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What information should I include in a reference?

The ideas you reference may come from books, journal articles, newspaper reports, web pages, videos, lecture notes, module teaching materials or any other source. You need to include certain details about these sources in your work so that your reader can find the original material easily.

There are several different referencing systems. Although most of them require you to include the same information, they ask you to present that information in different ways. Schools and departments at Sussex use different referencing systems so you should check which one you need to use.

Whichever referencing system you use, when making notes you should record the page numbers for each idea or quote. You should also note down the following information for each text:


The Name of the Author (s)

Put the surname first and then any initials and any title (i.e. Sir or Lord, but not academic or other titles).


Asian Naming Convention

 

In Western naming culture, generally a person's surname is listed as the last name, e.g. John Smith. However, in Asian culture, a person's surname is generally listed first, i.e. Smith John. This applies to Chinese, Malay, and Indian naming conventions. Therefore the author Cheng Tun-jen's surname is Cheng, and his first name is Tun-jen.

Date of Publication

 

This usually appears on the fly-leaf of a book. Make sure that you have the latest date since previous editions of a work may differ substantially. If you are referring to more than one work by the same author in the same year, you should differentiate them by small-case letters (i.e.2002a, 2002b etc.) There is no need to include the edition number.

The title

 

Make sure that you copy this out accurately. If the text cited is merely a chapter in a book edited by someone else, you must include the full details of the main volume.

The Publication Details

For books, this will include the place of publication and the name of the publishers. You will find this information on the fly-leaf.

 

For periodicals, you should include the name of the periodical, the volume, issue or part number and the page references.

 

For websites, you should note the web URL/address and the date you accessed the site.

 

For films and video, you should note the name of the director.

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Reference list/ Bibliography

Any sources you cite within your text should also be included in the reference list or bibliography at the end of your work. 

Check with your tutor whether they would like you to submit a reference list, which only includes texts you have cited, or a bibliography, which includes all the relevant books you have read.

Creating citations, bibliographies and references

You can use Reference Management Software to collect, store and cite references. As a Sussex student you can access many of these useful tools for free.

Create an easy, one-off bibliography with Zotero Bib.

You will need to learn how to reference correctly, even if you use reference management software to assist you, as the software often dispalys references incorrectly. 

Microsoft Word also has some tools which can help you with creating citations and references in your work. It takes a little time to learn how to use them, but you will save yourself a lot of time and effort in the long run. Create a bibliography.

Latin abbreviations commonly used in citation for referencing or in bibliographies

AbbreviationUsage

et al.

This is used where there is more than one author to mean 'and others'

e.g. Pears, R. et al.

ibid.

This is used when citing from the same book again in footnotes and bibliographies. It means 'in the same place' and is used when citing from the same book again directly after a previous citation, e.g.

  1. C. T. Martin, The record interpreter: a collection of abbreviations, Latin words and names used in English historical manuscripts and records, 2nd edn (London: Stevens, 1910), p. 16.
  2. ibid., p. 25.

The reference in no. 2 is the same as in no. 1 except that the page is different. Unless you are citing from exactly the same page, you follow ibid. with the new page number.

op. cit.

This is used when referring to a source that has previously been cited and means 'in the work cited', e.g.

  1. C. T. Martin, The record interpreter: a collection of abbreviations, Latin words and names used in English historical manuscripts and records, 2nd edn (London: Stevens, 1910), p. 16.
  2. R. Pears and G. Shields, Cite them right: referencing made easy (Newcastle upon Tyne: Northumbria University Press, 2004), p.50.
  3. Martin, op. cit., p. 20.

The reference in no. 3 is the same as in no. 1 except that the page is different.

passim

This is used where a word occurs frequently throughout a text,

e.g., an entry in an index reading 'coal: 78-86 passim' means that coal is mentioned throughout pages 78 to 86.

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