University of Brighton Referencing

University of Brighton Referencing

Referencing is an important part of studying in higher education. It is a technical system that allows you to give credit to other people’s ideas; provide evidence of your reading and engage in debates with other authors on your subject. However, it takes practice and even experienced academics will consult referencing style guides for more unusual sources. Have a look at the answers to the following questions to get started:

What is a reference?

A reference – also known as a citation – is an exact note of the source of a piece of information. A typical reference or citation for a journal article, for example, would include the following elements:

  • author(s) name(s)
  • title of the article
  • journal title
  • year, volume or part when published
  • page numbers

Referencing has two parts – a citation in the text where you have used the source (this is normally written in a shorter form) and the full details of the source at the end of the text in a Bibliography (list of all the sources you have read for your essay, even those you have not cited) or a Reference List (list of all the sources you have cited).

What referencing style should I use?

There is no single system within the university for creating a reference. You should consult your course handbook or speak to tutors in your school to find out the system used in your school. Below are some quick guides to the most common referencing styles, although please note that within each of these styles listed below, different Schools will approach them slightly differently so please do read your course handbook for the precise guidelines to follow for your course.

Common referencing styles:

  • Harvard (from Anglia Ruskin University)
  • Vancouver (from the University of Manchester)
  • Oscola for Legal sources (from the University of Oxford)
  • MLA (from the University of Northampton)
  • Numerical (from the University of Worcester)
Why is referencing so important?