Help with Source Referencing
Every scientific text (including your paper or thesis) builds on the knowledge and findings of other researchers. That is why you should always mention the sources you have used in your work.
Why is it important to mention the source?
- You give the author you cite the honor he or she deserves.
- You make it possible for others to check your text. The reader can see which ideas are your own and which you have adopted from others.
- You make it possible for the reader to trace your sources.
The exception to this rule is common knowledge. For example, "William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1564" or "Alcohol consumption causes changes in behavior".
More on source referencing
Quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing
You can incorporate insights from others into your own text in three ways: by literally quoting, by paraphrasing (representing a passage in your own words), or by summarizing.
A common mistake beginning students make when paraphrasing is to stay too close to the original text (close paraphrasing). For example, by maintaining the original sentence structure and simply replacing words with synonyms, or by changing the sentence structure, but not the words.
Your lecturer will expect you to use a specific source citing system (or “citation style”). On the How do I reference page, you can find information about the styles that are used at Tilburg University.
If you copy parts of the text, reasoning, or thoughts of others without citing the source, you are guilty of plagiarism. The university considers this to be a serious academic offence. If plagiarism is found, a sanction is always imposed.
Would you like to know more about incorporating sources into your text or the ins and outs of a particular citation style? Take a look at the webtutorial RefCite. Six referencing styles are discussed in this tutorial: APA, Chicago NB, Harvard, Vancouver, Leidraad voor juridische auteurs (in Dutch only) and OSCOLA.
If you copy parts of the text, reasoning, or thoughts of others without mentioning the source, you are guilty of plagiarism. The university considers this to be a serious academic offence. If plagiarism is found, a sanction is always imposed.
Do you want to know how to prevent (unintentional) plagiarism? This is explained in the RefCite web tutorial.
Independent study and tips for referencing sources
How do you learn to mention sources correctly, prevent plagiarism, and apply referencing styles (also known as citation styles)? Use the following online independent study tutorials and manuals:
Tip: use a reference manager
A reference manger is a software program with which you can manage your references and create reference lists.
By using a reference manager you keep an overview by systematically storing and keeping track of references. In addition, you can easily create reference lists in the required style.
Using a reference manager will save you time in the long run when writing assignments.
Tilburg University offers Endnote as a reference manager. The Endnote software is installed on all student workstations on campus, and, for home use of Endnote, you can purchase the software via Surfspot. For more information, manuals, and tutorials (online training), visit the Endnote webpage.
In addition to Endnote, there are many more reference managers available. Some of them can be downloaded for free, such as Mandeley, Connotea, or Zotero. Of course there are differences between the various programs. Overviews with comparisons can be found on the Internet.
Do you need help from a collection specialist?
- Fill out the Collection specialist form. You will receive an answer by e-mail or the collection specialist will contact you to make an appointment.
- You can also ask the information desk of the library to refer you.