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Εκπαίδευση - Οδηγός Βιβλιοθήκης


Referencing – the basic idea

The basic principle of referencing is to support and identify the evidence you use in your assignments. You direct readers of your work to the source of evidence. This can be done by presenting (or ‘citing’) either the name of the source, or an identification number, in the main text of your work. The full source detail is given later, either in a footnote/ endnote, and/or in an alphabetical list at the end of the assignment.

Why reference?

Six knowledge-related reasons for referencing

  1. Facilitates the tracing of the origin of ideas
  2. Helps you to build a web of ideas
  3. Supports your own voice in academic writing
  4. Validates arguments
  5. Helps to spread knowledge
  6. Acknowledges the work of others

Three other student-related reasons

  1. Your reading, and influences on your work
  2. Marking criteria
  3. Avoiding plagiarism

What to reference?

Most information or other forms of communication, including performance and visual arts, that have been written, recorded, filmed or presented into the public domain in some way to others can potentially be used.

However, there is no point in referencing anything that cannot be read, heard or seen by another who wants to check the same source. So personal conversations on the telephone, and text messages, for example, can be mentioned in the main body of an assignment, but should not be referenced, unless there is some audio or written record of the discussion that can be heard or read by others.

The important point to bear in mind in selecting evidence for use in assignments is about their credibility and reliability, and distinguishing between primary and secondary sources.

When to reference

You should reference evidence in assignments in the following situations:

  1. To inform the reader of the source of tables, statistics, diagrams, photographs and other illustrations included in your assignment
  2. When describing or discussing a theory, model, practice or example associated with a particular writer; or using their work to illustrate examples in your text (this links specifically to the next two items)
  3. To give weight or credibility to an argument supported by you in your assignment
  4. When giving emphasis to a particular theory, model or practice that has found a measure of agreement and support amongst commentators
  5. To inform the reader of the sources of direct quotations or definitions in your assignment
  6. When paraphrasing another person’s work, which is outside the realm of common knowledge, and that you feel is particularly significant, or likely to be a subject of debate.


Neville, C. (2010). The complete guide to referencing and avoiding plagiarism. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill Education.


Plagiarism is passing off someone else’s work as your own, without giving credit to the person who produced the work.

How to avoid Plagiarism?

To avoid plagiarism, when given an assignment, you cite references you have found and create a list with these references (reference list) so that whoever reads your work can return to that source at a later date, and read the material themselves.  In this way the reader knows that you have used the ideas of someone else to help you support your own.  Since you are using someone else’s work for your own benefit, you need to refer to that author or work.  It is academically unacceptable and also illegal to present the work of others as your own and the university reserves the right to penalize anyone who steals the work of someone else.

What to avoid:

  • Copying word for word someone else’s work
  • Using a phrase or sentence from someone else without giving the reference
  • Downloading material from the internet and presenting it as your own
  • Paying someone else to do the work for you
  • Copying the work or project of another student

Therefore, you need to make sure that you cite the references to your sources - that is, you give credit to the person who originally came up with the original work or idea.

How to create and manage your references:

There are two ways to create and manage your list of references for your written work:

  • Manually, in which case you should, while studying, record the details of the sources you find and save them so that you can track them later. Find a method to organize your references, by saving them into a word processing file, or using social bookmarking tools.
  • Using a bibliographic management tool like RefWorks, which helps create your bibliography by formatting and exporting your references into your document


RefWorks is a web-based bibliographic management tool (citation manager) that allows you to create a database of citations or references to resources (books, journal articles, web sites, etc.). It facilitates the insertion of citations within a research paper as in-text references, footnotes, or endnotes, and the creation of a formatted bibliography using a citation style of choice. All major citation styles are supported (e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.).

To use RefWorks you must first sign up for an individual account. To be able to create a new account you should gain remote access as described here.

Instructions on how to use Refworks can be found here.