How to Write References

 

 Why Cite References?

Citing bibliographical references means:
CITING: acknowledging within your text the document from which you have obtained information.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: is the list of publications you consulted.
REFERENCE: is the detailed description of the document from which you have obtained the information.

Honest and professional citation of references provides part of the framework for sound written research:

 There are two principal components to citing references

There are a variety of systems for bibliographies. Once you have selected a system it is important that you stick to it consistently.

Most subjects and Schools within the University have a preferred system. Please see the below for details. If your subject or School does not appear in the list on this page, please contact your tutor for advice.

Standard Styles

QEC, the University of Stirling's Quality Enhancement Committee approved the adoption of standard styles for subjects. The style for each subject is listed below.

 

You can use RefWorks, the University of Stirling supported referencing software, to help you create bibliographies and with Write-N-Cite a RefWorks tool, insert citations into your essay as you write!

See our RefWorks and Write-N-Cite guide. Or visit RefWorks' own guide.

Subjects

Below are the different styles subjects have chosen with links to further information and example bibliographies and in-text citation guidelines.

SubjectStyle (click for PDF guidelines)Example Bibliography and In-Text Citation (PDF)
Aquaculture Harvard - British Standard (for Aquaculture) Aquaculture bibliography example 
BES (Biological and Environmental Sciences) Journal of Ecology (except Geography students who use Scottish Geographical Journal instead - see under Geography below) Biological and Environmental Sciences bibliography example
Computing Science

IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers)

Example bibliography IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers)

Dementia Studies

Harvard

Please Note: if students use RefWorks to create a bibliography they will need to manually add brackets around the dates.

Dementia Studies
Education (TESOL students see below)
Harvard Education and Languages Example bibliography for Education
Education: TESOL please use example bibliography from APA bibliography
English MHRA English
Film & Media APA APA bibliography
French Harvard Education and Languages Example bibliography for French
Geography (within Biological and Environmental Sciences) Scottish Geographical Journal  Geography bibliography example 
Global Cinema Harvard Education and Languages Example bibliography for Global Cinema
History

Stirling UK History Style

See information about footnotes

Using RefWorks for History

History
Housing Harvard
Journalism APA APA bibliography
Law OSCOLA Law
Management Harvard Stirling University for Management Example Bibliography for Management
Nursing and Midwifery

Health Sciences handbook insert (this referencing style was adopted in September 2014 by the School of Health Sciences)

Nursing & Midwifery handbook insert

Nursing & Midwifery handbook insert (old)

Sample bibliography for Nursing (this referencing style was adopted in September 2014 by the School of Health Sciences)

Nursing sample bibliography

Nursing sample bibliography (old)

Philosophy Harvard Stirling University for Philosophy

Example bibliography for Philosophy

Politics Harvard Education and Languages Example bibliography for Politics
Psychology APA APA bibliography
Religious Studies Chicago 16th edn Religious Studies
Social Work

Harvard for Social Work

Please Note: if students use RefWorks to create a bibliography they will need to manually add brackets around the dates.

Example bibliography for Social Work
Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology

Harvard

Please Note: if students use RefWorks to create a bibliography they will need to manually add brackets around the dates.

Sociology Social Policy Criminology
 Spanish Harvard Education and Languages Example bibliography for Spanish
 Sport Harvard-British Standard (for Sport) Sport

 

The QEC approved Recommendation for Standard styles was as follows:

Recommendations (approved)

10. QEC is invited to:

Approve the adoption of standard styles for all subjects within all Schools. We recognise that in some Schools there are a number of disparate subjects (e.g., School of Arts and Humanities includes law which has very different referencing needs from the rest of the School) so we do not suggest limiting the number of standard styles within a School. Our primary aim is to make things less complex for the students. RefWorks offers many different styles to choose from and we are not proposing to restrict subjects in their choice, only that a School or subject, choose from the list offered by RefWorks. The list can be found here: http://www.refworks.com/content/products/output_style.asp (this includes such styles as APA 6th edition; Chicago 16th edition; Harvard British Standard 2010; MLA and Vancouver).

 

Avoiding Plagiarism

Plagiarism (from the Latin plagiarius meaning a kidnapper, literary thief) is a very serious offence and at University of Stirling is considered to beAcademic Misconduct. In summary: you must not represent the ideas of other people as your own - this applies to published works and the work of other students.

The University of Stirling's Guide to to plagiarism pages are designed to help you to understand more fully what plagiarism is and how you can develop practices to avoid it.

You may also find useful the tutorial "Avoiding Plagiarism" (designed by University of Leicester) about how to understand, and avoid plagiarism.

The following points are based on Stirling University's Policy on Plagiarism:

Remember that these rules apply to all the different sources of information you have used, for example: a lecture or tutorial, books, journal articles, web sites, newspapers, a television programme, a friend's essay.

If you think about where you found your information and reference your work properly, then accidental plagiarism can be avoided.

Journal Title Abbreviations

In the examples in this guide the journal titles used have been given in full, however in many sources and databases the journal title is given in an abbreviated form, and it can be difficult to know what it means.

Fortunately journal title abbreviations are standardised. There are a number of useful sources you can use to check the standard abbreviation:

Citing Scottish Parliament publications

See the fact sheet produced by The Scottish Parliament.  A Guide to Recommended Citations for Scottish Parliament Publications (2014)

Legal Citations

Please see our OSCOLA Introduction and OSCOLA Help pages.‌

Footnotes

RefWorks has information about working with footnotes and endnotes. It is essential to check the formatting of your bibliography, to ensure that it meets the requirements of the style used by your School. If you are a History students and require a 'short reference', titles can be manually shortened in RefWorks.

Further Information

The following sources provide additional information on writing references and may be helpful if you are uncertain about how to treat a particular publication type or style.  However, please be aware that there is no definitive standard for all referencing guidance and these sources may vary with RefWorks bibliography and citation styles.

There are a variety of accepted systems for bibliographies and you can check these by consulting books about writing essays and theses in the Education section of the Library. At Stirling these books are located at K 8.135, at the Highland and Western Isles campuses these books are located at LB 2369. For example:

ACHTERT, W.S. and GIBALDI, J., 1985. The MLA style manualNew York: Modern Language Association of America.

BECKER, H.S., 2007. Writing for social scientists: how to start and finish your thesis, book or article2nd edn. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

BRITISH STANDARDS INSTITUTION, 2010. Information and documentation: guidelines for bibliographic references and citations to information resources: BS ISO 690-2010London: ISO.

COUNCIL OF BIOLOGY EDITORS. COMMITTEE ON FORM AND STYLE, 1994. Scientific style and format: the CBE manual for authors, editors, and publishers.6th edn. Cambridge: CUP.

MODERN HUMANITIES RESEARCH ASSOCIATION, 2008. MHRA style guide: a handbook for authors, editors, and writers of theses2nd edn. London: Modern Humanities Research Association.

NEVILLE, C., 2007. The complete guide to referencing and avoiding plagiarismMaidenhead: Open University Press.

PEARS, R. and SHIELDS, G.J., 2010. Cite them right: the essential referencing guide8th edn. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

TURABIAN, K.L., 2007. A manual for writers of research papers, theses, and dissertations: Chicago style for students and researchers7th edn. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

 

Referencing electronic sources

The publications above will include details on referencing types of publications and sources not covered in this guide e.g. Newspaper articles, videos, etc. Many of the web sites below cover electronic sources.

Useful Web sites

There are also a number of useful web sites for referencing information; many of them cover both printed and electronic formats. For example the particularly helpful:

Referencing Handbook (Harvard) - from the University of Lincoln. This guide covers standard literature such as books and journal articles but also includes software, blogs, Twitter, adverts, telephone calls etc.

Guide to referencing: Harvard - from University of the West of England

Also:

APA (American Psychological Association) Formatting and Style Guide - from the Online Writing Lab at Purdue University, Indiana

Create an APA Reference List - from the University of Wisconsin

Referencing@Portsmouth is an online citation tool which gives information about the APA (5th & 6th eds), OSCOLA and Vancouver styles

MLA (Modern Language Association) Formatting and Style Guide - from the Online Writing Lab at Purdue University, Indiana

Citing and referencing of electronic sources using Harvard - Chapter 3 of The Citing Proficiency Tutorial from Manchester Metropolitan University

Audiovisual Citation: British Universities Film & Video Council Guidelines for Referencing moving images and sound this guide includes information about referencing from film, television, radio, audio such as podcasts, media clips such as YouTube and new media sources such as webcasts and webinars

The Chicago Manual of Style Quick Guide. This is an online guide to the referencing style used by students studying Religious Studies in the Division of Literature and Languages

 

Abbreviations/ terms used

Common abbreviations and terms used in references:

 

app. appendix
col. column (plural, cols.)
comp. compiler (plural, comps.)
ed. edition; edited by; editor (plural, eds.)
et al. et alii : Latin for 'and others'
ibid. ibidem : Latin for 'in the same place'. This word can only be used in 
the next consecutive reference in a list after an earlier reference to the same work.
For example :
1. Leggett, J. The carbon war: global warming and the end of the oil era
2nd edition. London, Penguin, 2000.
2. ibid. p. 65
3. Ledwith, S. and Manfredi, S. Balancing gender in higher education - a study of the experience of 
senior women in a 'new' UK university. European Journal of Womens Studies, 7 (1), 2000. pp. 7-33
4. ibid.
n.d. no date (of publication known)
n.p. no place (of publication known)
no. number (plural nos.) In America the symbol # is often used
op. cit. opere citato : Latin for 'in the work cited' 
For example :
1. Brennan, A.A. Environmental decision making. In: Berry, R. J. ed. 
Environmental dilemmas: ethics and decisions. London, Chapman & Hall, 1993. pp. 1-19.
2. Leggett, J. The carbon war: global warming and the end of the oil era
2nd edition. London, Penguin, 2000. pp. 25-27
3. Brennan, A.A. op. cit. p. 45
p. page (plural pp.)
para. paragraph
supp. supplement (plural, supps.)
Trans. translator ; translated by
vol. volume (plural, vols.)