Writing references

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Writing references is an important part of academic writing. References and citations indicate that you have used external sources in your text. Reference styles contain rules on how to format the references. You should always use the style recommended by your supervisor or teacher. APA and Vancouver are the styles used by most programs at KI. Always be consistent in the style you have decided to use. 

Reference guide for APAReference guide for Vancouver

Academic integrity

Academic integrity is a concept that often appears in academic contexts. Among other things, it means that you must state which sources you have used in your own work. You must also cite and reference your sources correctly. This is important for many reasons.

By referring to the sources on which your own work is based, you show:

  • respect for the work that the original authors have put into writing and researching
  • your contribution to the field of knowledge differs from someone else’s
  • where the reader can find the original source and continue reading.

The most important reasons for why you use citations in an academic text are:

  • the reader has to be able to locate  the original source
  • to ensure the original author receives acknowledgement for their work
  • to differentiate information from another’s text from your own
  • to demonstrate that you are familiar with your field; this gives your text credibility
  • because you need to support or criticize others’ claims
  • because you need to compare or illustrate your ideas or results.

Cheating and plagiarism

Not citing sources or plagiarizing texts is not in line with academic integrity. Doing so counts as cheating and can lead to severe penalties. KI's disciplinary committee handles cases of suspected cheating and plagiarism.

The following examples have been judged as cheating :

  • copying text from the Internet or other sources without citations
  • collaborating with another student without permission (for example, students submit identical texts even though the assignment is individual)
  • copying another student's written work
  • self-plagiarism, that is, reproducing information from previous work you have written yourself, without stating the source.

Citation, reference, quotation, paraphrasing …

  • A citation is an in-text reference to a published or unpublished source. A citation is used to show that you have used someone else's material to build up your own understanding of the subject.
  • A reference appears in the reference list or bibliography and provides enough information for the reader to find the source (title, author, year and other details depending on the type of source).

  • A quotation is an exact reproduction of someone else's words. A quotation is indicated using quotation marks "…".
  • Paraphrasing is reproducing someone else's text or part of their text using your own words. Note that you still need to cite the source.

Would you like to know more?

APA

APA (American Psychological Association) is a reference style commonly used in psychology and health sciences. KIB's reference guide to APA is intended primarily for students at Karolinska Institutet. The reference guide should be regarded as recommendations based on APA 6.

The reference guide gives you answers to most things you may need to know in order to write correct references according to APA. For example, you will learn how to write references to most types of sources (such as articles, books, web pages, reports, images, and datasets).

In the reference guide, you can also click on FAQ to learn how to handle specific situations (several references in the same parentheses, or several references by the same author from the same year), and how to write references in-text as well as in the reference list.

KIB's reference guide for APA

Vancouver

Vancouver is a reference style established by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. It is commonly used in the field of medicine. KIB's reference guide to Vancouver is intended primarily for students at Karolinska Institutet. The reference guide should be considered a recommendation based on the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE)s Sample References and Citing Medicine, an e-book on the Vancouver Style by National Library of Medicine.

The reference guide gives you answers to most things you may need to know in order to write correct references according to Vancouver. For example, you will learn how to write references to most types of sources (such as articles, books, web pages, reports, images, and datasets).

In the reference guide, you can also click on FAQ to learn how to handle specific situations (several references in the same parentheses, or several references by the same author from the same year), and how to write references in-text as well as in the reference list.

KIB's reference guide for Vancouver

Reference management software

When writing texts with many references, it can be easier to use a reference management software. These can help you keep your references organised. 

Checklist

Before submitting your assignment, you should always check that your references and citations are correct. This checklist might be helpful. Please note that you need to use the guides for APA and Vancouver for detailed information about the format of the citations and references.

Support and contact

Finding referencing tricky? Visit us in the library or online if you want individualised support from a librarian.

Drop-in online at 11:30 – 14:00, and booked appointments.
08-524 84 000

Senast uppdaterad: 
2020-09-08