Different Research Different Reference Style

Aklima Sharmin
Written by Aklima Sharmin

What is referencing and Reference style

When we prepare written papers, it is important to cite the sources used in our work. Each time when we do so, it is necessary to identify other’s work by making reference to it— both in the text of our assignment/article/publication and in a list at the end of our assignment. This practice of acknowledging authors is known as referencing. References must be provided whenever we use someone else’s opinions, theories, data or organisation of material. We need to reference information from books, articles, videos, computers, other print or electronic sources, and personal communications. A reference is must be required if we:

•  quote (use someone else’s exact words)
•  copy (use figures, tables or structure)
•  paraphrase (convert someone else’s ideas into your own words)
•  summarise (use a brief account of someone else’s ideas).

Academic writing requires the author to support their arguments with reference to other published work or experimental results/findings.  A reference system will perform three essential tasks.

1. Enable us to acknowledge other authors ideas [avoid plagiarism]
2. Enable reader to quickly locate the source of the material we refer to so they can consult it if they wish.
3. To indicate to the reader the scope and depth of our research  

Why we use reference

References enhance our writing and assist our reader by:
•  showing the breadth of our research
•  strengthening our academic argument
•  showing the reader the source of our information
•  allowing the reader to consult our sources independently
•  allowing the reader to verify our data.

There are specific formats for referencing materials. Referencing practices vary by field. It is important to know the different reference format. Sometimes our supervisor or teachers will suggest us to use specific reference style. Sometimes it depends on us. In some case different university declare to use different referencing style. On the other hand sometimes different journal or publishers’ suggest using specific style.  That’s why we need to know different style of referencing or citing.

Generally we use citation in two ways. Those are in-text citations and end of the text citation. 

1. Within the Text—In-text Citations: In maximum referencing system requires to include three pieces of information about a source within the text of our work. This information is:

•  the name of the author or authors
•  the year of publication
•  the page number (when the information/idea can be located on a particular page, or when directly quoted)

2. At the End of the Text—List of References: At the end of our text, we must include a List of References, a list of all the books, journal articles and other sources of information we have used to research our assignment or work or study.

Major referencing styles

Major or renowned referencing styles are – 

  • ACS (American Chemical Society) Style
  • AGLC (Australian Guide to Legal Citation) Style
  • AGPS/AGIMO (Australian Government Publishing Service/ Australian Government Information Management Office) Style
  • AMA (American Medical Association) Style
  • APA (American Psychological Association) Style
  • Chicago Style
  • CSE/CBE (Council of Science Editors/Council of Biological Editors) Style
  • Harvard Style
  • IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Style
  • MLA (Modern Language Association of America) Style
  • OSCOA (Oxford Standard for Citation of Legal Authorities) Style
  • TURABINA Style
  • Vancouver Style

Brief of those style
Now we can see the brief description about these referencing styles.

ACS Style: American Chemical Society is widely used in chemistry and related disciplines. It is now in its third edition. The ACS Style manual gives instructions for numbered referencing and also for in-text (Harvard style) referencing.

AGLC Style: Australian Guide to Legal Citation is now the standard Australian guide for referencing in Law. It is a footnote style and includes detailed provisions for referencing statutes, case reports and other legal materials.

AGPS/AGIMO Style: This is the standard Australian style manual. It has been published in various editions over many years. Originally it was published by the Australian Government Publishing Service, and now it is published for the Australian Government Information Management Office. The latest edition (2002) was prepared by the consultants Snooks & Co.

This style manual is widely used by Australian publishers. It forms the basis for the University of Queensland (UQ) Library Harvard style. The manual also contains provisions for numbered reference lists and footnote referencing.

AMA Style: This style is widely used in medicine, especially in the medical journals published by the American Medical Association. This information created by American Medical Association.

APA Style: This is the standard style used in Psychology, but it is also widely used in other disciplines, especially in the Social Sciences. It is one of the many variants of the Harvard style. It’s developed by American Psychological Association.

Chicago Style: The Chicago Manual of Style is the most widely consulted of all style manuals. It includes provisions for footnote referencing, numbered reference lists and author-date referencing.

The Chicago Manual’s footnote referencing system is widely used in the arts and humanities. Its author/date referencing provisions are also widely used, and constitute one of the many variants of the Harvard style.

CSE/CBE Style: CSE is another style generated by Council of Science Editors (CSE). Council of Science Editors is now published its seventh edition. It was first issued in 1960 by the Council of Biology Editors and is still sometimes referred to as the CBE manual or style. It is widely used in the life sciences, and its provisions are applicable to other scientific disciplines also.

The CSE manual or style recommends a numbered referencing system, where the reference list is arranged alphabetically by author and numbered accordingly.

Harvard Style: Harvard is a generic term for any style which contains author-date references in the text of the document, such as (Smith 1999). That’s why it’s known as alphabetical or name-date reference style. There will also be a list of references at the end of the document, arranged by authors’ names and year of publication.

IEEE Style: The IEEE, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers is the major professional body and publisher in the fields of electrical engineering and computer science. Their style manual is widely used in those disciplines. It uses a numbered reference list.

The IEEE Computer Society has its own style manual, which is based on the IEEE manual but differs in some respects.

MLA Style: The MLA style is widely used in the fields of modern literature and linguistics. MLA referencing uses Harvard-style references in the text of the document, but without the year of publication.

The MLA style is published in two different publications: MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing and MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. These two publications contain identical guidelines for referencing.

OSCOA Style: The OSCOLA system was created by Professor Peter Birks in consultation with faculty at Oxford University. The system is used to reference Law Reports, Law Reviews, Legal Journals and Acts of Parliament.

OSCOLA was produced by the Oxford Law Faculty in collaboration with academic law publishers. It is the style guide for the Oxford University Commonwealth Law Journal and for theses written in academic Law Faculties in most universities. OSCOLA has guidelines on using punctuation, quotations, footnotes, reference to law cases and the referencing of books and journals.

Turabina Style: Kate L. Turabian’s Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations presents two basic documentation systems, notes-bibliography style or simply bibliography style and parenthetical citations–reference list style or reference list style. This is known as TURABINA Style.

These styles are essentially the same as those presented in The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, with slight modifications for the needs of student writers.

Turabian may be used in any class or course of study, including the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. Many people use Turabian as a catchall, for instance, when they do not know which style format their professor prefers.

Vancouver Style: Vancouver is a generic term for a style of referencing widely used in the health sciences, using a numbered reference list.

There is no official manual of the Vancouver style, but the US National Library of Medicine’s style guide is now considered the most authoritative manual on this type of referencing.

[N. B. This is a series, further writing hopes to offer the detailed features of those Reference style. ]

About the author

Aklima Sharmin

Aklima Sharmin

Aklima Sharmin is working as a Divisional Education Coordinator (Dhaka and Chittagong Area), World Vision Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

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