Library Research Skills Tutorial About the tutorial
Referencing & Bibliography

Key points

This module of the tutorial has explained how to correctly reference the sources you have used in your research and how to compile a bibliography. How to select and use the software programmes available to help with referencing and bibliography was also included.

The key points to remember about referencing and bibliography:

  1. It is vital that you include a reference when you quote or paraphrase from another work in your research. You can do this using a footnote, an endnote or an in-text reference.
  2. This will help to ensure that you do not plagiarise the work of others.

  3. In your bibliography you should include all the works (in whatever format) that you have used or have contributed to your research.
  4. This excludes dictionaries and encyclopaedias unless they are an integral part of the research.

  5. The MHRA system (Modern Humanities Research Association) is a bibliographic system commonly used in the humanities in the UK. The Harvard system is also widely used in the UK, especially in the social sciences. Choose a system (your tutor or academic department may specify which system) and apply it consistently according to the guidelines.

  6. Specifically-designed software is available which stores your bibliographic references in a database, this software can download references from other catalogues and databases and automate the inclusion of references in your written work. Find out if your department provides access to this software (and training in its use).

  7. If you are going to use bibliographic software it is recommended that you:
    • spend time learning how it works
    • always enter the data consistently
    • update your database throughout your research
    • regularly back-up your files.
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