References in academic texts

The generic rule of thumb in any academic writing is "If not referenced, it is original by the author" - and if it is not, the author is in trouble. The system to use depends on many things (institution, publisher, type of paper etc) but even the worst kind of referencing is better than none. And the higher the level, the harsher will be the punishment for poor referencing - a blunder that is forgiven to a freshman can sink a PhD student.

There are several systems of referencing, broadly falling into two categories:

Both categories have a number of different styles, but the differences are typically in the details of the sources list (e.g. how are books, journals, web pages etc referred to). In Estonian universities, the APA or American Psychology Association is commmon, but the MLA or American Modern Languages Association style can also be seen. However, for shorter papers any variant of Vancouver style is fine.

Note: as a rule, a reference within a sentence applies on the sentence only. Thare are several options to refer to longer passages, but it is always important to clearly mark the beginning and the end of the referred text block (e.g. starting the passage with "NN has proposed that..." and ending with a reference, e.g. (NN, 2013).

See also


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1995-2017, by Kaido Kikkas. This document is distributed under either GNU Free Documentation License (v1.2 or newer) or Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike Estonia license v3.0 or newer.