is not certain.

Title

This identifies the unique text or object, so may be followed by other details.

Publication details

Who has made the material publically available and (in some instances and styles) where this was done (e.g. if a webpage, then the URL is the place it was published).

 

Example citations

Material

Author

Date

Title

Publication details

Book

Cottrell, S.

2005

Critical thinking skills

Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan

Journal article Weingart, S.N., Zhang, L., Sweeney, M, & Hassett, M. 2018 Chemotherapy medication errors The Lancet Oncology, 19(4), pp. e191-e199

Computer software

IBM

2020

SPSS (Version 27.0) [Computer program]

IBM. Available at: https://www.ibm.com/uk-en/analytics/spss-statistics-software. (Accessed: 27 May 2021)

TV programme

Panorama

2008

The Challenge of the Sixties

BBC4. 15th May. 17:45.

Map

Ordnance Survey

1956

Map of Roman Britain, Scale sixteen miles to one inch

Southampton: Ordnance Survey

Work of art

Cedar, M.

1938

Mars at Night. [Sculpture]

Manor Art Gallery, Manchester

How would you cite these materials?

1. What details do you think you would need to find to create a full citation for the following materials, using the idea of common citation elements?

Material

Conference paper (unpublished)

Author

 

Date

 

Title

 

Publication details

 

 

Material

Advertisement on television

Author

 

Date

 

Title

 

Publication details

 

 

Material

Patent

Author

 

Date

 

Title

 

Publication details

 

 

2.  In the blog post below, find the details you would need to cite it, and write the citation

These are the answers to the exercises:
 

Material

Conference paper (unpublished)

Author

Author of paper

Date

Date of presentation

Title

Title of paper

Publication details

Details of conference where paper was given including place and dates.

Example Webster, H. (2013) '23 Things for Digital Literacy', 10th ALDinHE Conference on Celebrating Learning Development. University of Plymouth, 25-27 March.

 

Material

Advertisement on television​

Author

Advertiser or advertising agency that created the ad. Either is acceptable, but you may find one is preferred, depending on the focus on your assignment.

Date

Date it was first screened in that form.

Title

If no given title, brief description of the topic is sufficient.

Publication details

Where screened and when viewed.

Example Vodafone (2009) Advertisement for 3G mobile telephone [advertisement on ITV Television]. Viewed 20 April 2009.

 

Material

Patent

Author

Assignees, or those holding the patent (may be a company)

Date

Date patent came into force

Title

Short title of patent

Publication details

Country granting patent and patent number. Web address and date accessed if online.

Example Cox, A. and Lee, J. (2021) Water remediation system. UK Intellectual Property Office Patent no. GB2591282A. Available at: https://worldwide.espacenet.com/ (Accessed: 2 September 2021)

 

2.  Culham, A. (2013) The Zebra Danios (Danio rerio) have produced babies. Tropical Biodiversity, 2 May. Available at: http://blogs.reading.ac.uk/tropical-biodiversity/2013/05/zebra-danio-babies/ (Accessed: 20 May 2013).