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Lund University

Reference Management - LTH: References

Why referencing?

Referring to your sources is a convention in academic writing and demonstrates that the text is based upon earlier research. The references make it clear what is built on other people's thoughts and ideas, and what is your own contribution.


There are several reasons why you must refer to your sources. The reader must be able to clearly determine what ideas are yours and what has been retrieved from other authors. The reader must also be able to access the original sources in order to review the work. The sources are to be stated in a reference list or bibliography. There are several different established styles that can be applied when referring to sources and writing references. Some of the most used styles are Harvard, MLA, APA, and IEEE. Learn about different reference styles in the next tab. Consult your supervisor or department which reference style applies to your subject. 

You need to cite other's words or ideas whenever you use them in your paper (i.e. direct quotes, summaries). This may include:

  • journal articles, newspaper articles or magazine articles
  • books or book chapters
  • web sites and web pages
  • encyclopedias
  • government documents
  • emails, interviews or speeches
  • all ideas or words in any format that are not your own

AWELU - Academic Writing in English, Sources and Referencing

How to use references

Why References


Lund University's guidelines and regulations on plagiarism states that "Plagiarism is a lack of independence in the design and/or wording of academic work presented by a student compared to the level of independence required by the educational context. Deceitful plagiarism is a lack of independence combined with an intent on the part of the student to present the work of others as his or her own."

Guidelines and regulations on plagiarism and deceitful plagiarism in first-, second- and third-cycle education at Lund University 

Is it plagiarism if...? Quizz about plagiarism

References and plagiarism