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Expert referencing tips from Western Librarians

by The Library on 2023-05-30T12:19:00+10:00 | 0 Comments

Keep your research sources in check with these expert referencing and citation tips from our Librarians. These tips will save you time and a lot of unnecessary stress.

Find your School referencing style on the Library Referencing Guides page or get a quick overview in the referencing chapter of the Academic Skills Pocketbook.

Remember you can contact Online Librarian with your referencing question, or book a one-to-one appointment with a Study Smart Librarian to improve your referencing skills.

Referencing tips from our Librarians

Ashleigh recommends:

  • Reference as you go. It can be easy to lose track of where information you have used in your writing has come from. Record basic details of the source as you use it (Author, Year, Title and/or URL) so you can reference it fully and accurately according to your style later.
  • Reference generators, such as websites like ‘Cite This For Me’ or ones that are built into search engines and databases, can give you a start in creating a reference - but they are rarely perfect. Always check and edit them against the examples in your referencing style guide.

Bhadra recommends:

  • If you acknowledge and give the original author credit for their own ideas and work, your ideas will stand out.
  • With right referencing format (and a consistent approach) you can get an A instead of a B+.
  • Academics are looking for the 'key players/experts' in the field and they will look for those names in your reference list to see whether you have referred their works. 
  • Prove to your Lecturers that you have read around the subject - correct referencing will demonstrate your level of research and hard work. 
  • I like to share the phrase, "Stand on the shoulders of giants" to get a better view. Knowledge is evolving and along the way you add your contribution.

Linda recommends:

  • Use reference management software, not a website – you’ll get a more accurate result and save a LOT of time.
  • Reach out for help early – book a Study Smart Librarian consultation to go over how to reference to increase your confidence. Study Smart Librarian’s can also help you troubleshoot any problems you are having with EndNote.
  • Use the Research Notes / Notes field in your reference management software to record your analysis of each source as you read it as well as “quotes” that speak to you. This may help you with paraphrasing, synthesising ideas and pinpointing which sources to include as intext citations as you write.
  • If you are referencing a website print it to PDF and put it somewhere safe (eg: your reference management software) so that you have a copy.

Postgraduate + Academic tip (EndNote Desktop)

  • When using EndNote Desktop make sure you synchronise with EndNote Online so that you have a backup of all your hard work.

  Lauren recommends:

  • As you work through your assignment, write out the full reference list entry (in your chosen reference style) each time you do an in-text citation. Keep these entries at the end of your document or in a separate document. This will save you time at the end as you won’t need to construct your reference list from scratch, you’ll already have it mostly done!

Need more assistance with referencing and citation?

Contact Online Librarian 
Book a session with a Study Smart Librarian 
Read the Academic Skills Pocketbook chapter on referencing

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