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Guide to good referencing

Author: Kiara Macartney-Clark, Knowledge Management Officer, SACE Board of SA
Published: April 2019
This article is designed to assist with academic writing, particularly those who are undertaking their Certified Educational Assessor case study.

Why use sources?

When writing a research paper of any description, you are expected to draw upon the research and ideas of others from around the world. Sources assist in forming ideas and arguments as well as providing evidence for conclusions made.

Importance of referencing

Referencing is important because it shows that you have conducted quality research on which to base your paper. It also demonstrates that you haven't merely stated your opinion but that you have developed your opinions through consideration of existing research and have provided evidence to support your conclusions.

Not referencing ideas and material (words, images, tables, etc) that are not your own, and simply copying others work, does not show the reader what your thinking is or how you have added to the research and ideas of others.

Providing accurate references also allows readers to locate your sources, should you have inspired them to investigate your topic further.

Legal implications

Copying and pasting someone else's work, without acknowledgement, is a breach of copyright and can lead to hefty penalties through the court system. See the Australian Copyright Council's 'An introduction to Copyright in Australia' information sheet (2017).

It is also important that you reference material correctly. Attributing material to someone other than the person who created the work is a Moral Rights issue, which can also lead to court action. See the Australian Copyright Council's 'Moral rights' information sheet (2014).

Not to mention the potential impact either could have on your reputation.

IEA

There are many different styles of referencing, however, for the purposes of this article, the focus will be on the IEA's style guide, which is based on the Style manual for authors, editors and printers (Snooks & CO, 2002). Should your case study be published within the Assessment Insider, this is the style which will be applied.

Note: This style uses minimal caps.

See The University of Queensland's 'Referencing style guides' for information on various referencing styles.

Whichever style you choose, it is important to ensure you remain consistent throughout the paper.

Basic elements

While there are a number of different styles available, they all include two basic elements: in-text citation and a full reference list.

In-text citation

In-text references appear within the text, alongside the quote or idea it belongs to.

Short direct quotes

Include the author's last name, year and page number the quote appears on within round brackets; unless you have already mentioned one of these elements within your text, in which case you only include the missing elements within the citation. The quote itself is encased in single quotation marks.

Self-regulated learning is one of the most 'high impact, low cost approaches to improving the attainment of disadvantaged learners' (Quigley 2018, p 8).

Quigley states that self-regulated learning is one of the most 'high impact, low cost approaches to improving the attainment of disadvantaged learners' (2018, p 8).

Long direct quotes

Long quotes generally take up multiple lines. These are referenced as per short direct quotes, however, the quotes themselves are indented and italicised.

That children's learning begins long before they attend school is the starting point of this discussion. Any learning a child encounters in school always has a previous history. For example, children begin to study arithmetic in school, but long beforehand they have had some experience with quantity; they have had to deal with operations of division, addition, subtraction, and determination of size (Vygotsky, 1930, p 32).

Ideas

When discussing, paraphrasing or referring to someone else's ideas, include the author's last name and year in round brackets; unless you have already included one of these elements within your text, in which case you only include the missing elements within the citation.

The reactions of each student to the feedback needs to be taken into account as what for one student is motivating, may be discouraging to another (Wiliam 2013).

Wiliam believes that the reactions of each student to the feedback needs to be taken into account as what for one student is motivating, may be discouraging to another (2013).

Reference list

Reference lists appear at the end of the paper and include the full references (citations/acknowledgements) of the sources you have made reference to within your paper in alphabetical order by author. If a source did not end up in your final paper, it should not appear within your reference list.

As a general rule of thumb, there are five parts to a complete reference:

reference list arrow flowchart

Quigley, A, Mujis, D & Stringer, E 2018, 'Metacognition and self-regulated learning: Guidance report', Education Endowment Foundation, London

In some instances, additional information is required. For example:

Journals

Journals require volume and issue numbers (where they exist). When referring to articles within a journal, the page range of the article is also required.

Wiliam, D (2013), 'Assessment: The bridge between teaching and learning', Voices from the middle, vol. 21, no. 2, p 15-20

Web based resources

These also require the URL as well as the date viewed, but do not require the place of publication.

University of Leicester n.d., '2.23 Ten tips for good referencing', Harvard Referencing Manual, University of Leicester, viewed 21 February 2019, www.le.ac.uk

New sources

If your sources is from a new platform, base the referencing style on a source from a similar existing platform.

For more specific examples, refer to the SACE Board's Guidelines for referencing document (2015).

Reference list vs bibliography?

A reference list provides a list of all of the sources which have been cited within the paper, while a bibliography lists all of the sources the writer has accessed which assisted in forming their ideas and arguments.

A bibliography is not required for the CEA case study.

References and word count

As a general rule, and for IEA case studies:

  • The word count includes headings, direct quotations and footnotes which are used for explanation
  • It does not include the title/question page, the contents page, reference list/bibliography, footnotes or in-text references (which list authors), and appendices.

Locating reference information

For books and journals, this information should be readily available on the imprint page, which usually sits between the title page and the acknowledgements/contents page.

Many publishers provide advice on how to cite their material on their websites; even Wikipedia provide this information. Look for a link or button which says 'cite this' or something similar. While they may have a preferred citation style, it is important you stick to the style you have chosen to use throughout your paper. Use these preferred citations to inform your referencing as it is an easy way to acquire the information you need to reference an item correctly.

Is your source of the material the publisher's or author's publication/website, or is it a third party publication/website? If it's the latter:

  • look for a reference list
  • locate the original source
  • try the publisher's and/or author's websites for information.

If you have located the material on a third party website, always look for the original source of the material (ie publisher's or author's websites) and cite these. This way you are ensuring both your sources of information and references are correct.

Remember: incorrect attribution can have legal implications.

What to do if you are unable to locate the required information

Date

Webpages are often missing the publish date, which means the date cannot be cited. This is represented by 'n.d.' in place of the publication date. However, before you give up, check the bottom of the webpage for a 'revised' date.

Author

Many organisations publish material under the organisation's name as opposed to individual writers. In this situation, the organisation is the author.

Note: This may mean that the organisation's name will appear twice within the full reference.

Location

This is generally only an issue with electronic documents. Check the publisher's/author's website as they may have additional details to your source. If not, try looking for the publisher's address.

You don't need to be specific; for example you can say 'Australia' as opposed to 'Melbourne, Australia'.

Deakin University n.d., 'Don't be a cheat: Learn how to do Harvard referencing', Deakin University, viewed 21 February 2019, https://this.deakin.edu.au

Tips

  1. Cite all direct quotes and any ideas that are not your own.
  2. Ensure you reference your sources correctly.
    It always pays to cite the original source rather than a version someone else has adapted.
  3. List references in alphabetical order by author.
  4. Ensure every in-text citation has a corresponding reference in the reference list.
  5. Only include items in your reference list if you have referred to them within your paper/report.
  6. Be consistent in your referencing style.
  7. Make it part of your routine.
    During your research phase, note all of your sources including page numbers and figures as you go as it will be easier to remove references you haven't used than to go back over all of your sources to locate the ones you did.
  8. Consider colour coding your sources so can easily recognise which ones are your own ideas and which ones were drawn from others.
  9. Don't assume spellcheck is right about everything.
    Spellcheck will often pick up unusual names and suggest changing them. Be sure to cross check each suggestion with your source information to ensure spellcheck doesn't make any unnecessary, and incorrect, alterations.

References

Australian Copyright Council 2017, Information sheet G010v19: An introduction to copyright in Australia, Australian Copyright Council, viewed 4 March 2019, www.copyright.org.au

Australian Copyright Council 2014, Information sheet G043v14: Moral rights, Australian Copyright Council, viewed 4 March 2019, www.copyright.org.au

Snooks & Co 2002, Style manual for authors, editors and printers 6th edn, John Wiley & Sons Australia, Milton, Qld

Quigley, A, Mujis, D & Stringer, E 2018, 'Metacognition and self-regulated learning: Guidance report', Education Endowment Foundation, London

University of Queensland n.d., 'Referencing style guides', University of Queensland, viewed 25 February 2019, www.web.library.uq.edu.au

Vygotsky, L 1978, 'Interaction between learning and development', in Mind and Society, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, pp 79-91. Reprinted in Readings on the Development of Children, second edition, 1997 WH Freeman and Company.

Wiliam, D (2013), 'Assessment: The bridge between teaching and learning', Voices from the middle, vol. 21, no. 2, p 15-20

Further reading

Deakin University n.d., 'Don't be a cheat: Learn how to do Harvard referencing', Deakin University, viewed 21 February 2019, https://this.deakin.edu.au

Griffith University n.d., 'Referencing tool', Griffith University, viewed 25 February 2019, www.app.secure.griffith.edu.au/reference_tool/index-core.php

Murdoch University n.d., 'Referencing', Murdoch University, viewed 21 February 2019, www.murdoch.edu.au

SACE Board of South Australia 2015, 'Guidelines for referencing', viewed 21 February 2019, www.sace.sa.edu.au

University of Leicester n.d., '2.23 Ten tips for good referencing', Harvard Referencing Manual, University of Leicester, viewed 21 February 2019, www.le.ac.uk