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Referencing: Home

All you need to know about referencing

Referencing facts

What is referencing?

“Referencing is the process of acknowledging other people’s work when you have used it in your assignment or research…It provides the link between what you write and the evidence on which it is based. “(Pearse & Shield, 2016, p.1)

Why do we reference?

It gives credit to the source you are using thus avoiding plagiarism which is considered a serious academic offence (refer to AIT plagiarism policy). It allows your audience/readers to find the source of your research and it shows your ideas are based on credible research and analysis.

What needs to be referenced?

  • Books, e-books, journal articles, magazines and newspapers
  • Films, documentaries, TV programs, series, DVDs
  • Advertisements, brochures
  • Websites, CD-ROMs, any other computer based resources
  • Illustrations, maps, diagrams, pictures, tables, figures, charts
  • Unpublished documents, notes, thesis, personal papers
  • Speeches and lectures
  • Conference proceedings
  • Personal correspondence, letters, emails

What does not need to be referenced?

  • Personal observations, field trip notes, experiments results
  • Personal experiences, thoughts or opinions
  • Common knowledge or folklore, well known information, general facts, information you already know before researching
  • Generally accepted facts or information in the field of research

You need to reference any source of information that is not common knowledge or is not from your own personal experience, knowledge or thoughts.

How to record references?

It is very important to record all your references as you go along to avoid wasting time at the end of your work or being unable to trace back material you accessed while researching.
You can record all details on a spreadsheet or opt to use a referencing software.

You need to strictly follow the referencing style requested in your course manual or by your supervisor / lecturer. Three referencing styles are used in TUS Midlands: Harvard (Cite Them Right), APA and Vancouver. No other style can be used unless you are asked to apply the style of a specific journal. No variants of these three styles can be followed.

Where to reference?

Harvard, APA and Vancouver require 2 types of acknowledgement:

  • In-text referencing (also called in-text citation) where you acknowledge the author inside your own work.
  • At the end of your document in the reference list (where you list all the material you quoted, paraphrased or summarised) or in the bibliography (where you list all the material you used while preparing your document but did not referred to in your own work)

TUS Midlands referencing policy

1. All departments should select a single referencing style for use by all taught students.

2. Only Harvard, APA or Vancouver referencing styles are supported by the library through its website, library guides, online tutorials and information sessions/workshops.

3. Particular assignments might require students to apply the style of a specific journal: this should be clearly stated in the course manual and appropriate guidance should be provided by the lecturer.

4. All departments choosing Harvard referencing style should use the standardised AIT version.

5. No variants or training material other than the one produced by the library will be supported.

6. All course manuals must clearly state the referencing style to be used by the students and students should be directed to the material available on the library’s website.

Library liaison

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Celine Peignen
Deputy Librarian and Open Education Librarian
TUS Midlands Library
University Road
Athlone Campus
09064 83040