Why cite sources?
Why cite sources?
- To avoid plagiarism
- To give credit to others for their ideas
- To demonstrate that you are aware of and have consulted relevant literature on your topic
- To help your reader find more information related to what you're writing about
Plagiarism is "the act of using another person's words or ideas without giving credit to that person" (Merriam-Webster.com). Plagiarism may also apply where other intellectual products (e.g. drawings, data) are reproduced without giving credit to that source. Ignorance is not an excuse -- students at the University of Calgary are expected to understand and avoid plagiarism.
Citing all sources you have used in an assignment is the easiest way to avoid plagiarism. You must cite every instance of a source you have used. This is why most citation styles have two components: an in-text reference where you indicate right within the paper where you got the information; and a bibliography or reference list, where you provide full publication information for the sources you used. You can see an example of this by looking at any article published in an academic journal, such as this one:
J. McLurkin, J. Rykowski, M. John, Q. Kaseman and A. Lynch, 'Using Multi-Robot Systems for Engineering Education: Teaching and Outreach With Large Numbers of an Advanced, Low-Cost Robot', IEEE Trans. Educ., vol. 56, no. 1, pp. 24-33, 2013.
What to cite
- Exact language that you're taking from other publications
- Ideas or concepts form other publications that you've paraphrased in your own words
- Facts and figures that are not common knowledge
A note about images and figures: You should not reproduce photographs, drawings and other images without permission, even if you cite them. If you wish to include an image in your work, you should take the additional step of seeking permission from the author or the publisher, and note this in the caption.
Which style should I use?
Different instructors prefer different referencing styles, so check your course outline or ask your instructor before you start an assignment. Below are links to resources on the most popular styles. Mendeley will output references to any of these styles.
Bibliography & Referencing Tools
Mendeley is a free software program for creating reference lists and bibliographies, storing and tracking literature, and sharing references with others. There are other programs and tools out there that do the same thing, but Mendeley is the best free tool for science and engineering, and is well supported by the library. Mendeley will create reference lists in whichever style you specify, including IEEE and CSE.
You can get started online with Mendeley's guides, videos and tutorials.
If you're in a hurry and don't have time to learn a tool like Mendeley, try out Cite This For Me to generate references quickly.
Contact Heather Ganshorn, the Engineering librarian, if you have questions or problems with Mendeley.
Formatting References in LaTeX
If you use LaTeX to write papers, you can still use Mendeley to format your references, though it's a little more complicated. See the links below for information and tips on this topic.
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