Referencing includes systematically citing your sources that you consulted or used for your scholarly works. These sources should be trustworthy to ensure that your research is credible. In addition, it will provide information to your readers to do further reading using the sources you used for your work. Upholding academic integrity through referencing also helps you to be a more responsible researcher.
A citation or in-text citation is acknowledging the sources you have used within the body of your writing or assignment
A reference list or end-text citations are the full list of sources you have referred to or cited in the body of your work
A bibliography is the full list of works which you have used in the preparation of your written work.
There are various citation styles that you can use depending on your discipline or field of study. Here are some of the most commonly used citation styles.
MLA (Modern Language Association) style is used in the Humanities
Chicago/Turabian style is generally used in Business, History, and the Fine Arts
ACS (American Chemical Society) style is used in Chemistry
Harvard is used in Geosciences and Mining
IEEE (Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers) style is used in Engineering
Although knowledge of creating your own citations is very much encouraged, there are citation management software that you can use to help you generate your citations depending on the citation style you are using.
Some of the most commonly used citation software are:
EndNote - collects your resources into one place, auto-complete the citation, and bibliographic creation. Add many types of resources.
Mendeley - used to read and annotate, create citations, bibliographies, and collaborate with others. Add items such as books, articles, and PDF.
Zotero - collects research in a single interface. Add journal articles from databases, news articles, or book from the Library catalog.