Citing Your Sources: A Brief Rundown


Referencing and citing are an essential part of every research paper; without them, a research paper would be deemed irrelevant. But what are they? And what makes them so important?

This blog will navigate several points revolving around references and citations including what they are, the different styles, their importance and finally, a brief into what kind of referencing style IEREK follows.

What are references and citations?

References and citations are essentially how an author acknowledges the original source(s). The term ‘references’ is often being referred to as the acknowledgement of said original sources in the form of reference lists or bibliography at the very end of a book or paper.

‘Citations’ are in-text references that help highlight the referenced part as it is being actively referred to or used.

Why are they so important?

There are many reasons why referencing and citing sources correctly is more important than them simply being a part of the overall produced research. Some reasons that highlight their importance are as follows:

  1. Supports and validates your own claims, ideas, points, and overall research.
  2. Acknowledges another author’s work consistently and accurately helps you avoid plagiarism.
  3. Helps showcase the depth and extent of your research.
  4. Allows the readers to refer back to the external material that you included.

It is important that when choosing the sources that you will include in your research that you choose the material of high quality, credible, and up to date as it will directly reflect itself onto your research, determining its quality.

What are the different styles of referencing and citing?

There are several different styles of referencing and citing, but why are there so many? There are several styles, and they differ from one institute to the other. It is also where each one is suitable for different disciplines such as humanities, education, psychology, business, and history, amongst others.

The most prominent styles:

1.Harvard: Known as an ‘author-date’ style. When using Harvard style referencing, in-text citations can be either in brackets in the body of the text or in footnotes. Harvard referencing is used for humanities and natural or social sciences.The information included when being cited is the author’s name, the date of the publication, and the page number if what is referenced or quoted is on a particular page of the source.The rest of the full details are included in the reference list or the bibliography which, depending on what is being cited (if it is a book, paper, or speech, etc…), includes the title, the publishing house, the location of the publishing house, the edition, and so on.
Example: Doe, J. (1990) Conservation of Architectural Heritage: The Importance of Heritage. Alexandria: IEREK Press.

2.APA: APA referencing is a variation on Harvard style referencing. Both styles are quite similar, with brief differences. When using APA format, it is usual for it to only include a reference list rather than a bibliography as well. APA referencing is mainly used in social sciences such as psychology, anthropology, sociology, as well as education, and other disciplines.When citing using APA, the citations will include the author’s surname, the date of publication, and the page or pages numbers you are referring to (if applicable).When it comes to the references in the final reference list/bibliography the APA style follows the same format as the Harvard style, each reference is to be written in the following order: the author’s surname, their first initial, the date of the publication in brackets, the title of the book, the place of publication and the publisher.
Example: Doe, J. (1990) Conservation of Architectural Heritage: The Importance of Heritage. Alexandria: IEREK Press.

3.MLA: MLA style is a referencing style that was developed by Modern Language Association (i.e. MLA). MLA referencing is most commonly used in language arts, cultural studies, literature, and other humanities disciplines.When citing using the MLA referencing style, you include the author’s surname, and the page number or numbers you are referring to. If you use two or more works by the same author, in order to differentiate between the works, the citation should include a shortened version of the titled to indicate which book that quote or reference is referring to in the format of (Surname, Shortened Title, Page Number(s)).When it comes to the references in the works cited list, the MLA style follows the following format: the author’s name in full (surname, forename), the title of the book, the place of publication, the publisher, and the date.
Example: Doe, John. Conservation of Architectural Heritage: The Importance of Heritage. Alexandria: IEREK Press, 1990.

Note that all of the aforementioned referencing styles are arranged commonly alphabetically by the author’s last name. It is also important to be careful when it comes to the punctuation and italicization in the final references because if they are done incorrectly, the entire reference would be incorrect.

It is also important to note that the 3 mentioned styles are not the only ones used; there are countless of others and knowing which one applies to you and your affiliated institution is important. Some other referencing styles are as follows: Oxford referencing, OSCOLA referencing, MHRA, and Chicago, to name a few.

Referencing styles are constantly being updated. It is essential to be aware of the changes occurring in the referencing styles, especially if you are a dedicated researcher who is constantly looking to write and publish new research.

What referencing style does IEREK abide by?

IEREK and IEREK Press essentially follow the APA referencing style, where we are careful to have our authors adhere to the style’s guidelines whether it is for their paper to be published in one of IEREK Press’s journals or in Springer’s Scopus-indexed Advances in Science, Technology, and Innovation (ASTI) book series.

We do our best to support our authors and help them in perfecting not only the referencing portion of their research but also their paper’s structure and overall paper, while carefully maintaining the paper’s integrity and essence.

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