Referencing Tools

Stellenbosch University Library and Information Service 



Some links will require an internet password (Inetkey)



Why do I need to reference?

"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 reference?


"You should provide references when you quote an authorís words directly; write someone elseís ideas in your own words (paraphrase);
summarise someone elseís 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. (magazines, newspapers, etc.)." (Van Dyk & Coetzee, 2010:5).


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 prescriptions for the way in which you should reference 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).


Which style guides are recommended for my specific subject area?

At Stellenbosch University (US) the following sources are recommended for the Harvard, APA and Vancouver methods:


Title  Location
Van Dyk, T. & Coetzee, M. 2010. Make sense of referencing: The Harvard, APA and Vancouver methods and footnote system. Stellenbosch: Stellenbosch University Language Centre
Learning Commons LCOM 808.072 VAND
Reference section R808.072 VAND


Lourens, A. 2007. Scientific Writing Skills: Guidelines for writing theses and dissertations. Stellenbosch: SUN PReSS

Recommended reference style guides by specific subject area or faculty
Bellville Park Campus Information Centre

Title  Location
Van Dyk, T. & Coetzee, M. 2010. Make sense of referencing: the Harvard, APA and Vancouver methods and footnote system Stellenbosch: Stellenbosch University Language Centre  

Reference section R808.072 VAND

Faculty of Law

Stellenbosch Law Review - guidelines for contributers

 Department of Psychology

APA- Publication manual of the American Psychological Association. c2010. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association Reference section
R 808.06615 PUB

Faculty of Health Sciences

Vancouver - Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences - Language departments

MLA handbook for writers of research papers. 2009. New York : Modern Language Association of America Reference section R808.066GIB

What bibliographic tools are available?
Refworks and EndnoteWeb as well as many other open source bibliographic tools like Zotero.
Ask a Librarian if you need help or training.


Where can I get referencing help or training?

Questions and comments to: Elbie van Wyk
© Stellenbosch University,   Last updated 2010/06/25