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Referencing and academic integrity

Referencing is a key skill you need to demonstrate at university.  It is a way of showing that you are engaging with the literature in your subject area and writing with integrity.  The consequences of not referencing correctly can be severe so make sure you are familiar with how to reference your work.

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Referencing and academic integrity

Referencing and plagiarismReferencing is a key element of your assessed work at university.  It involves acknowledging your sources of information/ideas/theories. 

Absent or inadequate referencing shows a lack of academic integrity. This book will explain:

1.Why referencing is important

2. What referencing involves

    • How to reference in your text
    • How to compile a final reference list

3. How to reference using Harvard and APA referencing styles

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Law students:

To find out about using the OSCOLA referencing system, please see the link below:

Legal referencing (Weblink opens in new window)

Why not have a go at the quiz below to see how much you already know about referencing and plagiarism?


Video guides to referencing

The videos below provide an overview of how to reference.  If you just want to know the basics, watch the first video.  For further guidance, watch the second video too.

How to reference: The essentials

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Transcript on How to reference: The essentials (Word doc)

How to reference: The details

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Transcript on How to reference: The details (Word doc)

What is referencing?

What's involved?

Referencing involves three stages:

  1. Correctly quoting, paraphrasing or summarising your source within your assignment.
  2. Including brief reference details of the source in your assignment text (a citation).
  3. Including full reference details of each source cited in a reference list at the end of your assignment.

There are several referencing styles with each one having set practices for how to reference your work.  See the sections on Harvard and APA for further details of these referencing styles.

You must:

Always check with your tutor which referencing style they want you to use. If no style is specified, Harvard is considered a default style.

Always be consistent in how you reference in terms of punctuation and layout.

Why reference?

Why referenceAt University, you are expected to engage with the research and writings of others in your subject area. This can help you support and explain your own arguments in your course work and improve your understanding of your subject.  You must acknowledge these sources when you use them in your assignments.  You do this by referencing.

Referencing serves several important purposes:

  1. Acknowledges sources of information, a key aspect of academic integrity
  2. Demonstrates the depth and quality of the research you have done
  3. Allows others to locate sources you have used if they wish to know more
Watch this video for top tips on referencing from a Solent University student and Sabbatical officer:


Tip:
Remember to keep notes of the reference details for all your sources as you use them - author, title, year of publication etc. This makes it much easier to put your references in your assignment when you are ready to start writing!

You may want to try RefWorks to help you create and store your references as you collect them.

What is RefWorks?

To make referencing simpler and quicker you can use online referencing software to store, manage and utilise all of your references.  


The library recommends RefWorks - New as its easy to use and supports our Harvard SSU style, along with APA.  You can generate your in-text references and final reference lists all within RefWorks or from a Word add-on which makes the process even more streamlined. It is easy to save books, articles and webpages to your account with a single click using the "Save to RefWorks" tool which you can add to your web-browser. 


You can find more information and videos on setting up your account and using RefWorks at our RefWorks New - Subject Guide.


Watch this short clip of a student talking about the benefits of keeping track of sources via RefWorks:

What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is taking the words, theories, creations or ideas of another person and passing them off as your own. 

Plagiarism can be deliberate – copying a passage from a book or journal or pasting something from the internet into an assignment without referencing the original source.

You can also commit accidental plagiarism which is where you unintentionally repeat some of the information you have read in the course of your research but without referencing the source.  

You must ensure you reference ALL material that comes from another source so keep close track of all your research to make it easier to go back to your sources and locate the reference.


Plagiarism can also result from not referencing correctly.  You must ensure you know how to reference your work using the style advised by your tutor.

Watch this video to find out more about avoiding plagiarism:

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Consequences

Plagiarism is a serious issue that can result in failing an assignment, failing the year or even having to leave the course.  All forms of plagiarism will be taken seriously - deliberate or not!

Plagiarism is a form of academic misconduct. Southampton Solent University has clear guidelines on student academic conduct and procedures for dealing with academic misconduct. Make sure you are familiar with these by looking at the links on this webpage:

Student academic misconduct (Weblink opens in new window)

To avoid plagiarism, make sure you include references within your assignment to all sources you use and then include full details of all the sources in a reference list at the end of your work.

To find out more, download the Avoiding plagiarism summary below.

Avoiding plagiarism summary (PDF opens in new window)

Test your understanding of what plagiarism is by clicking on the links below.


Quoting, paraphrasing and summarising

Using information sources in your own work

You can discuss and include the ideas and arguments of others within your own assignments in several ways. 

To do this without plagiarising, you must either quote, paraphrase or summarise the work you are referring to and give brief publication details for the work (also called citing). Full details are then given in your final reference list.

Quoting

Quoting is directly copying the words of another person into your assignment. You need to show that you have intended to do this by following a known quoting convention (shown using the Harvard referencing style):

Short quote

If you are just copying a few words or one sentence, include this in your normal sentence and then put quotation marks around it (and include your reference):

It has been outlined that “a short quotation can be incorporated into the flow of a sentence” (Smith 2008, p.1).

Tips:

  • Use "double" quotation marks ideally - but be consistent.
  • Use … to indicate where any words have been omitted from the quotation
  • Use [ ] to show any words that you have changed or inserted into the quotation (e.g. to change the tense of the sentence).

Long quote

If you are copying a few sentences or a paragraph, you need to start the quotation on a new line, indent the quotation and use single line spacing.  You do not need to use quotation marks - but remember to include your reference:

Smith (2008, p.1) has stressed the importance of quoting correctly:

By indicating clearly where you are quoting from another source, you are less likely to be accused of plagiarism. You must also include the details of the source you are referring to. How you do this is determined by the referencing style you are using such as Harvard or APA. 

Quoting and Turnitin

As the University now uses Turnitin for essay submission, it is important to note that this programme will only exclude quoted material from the similarity comparison if the quotes appear in double quotation marks, or in indented quotes.

Paraphrasing and summarising

By paraphrasing or summarising someone else's work, you are able to outline their ideas and arguments using your own words.

Paraphrasing

Paraphrasing involves putting another person’s ideas into your own words; you must still acknowledge the original source by including a reference.  You must also ensure you fairly represent what the original author was saying.

Knowing how to avoid plagiarism through correct quoting and referencing is an important skill for students to acquire (Smith 2008, p.1)

Summarising

To summarise, you would use your own words to condense and re-state someone’s ideas rather than include a very long quote or several short ones.

If you are summarising an entire work you can omit the page number in the reference. If summarising a page or two, include the page/page range.

Smith outlines Harvard, APA and Numeric as three referencing styles students could use (2008, pp.22-23)

Remember:

Make sure you don’t distort the author’s original meaning.

The Harvard system

Harvard referencing style

Harvard is one of several styles of referencing - it determines the way you enter your references into your assignment text and how you layout the full reference list at the end of your work.  This ensures that all references are uniform in style.

You will probably use a range of sources in your research such as books, journal articles, websites, reports, films etc.  All these will need to be referenced in the correct way using the Harvard style.

Follow the links to see examples of how to insert references into your assignment text and how to compile your final reference list correctly for each different type of source used.

Referencing within your assignment

In-text citations

To include a Harvard reference to your original source within your assignment text, you need to enter several details in brackets alongside your quotation/paraphrase/summary:

  • Author(s) surname/corporate name
  • Year the work was published
  • Page number(s) - if relevant

These details can be provided in several ways:

  • Put all details in brackets at the end of the quotation or paraphrasing:

It is clear that “referencing is a skill all students should develop” (Smith 2008, p.1)

  • Incorporate the author’s name into your sentence and follow it with the year and page number in brackets:

Smith (2008, p.2) highlights the importance of consistent referencing within an essay.

  • Incorporate the author’s name into your sentence and put the year and page number in brackets at the end of the quotation or paraphrase:

As Smith has argued, teaching staff should introduce students to referencing as early as possible (2008, p.2)

Tip:

If a work does not have a named author, use Anon - (Anon 2008, p.3)

Remember:

To avoid an accusation of plagiarism, you must include references within your assignment wherever your work is based on another source.

Final reference list

You must include a list of all your references at the end of your work. This gives full details of each source you have referenced in your assignment text so your reader can look them up.

  • Include your references in alphabetical order of author surname and then by date if necessary.
  • If an author has written more than one work in a year, add a,b,c…after the date to distinguish between them (both in your in-text references and your final reference list).

You may be asked to provide either:

  • a reference list: gives full details only for the sources you have directly referred to in your assignment.

or

  • a bibliography: gives full details for all sources used during your research as well as the ones directly referred to.

Remember:

Be consistent in the way you write the references (e.g. use of punctuation and layout). If your tutors give you specific instructions on how they want references laid out, follow these.

Example of a final Harvard reference list

List all your sources in alphabetical order of author.

Reference List

ANDREWS, M., 2002. Using technology in your presentation. In: L.WHITE and E. DAVIDS, eds. Enhancing your presentation. London: Sage, pp.91-104

BELL, J., 2005. Doing your research project: a guide for first time researchers in education, health and social science. 4th ed. Maidenhead: Open UP

BRADLEY, P., 2008. Word of the day is 'exaflood'. In: Phil Bradley's weblog. 29 April 2008 [viewed 9 May 2008]. Available from: http://philbradley.typepad.com/phil_bradleys_weblog/

DEAKIN UNIVERSITY, 2006. The literature review [viewed 6 May 2008]. Available from: http://www.deakin.edu.au/library/findout/research/litrev.php

Macbeth, 1948 [film]. Directed by Orson WELLES. USA: Republic Pictures

MESSMER, M., 2003. Public speaking success strategies. The national public accountant, Nov 2003, 26

POOLE, N., 2007. Activating laboratories using Visual Basic for Applications. Engineering education, 2(2), 44-53

STEVENS, M., 1996. How to be better at … giving presentations. London: Kogan Page

WHITFIELD, N., 2008. The evolution of broadband. Personal computer world, June 2008, 30-7

WILLIAMSON, H., 2007. Disconnected youth?: Growing up in Britain's poor neighbourhoods. Journal of social policy, 36(2), 356-7

Bibliographies

If you wish to include all the sources used in your research (not just those you referred to directly in your assignment) you can include these as a bibliography. Follow the same rules as for the reference list in terms of layout.

The American Psychological Association (APA) System

APA is one of several styles of referencing - it determines the way you enter your references into your assignment text and how you lay out the full reference list at the end of your work.  This ensures that all references are uniform in style.

You will probably use a range of sources in your research such as books, journal articles and websites etc.  All these will need to be referenced in the correct way using the APA style.

Follow the links to see examples of how to insert references into your assignment text and how to compile your final reference list correctly for each different type of source used.

You may find it useful to refer to the Psychology written assessment guidelines:

Thinking & Writing Psychologically: A Guide to Assessment

Referencing within your assignment

In-text citations

To include an APA reference to your information source within your assignment text, you need to enter several details alongside your discussion of the source:

  • Author(s) surname/corporate name
  • Year the work was published

These details can be provided in two ways:

  • Incorporate the author’s name into your sentence and follow it with the year in brackets:

Smith (2008) highlights the importance of consistent referencing within an essay.

  • Put both details in brackets at the end of a paraphrased sentence:

In an essay, it is important to reference consistently (Smith, 2008).

There are different formats depending on whether you are using a primary or secondary source and how many authors there are.

Remember:

To avoid an accusation of plagiarism, you must include references within your assignment wherever your work is based on another source.

Primary sources

Primary sources: more than one author

A primary source is an original source, such as the book or journal article you have read.

Where there is more than one author, reference as follows:

Two to five authors:

Smith and Brown (2008) argue that teaching staff should introduce students to referencing as early as possible

Teaching staff should introduce students to referencing as early as possible (Smith & Brown, 2008)

Research on referencing indicates that unintentional plagiarism is increasing in further education (Green, Rose, & Warner, 2007)

Tip:

Use & between author names within brackets; use 'and' between author names in a sentence. For three or more authors, ensure there is a comma before the and or &.

Six or more authors:

Use the first named author and indicate others using 'et al.'

Smith et al. (2008) describe the ...

Primary sources: subsequent citations

If you are referring to a source more than once in the same paragraph, don't include the date after the first citation.  Include the date again in any subsequent paragraphs.

Smith (2008) highlights the importance of consistent referencing within an essay.  Smith stated that... 

Where there are three or more authors, use et al. after the first citation.  Include the date again in any subsequent paragraphs.

Green, Rose and Warner's (2007) research on referencing indicated that unintentional plagiarism in increasing in further education.  Green et al. argued that... 

If you are discussing a single source for an entire paragraph, introduce the source at the beginning and then summarise without subsequent citations.

Green, Rose and Warner's (2007) research on referencing idicated that unintentional plagiarism in increasing in further education.  Briefly the authors ... [summary of findings]

Tip:

When citing multiple references, list them in alphabetical order and separate with semicolons - e.g. (Abbott, 1991, 1995; Keating, 2005)

If two more more sources are published by the same author in the same year, use an alphabetical index to distinguish between sources - e.g. Brown (2010a) and Brown (2010b).

Secondary sources

A secondary source is a work that you have only read about, and have not read the original document. For example, a study may be summarised in a journal article you are reading. The study itself is a primary source, whilst the journal article referring to it is the secondary source.

To refer to a secondary source, list the primary and secondary sources in the text, but only fully reference the secondary source you have actually read in your references page.

Ward and Green (2005, as cited in Phillips & Jones, 2008) found that...

It was found that... (Ward & Green, 2005, as cited in Phillips & Jones, 2008)

Phillips and Jones (2008) only would be mentioned in the References page.

Tip:

You should always try and read primary sources!

Final reference list

You must include a list of all your references at the end of your work. This gives full details of each source so your reader can look them up.

  • Include your references in alphabetical order of first author surname
  • Use References in bold as the centred title
  • Use a hanging indent - the first line is not indented
  • Put a full stop at the end of each of your references
  • For journal titles, capitalise the first letter of each major word
  • For books, articles and chapters, capitalise the first letter of the first word, the first word after a colon, and any proper nouns

Remember:

Be consistent in the way you write the references (e.g. use of punctuation and layout). If your tutors give you specific instructions on how they want references laid out, follow these.

Thinking & Writing Psychologically: A Guide to Assessment

Examples of APA referencing

To find out how to do a correct APA reference for the main types of information you are likely to use, please see the links below. 

Examples include how to do an in text reference and an entry in the final reference list.

(The book 'Examples of APA referencing' opens in a new window).

Books
Chapter in an edited book
Journal articles
Websites

Example of a final APA reference list


References

Andrews, M. (2002). Using technology in your presentation. In L. White & E. Davids (Eds.),
     Enhancing your presentation, (pp.91-104). London: Sage.

Blascovich, J. (2010). Social psychophysiology and embodiment. In S.T. Fiske, D.T. Gilbert & L. Gardner (Eds), Handbook of social
      psychology. Retrieved from http://www.credoreference.com/entry/wileyhsp/social_psychophysiology_and_embodiment

Deakin University. (2006). The literature review. Retrieved from http://www.deakin.edu.au/library/findout/research/litrev.php.

Fitch, R. & Butler, Z. (2008). Million module march: Scalable locomotion for large selfreconfiguring robots. International Journal of
     Advanced Robotics Research
, 27, 331-343.

Hogg, M.A & Vaughan, G.M. (2011). Social Psychology (6th ed.).  Retrieved from DawsonERA

McCarthy, P. & Hatcher, C. (2002). Presentation skills: The essential guide for students. London, UK: Sage.

Scott, S., Briskman, J., Woolgar, M., Humayun, S., O’Connor, T. G. (2011). Attachment in adolescence: Overlap with parenting and      
     unique prediction of behavioral adjustment. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 52, 1052-1062. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-
     7610.2011.02453.x

Stevens, M. (1996). How to be better at giving presentations. London: Kogan Page.

Wilson, R.T., & Till, B.D. (2008). Airport advertising effectiveness: An exploratory field study. Journal of Advertising, 37, 59-72. 

APA quiz

Can you put a reference together in the correct order? See the quiz below.


The OSCOLA system (Law)

The Law School now uses the OSCOLA style of referencing.

To find out about using OSCOLA, please see the link below:

Legal referencing (Weblink opens in new window)

Useful abbreviations

These are some abbreviations you might find useful when referencing, particularly if some of the details you need for a reference are missing.

anon. anonymous
dir. director
 ed(s). editor(s) or edition
et al.  and others (for multiple authors)
wr. writer
prod. producer
p. page
pp. pages
op. cit. in the work already quoted
ibid. in the same book or article etc as just quoted
n.d. date unknown
s.l. place of publication unknown
s.n. publisher unknown

Referencing checklist

ChecklistTo reference your work correctly, you must:

  • Know which referencing style you need to use: Harvard, APA, OSCOLA or another?
  • Know how to quote, paraphrase or summarise the work you are discussing
  • Put the in text references (citations) into your work correctly
  • Include a complete reference list or bibliography for your assignment
  • Use the correct format of referencing for your source (e.g. a book, website or journal article).

Why not check your understanding of referencing by taking one of the quizzes (see below)?


More help

For further help with referencing and plagiarism you can:

  • Ask your lecturer for guidance
  • Read one of the books suggested in the reading list found in Extra resources
  • Visit recommended websites in Extra resources for further guidance
  • If you are a disabled student you can contact Access Solent for guidance and support
  • View the glossary to help you understand the words used

If you have any feedback about this book, or additional material you'd like to see in the course, please email us at succeed@solent.ac.uk.

Extra resources

Reading List

Read a book from the referencing reading list.

The following titles are available from the library:

Recommended websites

Click on these recommended websites below for further guidance on referencing and plagiarism.

Academic misconduct procedures (Weblink opens in new window)

From Southampton Solent University.

Referencing: The Harvard way (Weblink opens in new window)

Library factsheet on how to reference.

RefWorks (Weblink opens in new window)

Online software to help you store, manage and use your references in assignments.

Downloadables

Documents used in this resource

Transcript on How to reference: The essentials (Word doc)
Transcript on How to reference: The details (Word doc)
Avoiding plagiarism summary (PDF opens in new window)

Thinking & Writing Psychologically: A Guide to Assessment (PDF opens in new window)

Referencing: the Harvard Way (PDF opens in new window)