“Referencing is an integral part of academic writing. But it has also been the most neglected part of academic writing. Academia has to take note of the significance of referencing and act more responsibly.” said Dr. Harinarayana N S, Associate Professor of Library and Information Science, University of Mysore, Mysuru. He delivered a special lecture on “Plagiarism and Referencing” on Saturday, 27th February 2016 as part of “Saturday Mirror” Special Lecture Series organized by the Department of Studies and Research in Library and Information Science, Tumkur University. The lecture was the second in the series.
Excerpts from the Lecture
Referencing: a panacea for desisting Plagiarism
The academic spectrum today, is plagued by Plagiarism. There is a dire need to inculcate ethical writing practices among academics and researchers. In the academic and research framework, referencing practices can act as a panacea for desisting Plagiarism.
Citation Vs. Reference
It is quite surprising that, not just laymen, but even academics tend to use the terms ‘citation’ and ‘reference’ synonymously. However, they are not the same. One has to understand the subtle difference between these terms and use them judiciously. A reference indicates the works consulted for academic writing. It is an acknowledgement given to the sources which have been consulted whereas a citation is an acknowledgement received.
Referencing is significant for several reasons. In order to support one’s arguments and give a factual basis to one’s work; protect oneself against the charges of plagiarism; and to allow the reader to locate the materials consulted, references are the key.
Dr. Harinarayana meticulously drew out the difference between ‘long quotes’ and ‘short quotes’ with sufficient examples on how to use them in academic writing. The audience were also enlightened on the distinction between ‘phrasing’ and ‘paraphrasing’.
Citation Styles have evolved over time. Today, there are thousands of different citation styles, each having its significance and use in designated disciplines. The American Psychological Association (APA) Style has found wider use in Social and Behavioural Sciences while Modern Language Association (MLA) Style is widely used in Humanities. It is quite astonishing to note that on one hand there are attempts to standardize the citation styles, but on the other, every publisher is coming out with a different citation style to use in their journals.
Demarcating the different systems of in-text citation, Dr. Harinarayana illustrated the use of Name-Date Style, Consecutive Numbering Style and Recurrent Numbering Style.
“Thanks to technology, a researcher’s life has been made simpler with the emergence of several reference management software, both commercial and open source.” Dr. Harinarayana remarked. He illustrated the use of Zotero reference management utility to automatically extract the bibliographic data from the scholarly papers and use them dynamically in writing papers. The different functionalities of the Zotero Plugin for Mozilla Firefox and Zotero Plugin for Microsoft Word were demonstrated.
The lecture was followed by an interaction by the audience. Dr. Harinarayana addressed each question ably and patiently. Dr. B T Sampath Kumar, Chairman of the Department introduced the resource person and welcomed him. Ms. Hemavathi B N, Assistant Professor reiterated the purpose of the special lecture series and proposed the note of thanks.
The students, research scholars, teachers and LIS professionals witnessed the event.