Citations and references
What needs to be cited?
All information that you did not know before you researched it needs to be cited, including:
- Quotations (the exact words of another author);
- Summarised or paraphrased information (anything that you write in your own words but which is not your own ideas) and definitions of terms.
Quoting and paraphrasing is discussed in more detail in Module 6 Plagiarism
What does not need to be cited?
Facts and ideas that are considered common knowledge within a discipline do not need to be cited.
- In the discipline of electrical engineering, Ohm's Law (which defines the relationships between power, voltage, current, and resistance) is considered common knowledge.
- Similarly, for physicists, Einstein's theory of relativity ( E=mc² ) would not need to be cited.
More general examples include:
- Facts >> Canberra is the capital of Australia
- Widely known ideas >> Adam Smith is regarded as the father of economics
- Chemical symbols >> Oxygen = O2
- Scientific names >> Humans = Homo sapiens
Strict formatting rules need to be followed to cite and reference correctly.