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Find, access and use information effectively: a step-by-step guide: Use responsibly: Why cite and reference?

Find, access and use information effectively: a step-by-step guide

Where can I get referencing help or training?

Help is available online or in print in referencing style guides recommended for your specific faculty.

Printed reference guides are located in the reference areas and in the Learning Commons and Research Commons in the JS Gericke library. Use Ask a Librarian if you need more help. The Harvard referencing style A-Z list under the Referencing styles tab on this Library guide is based on these sources.

  • Van Dyk, T. & Coetzee, M. 2010. Make sense of referencing: The Harvard, APA and Vancouver methods and the footnote system. Stellenbosch: Stellenbosch University Language Centre.
  • Lourens, A. c2007. Scientific writing skills: Guidelines for writing theses and dissertations. Stellenbosch: SUN Press.

Referencing is included in all academic literacy workshops of the University's Language Centre.

Referencing is included in Information skills172 and 174 of the faculties of Arts & Social Sciences, Theology, Education and Law.

The Writing Lab offers writing workshop and consultations to all students. Referencing forms part of these academic writing skills workshops.

How do I provide references?

"There are a few standard ways in which to provide references. Different organisations, scientific journals or even the various departments of a faculty could all have different guidelines for the way in which you should cite sources. Therefore, it is vital that you find out what the specific prescriptions of your subject field, department or faculty are" (Van Dyk & Coetzee, 2010:5).

Why do I need to cite?

"We provide references to acknowledge the persons who are the intellectual owners of the information we are using. The intellectual owners could be the authors of books or articles, the designers of a product, the producers of a film, or even the webmasters of a website" (Van Dyk & Coetzee, 2010:4).

When do I need to cite?

"You should provide references when you quote an author’s words directly; write someone else’s ideas in your own words (paraphrase); summarise someone else’s ideas; use data, facts or other information from any source; and use tables, figures, diagrams, photos or any other graphs that are not your own" (Van Dyk & Coetzee, 2010:5).

When do I not need to reference?

"You do NOT need to provide references if information or views are regarded as general knowledge. In this case, general knowledge refers to cases in which the same information appears in at least five sources without any references; the readers of your text are probably already familiar with the information; and the readers of your text will easily be able to find the information in general information sources such as magazines and newspapers" (Van Dyk & Coetzee, 2010:5).


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