The Durban University of Technology (DUT) aims to promote academic integrity and honesty. Referencing ensures academic integrity and prevents plagiarism. As a student it is important to acknowledge the work of an author and the most accepted way is to use a referencing system.
This guide outlines the Harvard Referencing system which most faculties at the university expect students to use. While there are variations on the “Harvard” system, this guide is compiled to suit the needs of both DUT staff and students. The guide will assist in proper referencing techniques when using the various reference sources. It shows you how to insert references in the text of your work (in-text reference) and how to compile a reference list or bibliography. This guide may be used in the absence of a departmental referencing guide. Consult a Subject Librarian for more information on referencing.
What is referencing?
Referencing is a method of acknowledging the sources of ideas, thoughts, opinions and information that have been used to compile assignments, projects, theses and dissertations.
Why use a referencing system?
It is good academic practice and is important for academic writing because:
- it facilitates the tracing of the original source or verification of quotations
- it shows the breadth and depth of the literature you have read or consulted
- plagiarism is avoided by correctly referencing the various sources of information.
Plagiarism is the theft of a person's ideas or writing. It occurs when work is submitted without the acknowledgement of the original source. Plagiarism is an academic and legal offence.
The University has recently introduced a plagiarism software called Turnitin. Turnitin is a software program used as an originality checker to detect plagiarism and DUT subscribes to it.
EndNote is a bibliographic management package available to registered DUT staff and students. EndNote is used to store and organise references, to search online bibliographic databases, retrieve full text articles and to create bibliographies. Detailed information on how to download and use EndNote is available on the DUT Library website http://library.dut.ac.za
Tips for referencing
Ensure that what is cited within your in-text reference has a corresponding record in your reference list and what is in your reference list has a corresponding record in your in-text reference.
- Check spelling and punctuation carefully.
- Be consistent in your style of referencing especially in the use of punctuation and spacing.
- Use the Internet with discretion and always state the date on which the site was accessed.
- In the reference list, the title is usually in italics. If you are handwriting your reference list you may underline the title instead.
- Use author initial/s rather than full names and if an author has more than one initial, please indicate all initials.
- In this guide, the use of ellipsis (…) indicates that words have been omitted from a quotation or that the sentence continues.
There are two key aspects to referencing:
1. In-text referencing: This refers to citing references within the body or text of your work. For the in-text reference, you need the following information:
- Author’s surname
- Year of publication
- Page number (if available)
2. The reference list: This is an alphabetical list arranged by author’s surname at the end of the assignment, project, thesis or dissertation which contains full details of the sources cited.