How should you cite sources in your work?

Subject:  Multidisciplinary
A girl looking for information in a library

The How to cite page has guidelines for creating in-text citations and reference lists for your work in the APA, Chicago, Harvard, ISO 690 and Vancouver styles.

Do you know how to cite a podcast, a tweet or software? Take a look at real examples to help you reference content in different formats.

You will need to search for information before you start writing any academic work you do: articles, websites, books, etc. You must always identify the sources of information that you have consulted, so that your readers know where the ideas came from, and to avoid plagiarism. To do this, you will have to add in-text citations to your work, and include a full list of references with the basic details (author, year of publication, publisher, etc.). You must cite and reference all your sources, and stick to one specific citation system or style.

The Library's How to cite page can help you with this. It provides an introduction to the general criteria that you need to know about the citation styles. Choose the citation style depending on the field of study of your work, and the instructions from your teachers.

The How to cite page also provides some practical examples which you can use as the basis for referencing various types of content in both physical and digital format. It contains references for the most frequently consulted content, such as articles or books; and others for resources that may raise further queries when you cite them, such as a podcast, a video game, a psychological test, a photograph, a social media post, or a piece of software.

The most important thing is to maintain consistency throughout your work: use the same style for the citations in the text as for the references in the bibliography. 

Careful when copy-and-pasting

Copying and pasting information from other authors without citing the source can amount to plagiarism, because you are appropriating someone else's ideas. This misconduct can lead to serious academic consequences at the UOC. 

By citing and referencing your sources, you respect copyright, show you have used reliable sources, help others find the information you have consulted as part of your work, and differentiate your ideas from the ideas of others.

Cite sources automatically

When you are writing your papers, you will have to consult many sources and note down the bibliographic details of each one so that you can cite them. 
Some reference management programs have free versions, such as Mendeley and Zotero, and this will save you a lot of headaches. You can use them to keep track of all the sources you consult, use lists to separate them (introduction, section 1, section 2, etc.) and automatically create the reference list for your work.

Some useful features:

  • One of the options in Mendeley and Zotero is to link them to word processing software packages such as Word. This enables you to cite sources automatically as you type.
  • They provide browser extensions so that you can save your references while you browse the internet and then manage them using the same software.

The Library offers you access to an advanced version of Mendeley, with more space for storing information (100 GB), among other features. To use it, log in to your Mendeley account via this link. You will only need to do this the first time you use it.

If you have questions about how to cite sources, please write to The Library Replies.