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Academic integrity and referencing

In your academic work you will be reading and responding to the work of others. You need to acknowledge this work in your own writing through referencing.

Student reading a book in the libraryYou may see terms such as "citation", "quotation", "bibliographies" and "reading lists" used to discuss referencing the work of others.

There are several different referencing styles used at Newcastle. You need to find out which type of referencing is used in your School or subject area. Look in your programme handbook, on Blackboard or the LSE, or ask your module leader.

Why does academic work have references?


  • gives authority to your work by showing the breadth of your reading
  • enables a reader to see the original sources that you've used
  • shows the reader how you have built your argument and engaged with the ideas of others.
  • makes clear which ideas are your own and which are someone else's; this enables you to avoid plagiarism
  • allows others to use your work as a research source (for which you should be cited!)

When do you need to reference?

You need to reference every time you use other people's work. This includes:

  • ideas
  • words
  • data
  • designs
  • images
  • music
  • computer code.

You need to provide a reference whether you have directly quoted, paraphrased or summarised their work. You do not need to reference commonly known facts, for example "Newcastle upon Tyne is in the North East of England".

Referencing can be complicated. You might have an unusual source which you need to reference. Or you may be unsure how best to write about the work of others in your own assignment. You may find these resources and support useful.

Online resources

Downloadable resources

Student support

The Library

You can ask Library Help questions about:

  • how to reference
  • different styles of referencing
  • using reference management software

Cite Them Right - An online resource that can help you correctly reference lots of different information sources, from books and journals to films, government documents and websites.

Referencing Guide - Information and advice about referencing and examples of the Harvard at Newcastle other referencing styles used at Newcastle.

Go to the Library page.

Writing Development Centre

The Writing Development Centre tutors can help you:

  • integrate literature into your own work
  • comment critically on literature
  • identify how and when to paraphrase or use quotations.

Go to the Writing Development Centre page.