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Referencing Styles Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose and Context

(1) The University encourages academic integrity and rigour by giving clear and consistent referencing advice to students.

(2) This policy aims to:

  1. direct students to guidelines which assist in learning and using correct and consistent referencing methods within disciplines;
  2. direct students to referencing software tools such as Endnote and RefWorks;
  3. provide a framework for academic staff involved in the preparation of learning and teaching materials in presenting those materials in a manner consistent with this policy; and
  4. reduce incidences of unintentional plagiarism arising from lack of, or incorrect, acknowledgement or citation of third party works within student writing.
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Section 2 - Definitions

(3) For the purposes of this policy:

  1. A referencing style refers to a formal recognised system for presenting sources of information presented in the body of text and listed in the bibliography or reference list of an academic document.
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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(4) Referencing third party works is an essential part of most academic activity. Correct citation within individual disciplinary requirements is an important component of academic writing and expression. Many students experience difficulty in using referencing appropriately and consistently. This situation is exacerbated where students are directed to a variety of requirements and styles across units. A consistent approach and clear guidelines assists in maintaining appropriate academic standards and helps students to reference their work correctly. Incorrect referencing can lead to allegations of plagiarism, which are treated as student academic misconduct, and can have serious consequences for students.

(5) The University Library makes available guidelines on all major referencing styles endorsed by the University. These guidelines are accessible at the Library website.

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Section 4 - Procedures

(6) Each school nominates a referencing style(s) based on a recognised publishing authority. Normally one style per school will be nominated, however discipline diversity within schools may require judicious use of more than one referencing style across a school. The School Academic Committee approves the referencing style, or styles, adopted by the School, and these decisions are reported to the Academic Senate's Education Committee.

(7) Learning Guides provided to students for each unit recommend the use of a nominated referencing style.

(8) All assessment items requiring referencing provide explicit directions to students outlining referencing requirements, and nominate the referencing style to be used.

(9) The Library maintains a website that documents, and provides guidance, in the use of the major nominated styles to be adopted across schools.

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Section 5 - Guidelines

Supported Referencing Styles

(10) The following guidelines, covering the University-supported referencing styles, are available at the Library website "Referencing and Citation":

(11) APA (American Psychological Association)
Harvard WesternSydU
MLA (Modern Languages Association)
Australian Guide to Legal Citation

Supported Bibliographic Management Software

(12) The University subscribes to and provides access to the online bibliographic management programs, RefWorks, and Endnote which facilitate the creation of personal databases of references and automatically format references and bibliographies. Support and training in the Endnote program is limited to postgraduate students and staff.

(13) Support for RefWorks and Endnote is available at the Library website "Referencing and Citation".