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Academic Integrity Toolkit

The tools you need to help you succeed in university study

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

Computer software

Macromedia

2005

Dreamweaver 8

Adobe

TV programme

Panorama

2008

The Challenge of the Sixties

BBC4. 15th May. 17:45.

NB. A TV programme is made by a team, so the author is usually replaced by the name of the programme with no further title given. This is a series, so the series is the ‘author’ and the title is the particular programme.

Map

Ordnance Survey

1956

Map of Roman Britain, Scale sixteen miles to one inch

Southampton: Ordnance Survey

Include scale after title as this helps to identify the specific map used.

Work of art

CEDAR, M.

1938

Mars at Night. [Sculpture]

Manor Art Gallery, Manchester

Include type of artwork after title.

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. Conference paper presented at 10th ALDinHE Conference on Celebrating Learning Development at University of Plymouth, 25-27 March 2013.

 

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

Example Walpole, G.S., Evans, F.H. and Evans, H.A. (1922). Improvements in embossing, cutting, stamping and like machines. GB Patent 205131.

 

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

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