Skip to main content

Referencing guide: New to referencing

What is citing and referencing?

  • When writing a piece of academic work, it is essential that you fully acknowledge all of the books, articles and other sources that you have used so that you can demonstrate the breadth of your research and avoid plagiarism.  Plagiarism is the act of using another person's work or idea without acknowledging that you have done so; thereby, passing off that work or idea as your own.  This can result in penalties such as lower marks.  For more information about plagiarism and how to avoid it, visit the plagiarism guide.
     
  • To acknowledge a source: you must write a citation at the point in your writing where you have made use of a specific source of information.  A citation normally includes either an author’s name or a number (depending on the referencing style you are required to use).  You also need to write an corresponding reference which includes more detail about the same source, and appears within a list references at the end of your text.  Citations and references should allow the reader to identify easily the source that you have used so it is important that you cite and reference with accuracy and consistency.  Allocate time to check your references! 

Which referencing style should I use?

  • You must use the referencing style required by your department or school; otherwise, you risk losing marks. If you are allowed to choose from any established referencing style, be thorough and consistent in how you apply the style. This guide only provides an overview of referencing; you also need to refer to either the Harvard (Bath) guide or one of the other referencing style guides.
     
  • There are two basic systems of citing and referencing; the name/date system and the numeric system. Many different referencing styles are associated with both systems. Name/date styles include Harvard (Bath) and APA 6th. Numeric styles include IEEE and RSC. The broad principles of both systems are explained throughout this guide.

Citing your sources

Styles such as Harvard (Bath) and APA 6th require that you enter a citation for each source that you use by entering the author surname(s) and the year of publication. You also need to enter a full reference for each source in your list of references at the end of your text.

1. If the author name(s) occur naturally within your text, enter the year of publication in parentheses. For example: 

Harvard (Bath) and APA 6th
Although first prepared by Benedikt (1879), it was not until much later that Osborn and Jay (1975) confirmed its structure.


2. If the author name(s) do not occur naturally within your text, enter the surname(s) and year of publication in parentheses. For example:

Harvard (Bath) APA 6th
Although it was first prepared in the nineteenth century (Benedikt, 1879), its structure was not confirmed until much later (Osborn and Jay, 1975). Although it was first prepared in the nineteenth century (Benedikt, 1879), its structure was not confirmed until much later (Osborn & Jay 1975).


3. You will need to refer to further guidance on citing sources; for example, to find out when and how to enter page numbers, or how to cite sources where there are more than two authors. Please refer either to the Harvard (Bath) guide or one of the other referencing guides.

Styles such as IEEE and RSC require that you enter a citation for each source that you use by entering a number.  These numbers run sequentially through your text.  Numbers are commonly entered in parentheses (or as superscript text), for example:
 

Although first prepared by Benedikt (1), its structure was not confirmed until much later (2). It has recently been shown that it is a good chlorinating agent (3).


Each time you cite an individual reference, use the number that you first assigned to it in your text, e.g. each time you cite the work by Benedikt from the example above, you would use (1) to point the reader to the first entry in your list of references. List the references at the end of your text in citation number order.

Loading ...

Referencing different types of document

The following are examples of the most common types of document that you might need to reference. Note the subtle but important differences between reference examples for the each source. You can find many more examples in Harvard (Bath) guide or other referencing guides.


APA 6th

Wells, A.F. (1975). Structural inorganic chemistry (4th ed.). Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Harvard (Bath)

Wells, A.F., 1975. Structural inorganic chemistry. 4th ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

RSC 

1. A.F. Wells, Structural inorganic chemistry, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 4th edn., 1975.

The following are examples of the most common types of document that you might need to reference. Note the subtle but important differences between reference examples for the each source. You can find many more examples in Harvard (Bath) guide or other referencing guides.


APA 6th

Brunner, F.H. (1949). Synthetic gasoline from natural gas. Industrial and engineering chemistry, 41(11), 2511-2515.

Harvard (Bath)

Brunner, F.H., 1949. Synthetic gasoline from natural gas. Industrial and engineering chemistry, 41(11), pp.2511-2515.

IEEE

[1] F. H. Brunner, “Synthetic gasoline from natural gas,” Ind. Eng. Chem., vol. 41, no. 11, pp. 2511-2515, Nov. 1949.

 

The following are examples of the most common types of document that you might need to reference. Note the subtle but important differences between reference examples for the each source. You can find many more examples in Harvard (Bath) guide or other referencing guides.


APA 6th 

Holland, M., (2002). Guide to citing internet sources. Retrieved November 2, 2002, from: http://www.bournemouth.ac.uk/library/using/guidetocitinginternetsourc.html

Harvard (Bath)

Holland, M., 2002. Guide to citing Internet sources [Online]. Poole: Bournemouth University. Available from: http://www.bournemouth.ac.uk/library/using/guidetocitinginternetsourc.html [Accessed 4 November 2002].

IEEE

[1] M. Holland. (2002, November 2). Guide to citing internet sources [Online]. Available: http://www.bournemouth.ac.uk/library/using/guidetocitinginternetsourc.html

 
Loading ...

Listing your references

  • Your references should appear in a section headed References that appears after the main body of your text.  If you are asked to list other works that you have read, but not cited in your text, list those in a separate section headed Bibliography. 
  • For further guidelines on listing references, refer to either the Harvard (Bath) guide or one of the other referencing guides.

List your references alphabetically by author’s surname.  If you have more than one work by the same author, ist those works in order of year–of-publication (earliest first).  Example of a reference list in APA 6th style:

Barratt, A. (1987). Between two worlds: a critical introduction to ‘The Master and Margarita’. Oxford: Clarendon

Ericson, E.E. (1991). The apocalyptic vision of Mikhail Bulgakov’s ‘The Master and Margarita’. New York: Edwin Mellen.

Milne, L. (1977). ‘The Master and Margarita’: a comedy of victory. Birmingham: University of Birmingham.

List your references in numerical order, based on the number you have given each citation within the text. The example below is formatted in IEEE style which numbers the citations in order of first appearance in your work.

[1] E. E. Ericson, The apocalyptic vision of Mikhail Bulgakov’s ‘The Master and Margarita’. New York: Edwin Mellen, 1991.

[2] L. Milne, ‘The Master and Margarita’: a comedy of victory. Birmingham: University of Birmingham, 1977.

[3] A. Barratt, Between two worlds: a critical introduction to ‘The Master and Margarita’. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1987.

Loading ...

Referencing software

  • Referencing software enables you to store references and then insert them (along with corresponding citations) into your writing.  At Bath, you can access the referencing software, EndNote Online and EndNote Desktop.  Both are compatible with many referencing styles. 
  • If you use referencing software, you still need to check the accuracy of your referencing and we recommend that you use multiple methods to store your references. 
  • EndNote training is available as part of the Students Union’s Skills programme, the research postgraduates’ Doctoral Skills programme or from Subject Librarians.
  • Information is also available on the EndNote page of this guide.

More help and guidance