Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Referencing guides

Advice about referencing was one of the things that came up at the recent training sessions I ran on finding information sources for a disseration.  This is not surprising I suppose, since I called the session, 'Exciting Citing.'

The basics are covered in the University of Westminster's guide, 'Referencing your work'.  However, this is a general guide for all students, so does not cover some aspects - such as referencing images.  The guides referred to below do cover this using the Harvard system, so I hope they will be useful. NB: Please also refer to the 'dissertation guidelines' given by the teaching staff, and modify accordingly.

  1. University of the Arts London.  Guide to the Harvard system of referencing
  2. University for the Creative Arts.  Referencing.
  3. Glasgow School of Art.  Bibliographies [part of InfoSmart Module 4]

I have also bought an e-book, which covers referencing in depth, shown below and also on the Study Skills section of this blog. 

Neville, C. (2010).  The complete guide to referencing and avoiding plagiarism, 2nd ed. Open University Press. 

This covers how to reference images, and just about everything else you might want to refer to.  It also a discusses the main types of referencing - author/date (i.e. Harvard style), consecutive numbering, and recurrent numbering. 

A couple of points that don't get good coverage are dealing with translations and reprints.  Pears and Shield (2010) suggest adding a statement of translation after the title.  For reprints, they suggest citing the original date of publication, but not the original publisher.  My interpretation of this is below.

Barthes, R. (1980).  Camera lucida; reflections on photography.  Translated by Richard Howard.  Reprint, London: Vintage, 1993. 

In text this could be Barthes (1980 [1993]).  

There are other ways of doing this, but this seems acceptable to me.

For those of us not familiar with Latin, a short explanation of the terms 'ibid' and 'op cit' follow.  These are not used in the Harvard system, but you will come across them, so its useful to be able to distinguish between the two.

Ibid = ibidim (meaning 'the same place') used to refer to an immediately preceding reference.

Op cit. = opere citato (meaning 'in the work cited') used to refer to a previously cited work, and preceded by a shortened form of the work referred to.


Pears, R. and Shields, G. (2010).  Cite them right; the essential referencing guide, 8th ed.  Basingtoke: Palgrave Macmillan.