Skip to main content
Middlesex University LogoLibrary Guides

Triple 'A' - Referencing: Home

When you are writing a piece of work and use someone else's words or ideas you must reference them. This means that you need to include detailed information on all sources consulted. 

There are several different referencing styles used within Middlesex University therefore you must check your module/School handbook to clarify which system to use. It is important to use the referencing style consistently throughout your piece of work.

Look at the first section to gain an overview of referencing and also information about technologies that can assist you such as Cite Them Right, RefWorks, and Mendeley.

For instructional resources refer to the tabbed section that is relevant to your discipline. 

Students struggling with referencing and citation can receive face-to-face support from the Centre for Academic Success (CAS), a dedicated space where students can seek advice and academic support from specialist staff and counsellors. Visit the CAS webpages to learn more about their services.

Referencing overview

Why and when to reference

Referencing is an important part of academic work. It puts your work in context, demonstrates the breadth and depth of your research, and acknowledges other people’s work. You should reference whenever you use someone else’s idea.

 

Why reference?

Referencing correctly:

  • is crucial to successful research
  • helps the reader to find the original source if they wish
  • improves your writing skills
  • adds authenticity to your argument
  • shows that you have read widely
  • can help you get better marks.

 

When to reference

Whenever you use an idea from someone else's work, for example from a journal article, textbook or website, you should cite the original author to make it clear where that idea came from. This is the case regardless of whether you have paraphrased, summarised or directly quoted their work. This is a key part of good practice in academic writing.

 

Types of sources

You are likely to use a range of source types in your research, and each type of source requires particular information to be included in the corresponding reference. Selecting the appropriate source type when creating a reference will help the reader to find the exact item you are referring to. This is especially important for items which are published both online and in print/paper format, as page numbers may be different or information may have been updated online but not in print. For example, when referencing an online article, you may have to indicate that the source is online, and provide the URL and date accessed. This is the case for Harvard and APA, but check your referencing style for more details.

If you download or read a PDF from a website, you must reference the actual document type, for example a book chapter, a government report or a leaflet, not the file format (PDF).

Cite Them Right

 

Cite them right online is a comprehensive referencing resource that helps you cite and reference different sources. It will help you to cite and reference just about any source. There is also information on the basics of referencing, top 10 referencing tips, understanding plagiarism and lots more.

Cite Them Right is accessible courtesy of Middlesex University Library subscription - click here to access!

It covers a wide variety of source types from books and journals to computer games, live performances, government and legal publications. It also covers a variety of citation styles, such as APA and Harvard (author-date).

A useful feature of the site allows you to create your own references by copying the layout of a record, which you can then email to yourself or cut and paste into your document.

Cite Them Right Online is the standard source of information for citation and referencing.  Please use this unless you are studying one of the subjects listed below.

RefWorks

RefWorks is a web-based reference management software, available to Middlesex University staff, students and alumni.  It is designed to help you manage the references you collect and to support the creation of citations and reference lists in you work or research outputs.

RefWorks comes with an add-in called Write-N-Cite which enables you to easily create citations and reference lists in Microsoft Word documents. See the RefWorks YouTube channel for more details about this tool and for information about tools to create citations and reference lists in other word processors.

If you are a brand new RefWorks user and want to use new RefWorks, follow these instructions below.   

To set up a RefWorks account go to sign up.

  • Use your Middlesex email address.
  • When you leave Middlesex you can switch to a limited free account. Change your email address in your account settings.

 

Getting help

For help using new RefWorks, go to:

Mendeley

 

Mendeley is a free reference manager and an online research tool that allows you to collect, manage and store references and PDFs. It includes a plug-in tool for Word to enable to you create citations and bibliographies.

It allows you to import citations from databases (such as Google Scholar) or from other reference management tools (such as RefWorks). 

As well as a reference manager, Mendeley is also an academic social network, offering you the chance to collaborate online and discover the latest research in your field. 

Mendeley is both a desktop and web-based application. Accounts can be synced across devices so that you can access your library from anywhere.

You can run Mendeley on your computer or laptop, or as an app on your phone of tablet. Start by creating a free Mendeley account.  Go to www.mendeley.com and click on Create a free account.

 

Getting help

Mendeley provide Help Guides and VideoTutorials to help you start using Mendeley and introduce you to many of the features.

Harvard referencing

Harvard at Middlesex University is the most frequently used referencing style. It follows the author-date format, whereby each reference starts with the author's surname, initials and year of publication.

For print and electronic books, you should use the following format:

 

Surname, Initials. (Year of Publication) Title in Italics. Edition if not first. Place of publication: Publisher.

 

Bell, J. (2010) Doing your research project. 5th edn. Maidenhead: Open University Press.

 

For a chapter or section from a book, use this format:

 

Surname, Initial. (Year of publication) 'Title of chapter or section', in Surname, Initial. (ed.) Title of book in italics. Place of publication: publisher, Page reference.

 

Franklin, A.W. (2012) 'Management of the problem', in Smith, S.M. (ed.) The maltreatment of children. Lancaster: MTP, pp. 83-95.

 

It is important to be consistent and accurate when citing references. The same set of rules should be followed every time you reference, including the layout and punctuation. Punctuation should be used to clearly separate each element of a reference.

There are many variations of Harvard but the one used at Middlesex University can be found in Cite Them Right which is available in printed and electronic format. Harvard uses an in-text citation inserted in the text, coupled with a reference list at the end of the document, which provides the key. It includes guidance about how to reference just about every type of information you can think of, including the more tricky online sources such as social media.

For further instruction on different types of reference sources (e.g. journal articles, web pages, social media posts) access Cite Them Right (courtesy of Middlesex University Library subscription) - click here to access!

 

APA Referencing

APA Style is established by the American Psychological Association, and used by professionals in psychology and many other sciences. Within the citation it displays much like Harvard, utilising the  'Author-Date' standard format. 

Using the APA style of referencing, you must acknowledge the source within the text by citing the author’s last name and date of publication in parentheses, e.g. (Jones, 2015). Moreover, you must give full details of each item in an alphabetical reference list at the end of your assignment. You may also include a bibliography, although it is not a necessity.

Surname, Initials. (Year of Publication). Title in Italics. Edition if not first. Place of publication: Publisher.

 

Freud, A. (1936). The ego and the mechanisms of defense. New York: International Universities Press.

 

For a chapter or section from a book, use this format:

Surname, Initial. (Year of publication). Title of chapter or section In Name of editor of book (Ed.) Title of book in italics (pp. Page numbers of chapter/section). Place of publication: publisher.

 

Leites, N. (2013). Transference interpretations only? In A. H. Esman (Ed.) Essential papers on transference (pp. 434–454). New York, NY: New York University Press.

 

It is important to be consistent and accurate when citing references. The same set of rules should be followed every time you reference, including the layout and punctuation. Punctuation should be used to clearly separate each element of a reference.

Further details of APA referencing can be found in Cite Them Right which is available in printed and electronic format. APA uses an in-text citation inserted in the text, coupled with a reference list at the end of the document, which provides the key. It includes guidance about how to reference just about every type of information you can think of, including the more tricky online sources such as social media.

For further instruction on different types of reference sources (e.g. journal articles, web pages, social media posts) access Cite Them Right (courtesy of Middlesex University Library subscription) - click here to access!

The American Psychological Association maintains the APA style blog which gives advice on a generic APA reference with examples for new item types when the need arises.

OSCOLA referencing

The Oxford University Standard for Citation of Legal Authorities (OSCOLA) is designed to facilitate accurate citation of authorities, legislation, and other legal materials. It is widely used in law schools and by journal and book publishers in the UK and beyond. OSCOLA is edited by the Oxford Law Faculty, in consultation with the OSCOLA Editorial Advisory Board.

  • OSCOLA has been regularly updated and is now in its 4th edition (2012)
  • It is a footnote style used in Middlesex University Law School
  • Details of the OSCOLA style are available from the following pages on Oxford Law's website

The Oxford Law's website includes an FAQ and a Quick Reference Guide for the current version of OSCOLA. The 4th edition (2012) of OSCOLA does not contain citation advice for International Law sources, however the section on citing these sources from the 2006 edition of OSCOLA is available as a separate document on Oxford Law's  OSCOLA website: Oscola 2006: Citing International Law.

 

OSCOLA Guides

We highly recommend all Middlesex Law School students refer to the full and descriptive OSCOLA guide before addressing their formative and summative coursework. Click on the images below for the full (left) and quick (right) guides:

          OSCOLA Quick Reference Guide

[Source: OSCOLA website]

If you are citing an element of international law (e.g. a Treaty) you will need to consult a separate guide: OSCOLA 2006: Citing International Law.

A handy online A-Z guide to OSCOLA references produced by the University of Cardiff can be found here:

 

Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations

Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations